Tag Archives: pinot noir

Lemelson Vineyards 2012 Six Vineyards Pinot Noir

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Lemelson Vineyards 2012 Six Vineyards Pinot Noir

One of my favorite go to wines for Thanksgiving is Pinot Noir. It’s light and fruity, balancing out a heavy meal, and leaves me feeling satisfied yet not over-indulgent.

The Lemelson Vineyards 2012 Six Vineyards Pinot Noir fits that description perfectly. The grapes are sourced from, as the name indicates, six different vineyards, all in Oregon’s famed Willamette Valley, yet hales from 3 difference AVA’s: Yamhill Carlton, Dundee Hills, and Chehalem Mountain. It’s a bigger Pinot Noir at 14.2% alcohol, but retains the classic pinot noir flavor of bright red cherry and earthy. The finish is silky and lightly peppery, perfect for a Thanksgiving meal.

Lemelson Vineyards 2012 Six Vineyards Pinot Noir

I picked the Lemelson Vineyards 2012 Six Vineyards Pinot Noir to pair with my Fall Raw Green Quinoa Salad. The bright cherry is perfect with the sweet-tart sensations from the apple, fennel, brussel sprouts, and dried cranberries in the salad. I can’t wait to pop open a bottle of this with the family for the holidays.

Get the recipe for Fall Raw Green Quinoa Salad here.

Buy a bottle of Lemelson Vineyards 2012 Six Vineyards Pinot Noir here.

As with any part of a healthy lifestyle, always enjoy alcohol responsibly and in moderation.

Lemelson Vineyards 2012 Six Vineyards Pinot Noir

Windsor Oaks 2012 Reserve Pinot Noir

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Windsor Oaks 2012 Reserve Pinot Noir - Colleen's Kitchen

I was recently invited by fellow blogger Renee of Renee’s Enjoy The Journey to try some wines from her winery, Windsor Oaks Vineyards, in gorgeous Sonoma County, California. Of course, I happily accepted, you know I love discovering new wines and the research is the best part.

Owned by Renee and her husband, Bob, Windsor Oaks Vineyards overlook the Russian River Valley, between Santa Rosa and Healdsburg. This area benefits from cool mornings and coastal evening fog, creating perfect growing conditions for Pinot Noir.Windsor Oaks Pinot Noir is estate grown, meaning that they grow the grapes themselves rather than sourcing them from another grower.

Windsor Oaks 2012 Reserve Pinot Noir is a recent release that is already garnering lots of attention, including winning the gold medal at the 2014 Sonoma Harvest Fair and scoring 96 points and the gold medal at the 2014 Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge. It’s no stretch to see why once you taste this Pinot Noir.

Windsor Oaks 2012 Reserve Pinot Noir - Colleen's Kitchen

As far as Pinot Noirs go, the Windsor Oaks 2012 Reserve is a bit bigger than most, which is exactly how I like them. It bursts with flavors of dark cherry cola, vanilla and spices and ends with a silky smooth finish. Yet it’s still light and fruity enough to pair with many different dishes.

I served the Windsor Oaks 2012 Reserve Pinot Noir with my original Fall Panzanella Salad for a scrumptious yet light autumn evening meal. The juicy Pinot Noir is perfect with the sweet cornbread, tart cranberries and earthy gorgonzola cheese in the salad. I may have gone back for another glass. Or two.

Get the recipe for Fall Panzanella Salad here.

Buy a bottle of the Windsor Oaks 2012 Reserve Pinot Noir here.

As with any part of a healthy lifestyle, always enjoy alcohol responsibly and in moderation.

Heydon Road 2009 Pinot Noir Cuvée “Richard Sommers”

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Heydon Road 2009 Pinot Noir Cuvée "Richard Sommers" - Colleen's Kitchen

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been exploring a lot of wines of the Pacific Northwest this summer. It’s been delightful getting to know the wines and winemakers in my backyard!

