Oregon’s 50 Best Wines 2011
Five of the city’s top wine connoisseurs sampled more than 400 Oregon wines to select the best the state has to offer. Now it’s your turn to sample the results!
IF LOVE IS BLIND, falling for a great wine should happen sight unseen. For this biannual feature, our marathon wine tastings were conducted over four days, fully blind, with hundreds of brown-bagged bottles hiding their stories and secrets from our panelists’ discerning noses and palates. Spanning four years’ worth of vintages, 19 varietals, 15 appellations, and 103 producers, the wines were separated only by color, resulting in a free-for-all of passionate judgment. Armed only with a glass, a spit bucket, a few pieces of baguette, and a pen, our tasters tackled row after row of anonymous specimens marked with Post-its. If a judge liked what she sipped, the wine received a check mark and moved on to the next round. Wines that made it through to the finals were then carefully tasted for fruit characteristics, acidity, alcohol, balance, tannins, and overall quality, with every decision surrounded by plenty of healthy debate. The result? Our list of Oregon’s 50 most lovable wines available right now. —Allison Jones
Love & Squalor
2010 Riesling Willamette Valley, $18
Matt Berson’s zesty riesling—made with organic grapes—is sweet, lush, and refreshing, offering flavors of peaches and mangoes for a balanced palate that’d be a perfect picnic sipper. Pack a backpack with a baguette, smoked salmon, Peppadew peppers, and a corkscrew, and you’re set for a wonderful meal.