6 Unusual Wine Picks From the Northwest

An exploration of some beautiful — and some downright strange — wines from the West Coast

Ghost Hill
A snapshot of artisanal wine producers from the Pacific coast.

Trellis Growth Partners may sound like a bunch of financial planners, but the name actually belongs to a marketing group that represents a dozen clients from Oregon and Washington — 10 small wine producers, plus a maker of olive oil, and a ready-to-launch micro-distiller.

Unsurprisingly, receiving a case of samples from these artisan producers was an interesting experience. Quality varied, but here are the wines that proved to be the most striking:

2011 Stoller Dundee Hills pinot noir ($25). While not a complex wine, it’s a pleasant one — rounded cherry fruit with cola and rooty flavors.

2009 Mackey "Concordia" Columbia Valley red ($38). Mainly composed of syrah with some grenache and mourvèdre blended in, this wine has ripe, rich fruit with cherry and raspberry flavors and pleasant creaminess. Good texture and well-integrated tannins.

2010 Two Mountain "Copeland" Yakima Valley syrah ($22). A troubled, slightly bitter wine when the cork is pulled, but with some decanting and time it becomes more-interesting — earthy with tart raspberries and a bit of funkiness. I would recommend only for you lovers of murky, brooding wines.

2009 Abacela "South East Block" Umpqua Valley tempranillo reserve ($50). Whenever I taste samples, I try to enjoy them with dinner, but I am often obliged to leave barely touched bottles on my neighbors’ doorsteps or dump them. This wine, however, I couldn’t imagine pouring down the drain. It was delicious when I first tasted it with food, and it continued to develop over the next few days — uncorked and unrefrigerated. So it’s by far my Pick of the Litter — ripe, rounded black raspberry and elderberry fruit with a delightful creaminess and a chocolate mocha finish. Very good food-friendly acidity and tasty tannins.

2012 Ghost Hill Yamhill-Carlton pinot noir blanc ($25). A bit of a novelty, but an interesting one. While this wine fades quickly from the palate, it shows a well-balanced apricot/citrus fruitiness and a nice bit of spritz, either natural or induced.

NV Naked Winery "Outdoor Vino" American white table wine ($15). Another novelty, not so interesting for its quality — sweet and somewhat bland — as for its delivery system. It comes in a small plastic bottle and advertises itself as a wine for adrenaline junkies who must bring wine out on the slopes or along the trail. So if you need a mid-slalom burst of sugary energy or a buzz before you bungee jump, this is your wine (but remember — carry out what you carry in!).


Be a Part of the Conversation

Have something to say?
Add a comment (or see what others think).

Comments 0


Like this story? Get updates by email, facebook and twitter
Get daily food and wine coverage


Latest from The Daily Meal

The Daily Meal Video Network
America's 101 Best Wineries 2014

Post a comment

Add a Comment

Upload a picture of yourself no larger than 3MB, please see Terms for details
CAPTCHA
Please answer this Captcha to prove you are human
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
CAPTCHA
Please answer this Captcha to prove you are human