Drinking the new EIEIO 2013 vintage Chardonnays and Pinot noirs last month, we found them quite pleasurable upon release. All of my 2013s have that “easy drinking” aspect.
Brian and Clare hit upon the Oregon wine scene with a big bear hug, or was that Clare that supplied the hug so crushing that you not only felt better but also thinner once she stopped… I do recall Brian supplied the infectious grin that gives the impression he knows something amusingly clever.
The couple moved up from California after Brian earned his keep at a few notable wineries such as Marcassin, Neyers and Turley and has taken on some of their award winning wine making techniques to use with his own wines. Clare is an artist’s artist and has mad skills in both commercial and creative pursuits having been responsible for several California and Oregon wine labels as well as beautifully passionate paintings depicting local landscapes and close up farm scenes.
When I launched their brand at The Tasting Room years ago, Clare hosted a gallery event with over one hundred of these beautiful, six by six inch chicken paintings which covered the walls at my little Carlton Bank Building. The paintings were hung on frames made of chicken wire that Brian had crafted for the event. How clever! It was an amazing evening filled with fun people, good food, great wine and superb art. Gregg Popovich happened to be in town and even bought one of these chicken paintings for for his wife Erin! […]
2010: The Birth of a Cool Vintage….
A wonderful year; cool to help maintain that perfect level of fresh acidity, just moist enough keep the stress at the right level so the balance is there, sun in the right intensity to warm the soil and move the plant through its production of berries. Sounding perfect so far as weather is concerned, then all of this followed by an Indian summer that lasted through November allowing the “choosing of when” one wanted to pick the fruit. Only problem: YIELD. Crop was down from the start due to wind and rains during flowering. Since a “poor set” tends to leave the clusters more “open” so that air flow between the berries keeps everything clean and healthy, this is a benefit for quality, but definitely not for quantity. Then, hungry migrating birds further decimated the potential crop. Birds, while beautiful to watch as they fly in mass, were a bit disturbing to see grapes in each birds beak as they flew out of the vineyards.
The fruit was clean as were the fermentations, all of which started spontaneously and finished without any additions of anything except small doses of sulfur dioxide once secondary fermentation was completed towards the end of spring. Aromas emerging from the fermentations were beautiful and fruit focused from start to finish, most completed in around twenty days. All free run was settled for at least five days before going to barrel. All […]
iOTA means small quantity: just a whit, a smidgen, a scintilla of wine to go around. For iOTA winemaker Don Sandberg iOTA also means attention to the smallest iota of detail to attain the finest results.
Don and Johanna Sandberg, winemaker and owners of iOTA Cellars moved to Oregon from Minnesota in 1999 and founded their winery in 2000 with the financial and marketing support of family partner and owner Lynne Pelos. The name iOTA is a nod to Johanna’s Greek heritage and Don’s focus on small quantities. Don considered himself a Garagista in philosophy, making less than 1000 cases of wine a year.
at right, Don Sandberg
Thanks, WineSnob, for the kind words!
Yikes! Its almost halfway through May, and I have a lot more wine to write about this month. Today I bring you a few that are near and dear to my heart. I first wrote about EIEIO a few months ago, and I heard from a few people that were equally as in love with the little “piglets” as I was. So here now I present two more delightful selections from one of the coolest dudes in the Valley, Mr. Jay McDonald.
A few weeks ago, I poured with Jay at the Yamhill-Carlton AVA tasting where his 2014 White Pinot made its debut. The response to the wine was- if I do say so- pretty off the charts.
Gleaming with a bright golden color, the White Pinot (or WP, as the cool kids call it) is sure to stump even the cleverest wine nerd in a blind tasting. Mark my words. Unconventionally fruit-forward and luscious, it has distinct “candied” aromas to me; white gummy bears, white lollipops and pineapple, accompanied by punches of lime zest, honeydew melon, peaches, and fresh flowers. A twinge of something nutty is hiding in there somewhere, and the texture is as silky as silky gets. A pure pleasure-seeking wine; meant to drink and enjoy.
Made with no added yeasts or enzymes, the “yearly” White Pinot production is a bit of a gamble; Jay labels the barrels […]
I’ll let Neal Martin, Oregon wine reviewer for Wine Advocate, do all the critiquing or most of it anyway, although I’d disagree with a few. Most notable Wind Hill which is probably the second best wine I’ve ever had the pleasure of drinking, let alone having the pleasure of turning it from fruit into liquid. The other is the YC Pinot that he just had experienced a bad bottle and I’ve contacted the posts that be to be sure and retaste the next time Neal is back in Oregon or I am in London. – Jay
Neal Martin on EIEIO:
I must confess that I found the name baffling when I encountered EIEIO in my London tastings, at least until I enunciated each letter separately and thought of “Old MacDonald”. Clever…maybe too clever! Still, what matters is not the name but the wine and here there is much to savor. Winemaker Jay MacDonald clearly has the knack of producing top-quality Pinot Noirs that stood out from the crowd, in particular his superb Wind Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir that is surfeit with freshness and vitality. Hopefully, I’ll get to meet Jay on my next trip to Oregon.
NOTE: THIS OFFER WAS MADE IN MAY 2015 AND SOME WINES MAY BE SOLD OUT