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So this one time, at wine camp…

Every year in McMinville, Oregon, Pinot Noir producers from around the world gather at the International Pinot Noir Celebration to share knowledge, swap stories and, oh yes, drink! This year I was lucky enough to be invited to cover the event, in the heart of Oregon’s beautiful Willamette Valley. I went, I saw, I tasted. And these are the wines I can’t stop talking about. Oh, and the photo? That was shot at Argyle’s vineyards, home to Texan mustachioed winemaker Rollin Soles. First time I had a glass of bubbly in a vineyard? It was in this vineyard! And about 10 o’clock in the morning. Soles walked us through the ins and outs of the winery’s philosophy, while I tried really hard not to gush at cheese expert Laura Werlin who happened to be on the same tour (I’m a huge, huge cheesehead…and fan). Anyway, onto the wine:

1) R. Stuart & Co. “Rosé d’Or,” NV

Nose: Floral notes, mild red fruit 

Flavor Profile: Bright acidity, gentle spice notes, muted fruitiness

2) Argyle Winery Brut Rosé, Willamette Valley, Oregon 2008

Nose: Bouquet of roses, black raspberries 

Flavor Profile: Black raspberries, green cardamom, cranberries on the mid-palate, orange peel, cream, and red berries on the finish 

3) Gloria Ferrer Brut Rosé, Carneros, California 2007

Nose: Strawberries and cream, ripe pears, hint of yeast and roses 

Flavor Profile: Creamy at first, raspberries and quince on mid-palate, candied citrus peel and bright acidity on the finish 

4) Matello Whistling Ridge Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge, Oregon 2009

Nose: Honeysuckle, cherries, tarragon, thyme, rosemary, damp earth

Flavor Profile: Ripe black cherries, red fruit, licorice, dark chocolate, long finish 

5) Blue Mountain Reserve Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia 2009

Nose: Red berries, allspice, leather

Flavor Profile: Tart raspberries, cranberries, minerally, smoky finish

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About francoiseeats

I'm currently working as a freelance travel and food writer, and photographer. I spent two years at StarChefs.com, the culinary on-line magazine for the industry insider. My articles have been published in New York, NY and Richmond, VA. After graduating from Columbia University and recovering from the tragedy of not being able to read Camus books for a living, I attended The Culinary Institute of America, where my scone consumption rose drastically. Fluent in French and Italian, I've worked in some of New York's top restaurants and covered food-related stories in a number of publications, from The Richmond Times-Dispatch to Time Out New York.

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