Friday, April 13, 2012

Unwine'd Friday Find April 13

Each Friday we highlight a wine from the Northwest that we think is a real "find." By find we might mean that it's a steal, as all of these wines we'll feature weekly are under $20. We might also mean "Hey, you really need to go find this" and it might be a wine that we feel not enough people know about. In any case, with the weekend pending we're hoping to help you "find" a wine to kickoff the weekend right. We'll tell you a little bit about the wine and try to help you track it down here in the Northwest.

For about the next three weeks or so we'll be bringing you the Unwine'd Friday Find, or an under $20 wine from one of the 100 Oregon wineries pouring at the Unwine'd Celebrate Oregon Wine event on April 29th. In fact, we're giving away yet another pair of tickets to the event next week and you can learn more about that contest by heading over to our Facebook page. (You can also buy tickets here.)

The Unwine'd event is Oregon's biggest consumer tasting event ever and will be hosted at the Left Bank Annex just across the bridge from downtown Portland on, believe it or not the left bank of the Willamette. The event will of course be about wine tasting, and not just Pinot Noir folks, but it offers guests an opportunity to explore the varied bounty of Oregon from the Walla Walla Valley, yes, in Oregon to the Rogue Valley at the state's southern end. In addition to the variety of wines, there will be food served up by some of the best culinarians that PDX and the Willamette Valley have to offer.

David Adelsheim is known as one of the pioneers and livng legends of the Willamette Valley ,his Adelsheim Vineyard  planted in the North end of the Valley in what is now the Chehalem Mountain AVA in 1972.  In addition to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris all of excellent pedigree Adelsheim Vineyards is making what might be the most rare white wine in all of Oregon, and perhaps the greater Northwest.  Auxerrois.  Yep, that's what I said, Auxerrois.  Pronounced oak-sair-wah, this Alsatian varietal came to Oregon in 1977.  According to some of the statistics dug up by the folks at Adelsheim there may be as few as 5700 acres planted world wide and they could only come across two other US producers of the varietal.  It's broadly used as a blending agent in Alsatian Edelzwicker and blended with Pinot Blanc in Cremant de Alsace.

What the 2010 Auxerrois from Ribbon Ridge AVA is, is a fantastically aromatic white wine with a fair bit of body to it.  At Adelsheim the wine is done mostly in stainless steel with just a small 5% spending some time in neutral oak.  A little bit of time on the lees also helps with a bit of a rounder mouthfeel.  The aromatics on the wine are very lively exhibiting bright crisp fruits, cut apple, pear blossom and spices.  The palate is fruit forward though not as lively in acidity as some aromatic whites, it delivers a more substantial finish and a prominent presence on the palate thanks to the sur lees approach.  For $17 this unique Oregon wine experience and perfect food wine make it a Friday Find definitely worth looking for and this one is a rare find indeed. Good luck searching for it.


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