Friday, July 27, 2007

Holiday higlights: Oregon Wines on Broadway

No visit to Portland, Oregon feels complete without a visit to our favourite wine bar: Oregon Wines on Broadway. It's just a block from the hotel we usually stay in (recently renamed to Hotel Monaco), and is cozy and laid-back. The ladies behind the bar preside over an impressive collection of wines available for tasting (upwards of 40 bottles, I think - see their current inventory here). The selection focuses on wines from Oregon, but there are a few Washington wines too.

All the wines behind the bar are availabe to taste (1oz pours) or by the glass, and there are bottles for sale if you find something you like (all at very good prices). If you're overwhelmed by the choice, I recommend going for one of the tasting flights. Light snacks are also available (bread, cheese, cured meats, olives).

I decided to make my own flight, with these three wines:
  1. 2005 St. Innocent Pinot Noir, Shea Vineyard
  2. 2005 St. Innocent Pinot Noir, White Rose Vineyard
  3. 2004 Dominio IV Syrah

The St. Innocent's were interesting - at first they had a noticeable baked-beans aroma, maybe due to brettanomyces. This blew off within a few minutes though. While both of these were not a patch on an older bottle I tried a few years ago, they were decent. the White Rose Vineyard was especially good, but at $45 a bottle, I think I'll stick to the New Zealand Pinot Noirs I've been enjoying over the past year.

The Dominio Syrah was very nice - aromatic, well-rounded, oaky and fruity without bend over-extracted and jammy. At $30 it's a good wine, not an amazing value. (You can get nice Washington Syrahs for around $20)

After tasting these three wines, I needed a few more sips of something to go with the last of our brie and baguette, so I tried the Abacela Vintner's Blend #7. This was a real find: full bodied, rich, port-like wine with a lovel finish and great complexity, and a great deal at $15!

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