I love the time I spend with our Sommeliers choosing the next Bullion selection
Good wines, good discussions, good coffee.
It is Stuart Knox of Fix St James this time and I really love his take on wine. No bullshit. But then again all the sommeliers I work with are like that.
If you haven’t been to Fix St James then you are missing out on something. He is a very cool guy with a very cool wine list, and a penchant for colourful trainers.
During the tasting, one wine that blew us both away was a Riesling from Oregon (The 2008 Tunkalilla Riesling)
Oregon I hear you say, I thought they only did Pinot Noir. Well they do that too, but this Riesling was something special.
Oregon has a very soft spot for me, as back in 1989 I spent a year at a local University chasing girls and drinking beer. Yes I was an Oregon State Beaver. I kid you not, that is their mascot. I still have a picture at a basketball game with Benny the Beaver. (I was pretty wasted at the time and I am sure he was too!)
It wasn’t all beers and girls, I did go to the Newport Seafood and Wine Festival in a Winnebago for some culture and some more booze, but back then the Oregon wine industry was in its infancy, with most people concerned about logging, spotted owls and sneakers- it is the home of Nike after all.
Over the years it has changed a bit and Oregon is now the home of the “Hipster Culture” in the US. (Seattle and New York are so last century.) Portland is where it is at!
So if you are interested in brunch / talking about TV Show marathons / cool bars drinking elaborate cocktails / organic food markets / feminist book shops / elaborate birthday parties with a theme / The three C’s coffee, craft beers and ciders / expensive push bikes / tattoos and facial hair, then Portland is for you.
The wine industry has also grown up with a focus on Pinot Noir, but like most regions, they have a wide breadth of climates and soils and produce many amazing wines. The Tunkalilla vineyard is owned by Brian Croser of Petaluma and Tapanappa fame, who has a long association with Oregon, helping to start Argyle Wines back in 1985.
In 2002 he purchased a 50 acre property in the Eola Hills of the Willamette Valley and planted a small Riesling vineyard. They had their first vintage in 2008 and the wine is simply amazing. Bursting with flavour, acidity and structure, it was a wine that just had to be included in the March selection. So if you are not a Bullionaire then you need to track down this wine, for just like Portland, Riesling is very cool and this wine is a great example.
I wonder if Brian Croser was a Beaver. I will have to ask him.