This week I’m introducing you to an area that I have not yet featured on my blog: Oregon’s Umpqua Valley. Situated in southwestern Oregon, the Umpqua Valley produces some delicious yet oft-overlooked wines.

I actually spent my childhood very near this area, in a remote corner between Coquille and Myrtle Point, not too far of a drive from Roseburg, which is where HillCrest Winery is located. HillCrest makes wines for very limited distribution, but fortunately for us they also have a secondary label, Heydon Road, that is distributed in retail outlets.

HillCrest was founded by Richard Sommers in 1961 with the help of Adolph Doerner, whose family first planted grapes in the Umpqua Valley in 1888. HillCrest has the distinction of having the first Pinot Noir plantings in Oregon as well as being Oregon’s oldest estate winery. Richard Sommers released their first Pinot Noir with the 1967 vintage.

Since 2003, the winery has been expertly run by husband and wife Dyson and Susan DeMara. While embracing the legacy of founder Richard Sommers, the two have brought a renewed energy and passion to the winery, and it definitely shows in the wine.

HillCrest’s Heydon Road label is produced specifically for retail consumption, and at very attractive prices. Their Pinot Noir in particular is an excellent value for the quality.

The Pinot Noir first grabbed my attention with it’s ultra-dark yet crystalline ruby red color. This isn’t the light red of your typical Oregon Pinot. With flavors of red cherries and herbs, it’s airy and fruit-forward, making it a perfect pairing for a light summer meal.

Heydon Road 2009 Pinot Noir Cuvée "Richard Sommers" - Colleen's Kitchen

I selected the Heydon Road 2009 Pinot Noir Cuvée “Richard Sommers” to serve with my Grilled Beet Tomato and Quinoa Salad for that very reason. The wine is light enough that it lets the food shine through while the fruit flavors enhance the sweetness of the beets and cherry tomatoes. It makes for a deliciously light summer dinner on the patio.

Get the recipe for Grilled Beet Tomato and Quinoa Salad here.

Buy a bottle of Heydon Road 2009 Pinot Noir Cuvée “Richard Sommers” here.

Always enjoy alcohol responsibly and in moderation.

Cana’s Feast 2013 Rosato

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Cana's Feast 2013 Rosato

It is hard to believe summer is almost over. That means saying goodbye to warm summer days and refreshing rosés for another year. So I best enjoy them while I can.

This week I’m introducing you to the 2013 Rosato from Cana’s Feast, a small Willamette Valley winery that specializes in old world European varietals. Cana’s Feast prides itself on making small lot, low input, high quality wines. That means that when you find a wine you like you’d better stock up because there’s not a lot to go around.

The rosato is a light, very slightly sweet blend of a whopping 13 varietals, including Sangiovese, Barbera, Nebbiolo, Primitivo, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Counoise & Pinot Noir. It has notes of juicy plum and a hint of citrus, making it so refreshing on a hot summer day.

Cana's Feast 2013 Rosato - Colleen's Kitchen

Try the Cana’s Feast 2013 Rosato with my Grilled Stone Fruit Pasta Salad for a delicious end of summer meal.

I served the Cana’s Feast Rosato with my Grilled Stone Fruit Pasta Salad to pair the plum notes in the wine with the sweet grilled peaches and nectarines in the salad. Of course it was perfect. Would I ever steer you wrong? So do yourself a favor and pick up a bottle of this delicious rosé before summer escapes for another season.

Get the recipe for Grilled Stone Fruit Pasta Salad here.

Buy a bottle of Cana’s Feast 2013 Rosato here. (Portland locals – look for Cana’s Feast at New Seasons.)

As with any part of a healthy lifestyle, always enjoy alcohol responsibly and in moderation.

Matello Rosé of Pinot Noir 2013

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Matello Rosé of Pinot Noir 2013 - Colleen's Kitchen

Is there anything better than a refreshing rosé on a hot summer day? And lucky me, I get to introduce you to an outstanding rosé from one of Oregon’s smallest wineries, Matello Wines.

