A few years ago I stumbled upon (not literally) one of the nicest winegrowers I have met in Oregon, and trust me, I have met hundreds. I was making my track through some back country roads searching out a few of the “off the beaten path” wineries that I had been reading about. This winery was a smaller “Boutique” winery that listed some usual wine varietals, and one not so usual, and I was interested for sure.
When I arrived at the little parking area, in front of the home, I wasn’t sure if in fact someone had played a prank on me, and moved the vineyard sign to the entry of this country home. You sees, you arrive to the road in, from a old country road, and a quick turn onto a gravel driveway, through treed for quite a while before arriving at the destination. As I exited my car, up comes this gentleman with a major smile and hand extended. “Here for some wine tasting he asks?” We talked for a bit, then he led me down the yard to a small but quaint building where they did their wine tastings at that time. It wasn’t very large, with room for maybe ten sippers, but had style, form and function I would say.
I learned that Noble Estate Vineyards, and owner Mark Jurasevich established his winery back in 1999 there in the southern Willamette Valley. He had discovered the area containing it’s volcanic soils and climates imitating that of France, and has created his wines produced on his estate that will stand up to those across the big pond.
As I sniffed, swirled and sipped my way through his catalogue I found his whites to be crisp, clear and exciting, each reflecting the standard of the breed, with a little kick. Of them, his Riesling and Pinot Gris blew me away, and embedded a smile on my puss. The reds performed as well in the glass as on my palate. There is just magic the way the soils and climates of Oregon, especially the Willamette Valley, can put it’s spell on the vines of Pinot Noir. Interestingly, Mark ages his Pinot Noir in New French Oak, and the balance it brings to your tastebuds if re-“Markable”. However he has chosen to age his Merlot and Syrah in Virginia Oak, and his Cabernet Sauvignon in Pennsylvania Oak barrels. The specific balance created by this process and these specific barrels is very interesting, and appreciated.
Now for the Estate wine that gained my fullest attention before arriving, and after hearing about it from another sipper at a previous event. Noble Estates Muscat Semi Sparkling Wine. This is the BOMB ! in flavor land, brings you down the tasty trail and on to the oral orgasm of a lifetime ! With it’s , little tiny bubbles, and the aromas of apricots and peach that fly up in your face, preparing your senses for the pleasure palace that awaits on your first sip.
What can I say, I love this fun wine. Perfect for a Spring, Summer or Fall day, or hell, in front of the fire on a winter day too.
So If you ever have a chance to visit or sip some of Noble Estates wines, you better. And if you live in the Pacific Northwest, then a visit to the Noble Booth at the Newport or Astoria Seafood & Wine Festival is a must. Inland, why take in the “Big Sip” at the McMinnville Air Museum this summer. Heck, thats a story for another story.
By the way, I forgot to mention that Noble has opened a really nice, larger modern tasting room.