This month’s Last Sunday tasting offers up mostly German stuff, but not everyone knows that Loosen Brothers also has interests in French and domestic wineries as well, namely Roche de Bellene and J. Christopher. So the tasting- Sunday, February 25 at 3:30 pm- includes not only Riesling and Gewurztraminer, but also Pinot Noir from both Burgundy and the Willamette Valley. The tasting offers up food pairings alongside the wines, as well as discounts on the ones you love, but you’ll need to be at the tasting to reap the benefits. It’s coming up soon, and you’ll need a reservation, so call us at 326-9363, as web and email reservations won’t hold you a seat. The tasting is $35 plus tax and tip, and promises to be well worth it, with Kirk Wille and Diane Denham of Loosen Brothers USA here in the flesh. Hope you can make it.
NV Dr. Loosen Sparkling Riesling, Germany $17.00
“Exuberant green floral perfume, melon and peach abound on this profoundly aromatic sparkler. It’s delicate in mousse with soft, persistent bubbles and deeply penetrating flavors of stone fruit and tangerine. Vibrant and spine-tingling, it’s a remarkably elegant sekt with a gentle price tag.” -Wine Enthusiast
2013 Maximin Grünhäuser Riesling Trocken QbA, Mosel $28.00
The classic Grünhaus off-dry estate Riesling is a blend of the barrels that remain after the single-vineyard fruity wines have been selected out of the overall production. This is a top-down selection process done purely by taste. It starts with the finest selection for the Prädikat bottlings (Kabinett and Spätlese), followed by the fruity single-vineyard QbA wines, and finally the estate QbA. The proportions from each of the three Grünhaus vineyards will change depending on the conditions of the vintage. The result is an off-dry, entry-level estate Riesling that shows the typical minerality of the Ruwer valley, as well as the finely detailed style of the Grünhaus estate.
The wet 2013 harvest required extensive selection and yielded the smallest crop since 1980; less than half of normal. But the small amount of fruit produced deliciously juicy, delicate wines.
2016 Villa Wolf Gewürztraminer, Pfalz $14.00
“Spring blossoms and pink grapefruit abound in this feather-light Gewürztraminer. Just a shade off dry, pristine tangerine and peach flavors are juicy and quaffable. It’s a zesty, refreshingly spry wine to enjoy now through 2019.”- Wine Enthusiast
2015 Dr. Loosen Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Spätlese, Mosel $36.00
Ürziger Würzgarten produces wines of a completely unique nature. The wines showcase the typically juicy and precocious fruit of the “spice garden” vineyard, with a rich mouth feel, zippy acidity and lingering finish. Spätlese is produced with grapes that have a week or two extra hang time, but still without any botrytis. The extra hang time gives them higher ripeness and deeper flavors.
Under close to perfect conditions, they were able to harvest grapes with optimal must weights and acidity levels, producing wines in all quality levels. The vintage also gave excellent yields, with a beautiful balance of ripeness and acidity. The wines are dense and concentrated, but with the delicate and graceful style of the Mosel.
2012 Maison Roche de Bellene Savigny-les-Beaune Vieilles Vignes $37.00
Nicolas Potel founded his new négociant company in 2009, after his forced departure from his former négociant company, Maison Nicolas Potel. At Roche de Bellene the terroir-focused winemaking philosophy is the same as when he founded the original Maison in 1998. Nicolas has maintained his relationships with a majority of the better growers that he has worked with over the past 15 years, and continually finds new ones. The emphasis at Roche de Bellene is on individual terroirs from vieilles vignes (old vines = 40 years or older) that are farmed
responsibly. All of his growers are either BIO certified or farming according to the principles of lutte raisonée (sustainable viticulture). This enables Nicolas to consistently produce the expressive, terroir-driven style that is his vision.
This wine comes from naturally low-yielding, old-vine parcels in this village that lies between the city of Beaune and the famous “Corton hill.” This earthy wine exhibits the more rustic style of wines that emanate from this appellation.
2012 J. Christopher “Nuages” Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains $45.00
Named in tribute to Django Rheinhart’s “Nuages,” one of winemaker Jay’s favorite gypsy jazz tunes, the Nuages Pinot Noir is selected from the winery’s neighboring vineyards in the Chehalem Mountains AVA. The name “Nuages,” which is French for “clouds,” also pays homage to the moderating influence of Oregon’s autumn cloud cover, which slows ripening to allow for the long hang time that creates fully developed flavors.
The 2012 Nuages includes barrels from the Adams, Lia’s and Olenik vineyards, all of which are J. Christopher’s neighbors on Chehalem Mountain. Deep red brick in color, the wine has a restrained,
crushed fruit aroma that leads to a juicy, lush fruitiness on the palate. That fruitiness is superbly balanced by ripe tannins that give a satisfying edge to the texture. A small amount (10%) of whole-cluster fermentation was used for this wine.