Rhyming with “cello,” Matello Wines hail from Oregon’s Willamette Valley, that same valley that has become so famous in the Pinot Noir world. Matello is a small independent winery that sources all of its grapes from family owned and operated vineyards in the Northern Willamette Valley. The proprietor and winemaker founder, Marcus Goodfellow, has become a darling of the indie wine circles in the Portland area, and with wines such as this it’s easy to see why.

When picking up my glass, I closed my eyes and inhaled aromas of roses and warm strawberries. Sipping the pale pink wine, I tasted flavors of juicy watermelon and sweet strawberries with the subtlest hint of plum. Absolutely delightful.

Honey Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Farro Salad - Colleen's Kitchen

I especially loved Matello’s Rosé of Pinot Noir 2013 with my Honey Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Farro Salad. The sweet roasted strawberries pull out the strawberry flavors of the wine while the crisp watermelon in the wine plays perfectly against the crisp bite of jicama in the salad. This is a perfect pairing for a warm summer night.

Get the recipe for Honey Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Farro Salad here.

Buy a bottle of Matello Rosé of Pinot Noir 2013 here. (Portland locals – find a bottle at New Seasons Markets!)

As with any part of a healthy lifestyle, always enjoy alcohol responsibly and in moderation.

Red Door Cellars 2010 Pinot Noir

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Red Door Cellars 2010 Pinot Noir

For something like my Roasted Butternut Squash and Wild Mushroom Risotto, which boasts hearty sweet and earthy flavors, I went in search of a light-bodied red wine. I wanted something that would pair well with the earthy tones of the dish without overpowering it. This 2010 Pinot Noir from Red Door Cellars is a slam dunk.

Red Door Cellars 2010 Pinot Noir

Hailing from Oregon’s famed Willamette Valley, this is a low price entry into the Pinot Noir market that makes for a great everyday drinking wine. With aromas of cherry and a hint of leather and dirt, on the palate the wine is light with a definite red fruit flavor, herbs and a subtle peppery finish. The bright ruby color is spectacular in the glass, evoking dreams of the spring to come.

Red Door Cellars 2010 Pinot Noir

I loved the bright, lighty fruitiness of the wine with this risotto dish. It makes for the perfect partner without overpowering the food. And isn’t that exactly what I was looking for?

Get the recipe here.

Buy a bottle here.

As with any part of a healthy lifestyle, drink in moderation and responsibly.

Scott Paul 2010 La Paulée Pinot Noir

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Scott Paul 2010 La Paulée Pinot Noir

I will tell you up front that Pinot Noirs are a bit hit and miss with me. I realize that I live in an area that produces a number of renowned wines of this variety, but it’s not often that I find one that I like. But a few weeks ago I bumped into Martha Wright, co-proprietor of Scott Paul Wines, at my local New Seasons and my world changed.

Martha was tasting a white Burgundy (Chardonnay) and a red Burgundy (Pinot Noir) that she and her husband import, as well as their own 2010 La Paulée Pinot Noir. The Burgundys were just okay for me, but their Pinot Noir was a true revelation.

The 2010 La Paulée is robustly structured with rich notes of bright cherries and earthy spices, and a very subtle undertone of dark berries and florals. It has a lingering, silky finish as well that left me craving more. I immediately knew that it would pair perfectly with the herb-infused recipe for Tarragon Chicken Pot Pie Soup that I was working on.

Scott Paul 2010 La Paulée Pinot Noir

I snapped up a bottle right away. I must admit that at a retail price of $32 it was a bit above my range for an everyday drinking wine, but that’s how good this wine is. I knew I had to have a bottle. In fact, I’ve since picked up another bottle to cellar for a special occasion or perhaps the upcoming holidays. I’m already dreaming up a rich holiday dinner to pair the La Paulée with.

Get the recipe for my Tarragon Chicken Pot Pie Soup here.

Find Scott Paul wines here.

As with any part of a healthy lifestyle, always enjoy alcohol in moderation.