Thursday, February 12, 2009
I had lunch today with the lovely Jerilene Slaughter from Specialty Wine in Atlanta and she was carting around the very exuberant owner and winemaker for Sineann Cellars in Oregon, Peter Rosback. Peter is a treat of a wiry man who exudes smartness and knowledge about his craft and really undertands his stuff. We tasted through much of the portfolio which is pretty vast.
Two whites and seven reds and he didn't even bring all he had.
We started with a very interesting phenonema that seems to be spreading thrhough the world of wine which is the concept that wine no longer has borders. Wine can be made by a Oregon winery in Marlborough, New Zealand pretty much as easily now as it can be made in Oregon, with the nice addition of some frequent flyer miles to round things out. So this first wine was a sauvignon blanc made at a small winery down in NZ and then bottled under the Sineann label. Very classic marlborough with striking citrus overtones and razor like acidity. Really refreshing quencher of a wine.
Next was the very bright Pinot Gris 2007 which was the newer vintage to a wine already on Five & Ten's list. Wonderfully full but not sweet at all. Full of crisp uncooked fruit with a stones and waterfall finish.
On to the reds:
First three pinots.
Sineann Pinot Noir, Oregon, 2007
For a pinot in this price point (around $30) it really is a great wine. Very Burgundian with restrained fruit and greta minerality.
Sineann Pinot Noir, "Resonance Vineyard", Willamette, Oregon, 2007
If the estate had some aspects of classic Burgundy than this single vineyard is showing off. It's got that drippy bacon fat nose with beautiful bright fruit and tons of finish. Great wine. Go Peter!
Sineann Pinot Noir, "Schindler Vineyard", Willamette, Oregon, 2007
Another single vineyard which just took longer to open up than the Resonance. It is a gem when it relaxes a bit and would probably love some time in the bottle.
and then the bigguns:
Sineann Red Table Wine, NV
Really interesting press wine made from all the pressed remains of all of Peter's reds. Mostly pinot noir but also has zinfandel, merlot, cab and some others contained. Reminds me of the concept of Pot Pourri, where in old skool times it was the pot on the back of the stove that just stewed all the leftovers to infinity. Because of the press style the wine is a strong beast with a nice tannin structure but the tannins are well integrated.
merlot, Sineann, Champoux, Heaven Hills, 2007
This is where the access to fruit really shines. Pair someof the best merlot in the US with Peter's gifts in the winemaking process and you have a stellar wine. Big and broad and makes me think of Pomerol. Bad ass wine. Makes me long to have merlot retake the position in the wine world it deserves. It is a varietal laden with an albatross called Sideways. Sad.
cabernet, Sineann, Baby Poux, 2006
The Baby Poux is the section of Champoux that was planted 18 years ago... the baby part of the vineyard. It is a vineyard just really getting its stride and the results are fantastic. Usually you have a winery with a skillset that lends itself to a varietal or two but in this instance Peter is just a magician with any grape at all. Fun to watch skills like that. The cab is bright and old skool with beautiful tobacco overtones and richness and a backbone made to age.
cabernet, Sineann, Cold Creek Vineyard, 2006
Peter has a contract with Chateau St. Michelle for a couple of acres (I think even more than that) and these grapes are wondrous. This wine is massive. Quilceda competition.
Always a treat to meet people like Peter who come into town. Look forward to a nice Sineann wine dinner soon at 5&10.