Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Find, January 25th

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 at or 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.

Sometime last summer, Oregon was perfectly situated for premium viewing of a Perseid meteor shower. Hoping to catch several glimpses of astronomical beauty, my husband Tom and I put out a blanket on the front lawn late in the evening and waited. Tom spotted something fiery off to the right, but it all happened too quickly for me to see. A few more blazing lights briefly appeared for Tom, but seen only out of the corner of my eye; I was determined to wait for The Big One. Nearly an hour went by, and the night sky remained dark and undecorated. Concentrating intently, waiting for any sign of movement, I shuddered as a black figure dove from the sky behind us then over our heads. Swooping down was something that resembled the silhouette of the Lego Batmobile, nearly skimming my shoes before it raced into the trees across the street. I've never been a fan of bats, and had no intention of learning to love them at this moment. Up came the blanket, and we returned to the house. I felt like I had just lost all my money on carnival games without procuring the giant teddy bear - ripped off, and scared to death by a giant bat as well.

Why am I bringing bats to the table today? Not all bats make you run for the hills. The Dominio IV 2009 Technicolor Bat is one that will always be welcome. The iridescent rainbow colored bat on the label says, "Come on in from the lawn. Have a drink. Relax." Technically, this could be labeled as Tempranillo with a blend of 77% Tempranillo and 23% Syrah. The fruit comes from The Three Sleeps Vineyard in Mosier, Oregon, 20 minutes southeast of Hood River. Winemaker Patrick Reuter and his wife Leigh Bartholomew, Vineyard Manager for Archery Summit, found this place a few years back. They planted Tempranillo, Syrah and Viognier. The vineyard is organically and biodynamically farmed. Not only is this the source of exceptional fruit, but there is a bed and breakfast on site, run by Leigh's parents. 

The Technicolor Bat is a nicely structured wine that slowly opens up into complex beauty. The nose shows dense black fruit, with the initial flavors of currants, dark berries and anise continuing to expand into much more over the course of a few hours. Black tea leaves, toast and a hint of savory from the Syrah appear in the background as the dark fruit flavors continue to broaden. The Tempranillo gives this wine more structure and tannin than some of the higher acid non-Pinot Oregon reds. It is nicely done and is never overpowering. Priced at or under $20, this wine is a very impressive buy. You can find it at Dominio IV in McMinnville, on their website, and also at New Seasons, Whole Foods and other local wine shops well stocked in Northwest wines.


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