There were officially meant to be 68 wines. But there were actually 73 wines in the room. Some of the wines ran out… And Unfortunately I didn’t get to five wineries, so I got to taste and write notes on some 60 wines, which was a pretty good effort IMHO.
There were lots of highlights during this tasting, not least were the two talented baristas in a caravan out front. But more on this over coming days.
For first impressions, I thought that I would focus on the three NON Otago wines in the room.
So lucky to have two superstars from Oregon represented.
Elk Cove Vineyards Reserve Pinot Noir 2012 Willamette Valley
This is still a juicy, fruity wine, dark cherry, plum, but also showing some meaty, savoury development. Very pretty wine, more elegant than some, the elegant end of the Willamette spectrum, but with Lovely svelte, supple tannins. Impressive.
The next two fascinating wines exhibit the diversity within a very small distance in one Oregon sub region (two miles apart, I think?)
Rex Hill Jacob-Heart Estate Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2015
An old cliché but a goodie “Iron first in velvet glove”, this is a brooding, muscular Pinot, saturated berry fruit, full, generous, but also incredibly youthful.
Rex Hill Shea Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2014
What a seductive nose, warm, inviting, complex, I detected still some oak integrating, but a lovely generosity on the palate, finer structured than the previous wine, but still very, very impressive. A “wine critic’s wine”, but hey I am a wine critic, I LOVE THIS!!!