WillaKenzie Wines from Oregon Pair Perfectly with Summer Menus

May and June mark the beginning of our prized Northwest salmon runs and our culinary team is inspired by the rich flavors of our native fish – especially in Copper River Salmon.  The high acidity and earthiness of Oregon Pinot Noirs pair perfectly and we are featuring some very special selections from between now and October. WillaKenzie says they have a “passion for Pinot with a sense of place.” Located in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, the winery is named after the sedimentary soil on which the vines are planted to reflect the ultimate expression of the terroir.  After a successful career in high-tech founder Bernard Lacroute decided to return to his Burgundian roots and purchased the 420-acre cattle farm in 1991. Planting started in 1992 and the first wine was made in 1995 in the newly built gravity-fed winery.

The first two Pinot Noir vintages described below can only be found in Washington State at El Gaucho and AQUA by El Gaucho.

2013 Terres Basses Pinot Noir: A dark ruby Pinot Noir offers aromas of toasted spice, anise and black raspberries.  The mouthfeel is lush with blue and black fruit flavors and cola undertones on the finish.  It has well integrated tannins and bright acidity.

2013 Triple Black Slopes Pinot Noir: Deep ruby in color, with aromas of raspberry, blueberry and chamomile tea.  There are flavors of black cherry and cassis with dried floral notes on the finish.  This wine has fresh acidity and is well balanced.

2013 Gisele Pinot Noir: The ruby red and purple color brings with aromas of raspberry, cherry, strawberry sorbet and blue flowers.  The palate is mouth-filling and round with lingering rich fruit and spice on the finish. It will pair well with salmon, charcuterie and cheeses.

2013 WillaKenzie Pinot Gris: Golden straw in color, this wine has aromas of citrus, Granny Smith apples and jasmine as well as mineral notes.  The bright acidity and crisp taste leads to an easy, rich and velvety finish without sweetness.  Its great acidic fruit tones will complement halibut with buerre blanc as well as lobster and crab dishes.

We look forward to sharing this Pacific Northwest bounty from our local waters, fields, and vineyards. Cheers to a beautiful and delicious summer!

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