Pinot Noir Wine Club
April 09 Pinot Club Allocations
We've always admired the wines from Sineann (pronounced SHIN Ann), a small Willamette Valley winery. You have a choice of one bottle, chosen from three single vineyard Pinot Noirs from Sineann:
- Lachini Vineyard
Sweet black fruit flavors dominate, and this dense Pinot noir has an
unctuous, smooth mouthfeel. This wine is positively "fat" with dark,
silky, and intense fruit flavors. 91 points Parker: "The 2006 Pinot
Noir Lachini Vineyard is medium ruby-colored with a nose of spice box,
wood smoke, cherry, and raspberry. This leads to a plump, layered,
savory wine with excellent concentration and depth. The finish is silky
and fruit-filled. Drink it over the next five years."
- Covey Ridge Vineyard
A big, sappy, sweet Pinot with an intense liqueur flavor dominated by
black cherry, black currant and other dark fruit. There are hints of
anise and smoke in the dense finish with restrained acidity and
tannins. The wine is driven by a density that coats your palate. 91
points Parker: "The 2006 Pinot Noir Covey Ridge Vineyard offers up
cedar, spice box, rose petal, cherry, and raspberry aromas leading to
an elegant wine for the vintage with good grip, succulent flavors, and
a savory spiciness on the mid-palate. The finish is velvety and long."
- Schindler Vineyard
This big, dense black fruit dominated Pinot Noir has an appealing
Chambord nose with smoky black fruit and hints of oak. Flavors of super
sweet black cherry mingle with licorice, pepper, and black fruit
liqueur. There's lots of body from smooth tannins and a dense
structure. Very aprroachable. Biodynamically farmed 92 points Parker: "The 2006 Pinot Noir Schindler Vineyard is sourced from a biodynamically farmed site. Medium ruby-colored with an expressive bouquet, on the palate it borders on opulence with gobs of ripe fruit, excellent balance, and a pure finish. Give it 2-3 years of additional bottle age and drink it from 2010 to 2018."
They source their fruit from some of the best vineyards in the region; Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris from the Willamette Valley and the Hood River Valley, Cabernet, Merlot and Zinfandel from the Columbia Valley, Gewurztraminer from the Columbia Gorge.
Winemaking is meticulous. All fruit is hand sorted, delicately destemmed, punched down by hand, gently pressed and gravity racked. The wines are aged in new and one year old French oak. The bottom line is they strive to make great wine.
The Schindler Vineyard is in the Eloa Hills area of Oregons Willamette Valley and has just recently converted to Biodynamic practices, which are akin to going organic with a bit of witchcraft thrown in for good measure. There are 14 acres of Pinot noir and 6 acres of Chardonnay. The vines are now 14 years old and this is the third year that Sineann has received fruit from this vineyard. The first year Schindler fruit went into the Oregon blend. 2004 was the first single vineyard designate and really showed its stuff. This year, select fruit from the Schindler Vineyard was bottled privately for the French Laundry, so you know the vineyard has something special going on. Grape grower and practicing doctor Robert Schindler thinks Oregon Pinot noir is setting a new paradigm for the grape and can show Burgundy a thing or two about how this noble grape shines in New World cool climates.
The Lachini Vineyard sits next to Bergstrom in some of the choicest acreage in Oregon's Willamette Valley. Besides the Bergstrom proximity, you can throw a stone and hit vineyards of Adelsheim and Archery Summit.The Lachini Vineyard was first planted in 1999, with planting continuing yearly since. As of the 2007 harvest, Lachini had 24 acres in active production. The gently sloping vineyard site has sandy, Willakenzie type soil - a soil type known to impart flavors of earth, chocolate, and anise spice to Pinot noir. The owners of Lachini Vineyard follow sustainable farming methods, inclduing the LIVE program. Low Input Viticulture and Enology, Inc. (LIVE, Inc.) is a program providing vineyards and wineries official recognition for sustainable agricultural practices that are modeled after international standards such as the practice of Botanical diversity in the cover crop and management practices that favor beneficial insects.
The Covey Ridge Vineyard is located on a ridge above Banks, Oregon this is the most northern spot in the Willamette Valley from which Sineann acquires Pinot Noir. The six and a half acre vineyard is mostly Dijon clone Pinot noir with a bit of Pinot Gris. Planted in 1995, another eight acres will be planted in the fall of 2006. The vineyard is a Jory type clay under 16 inch of loam. It sits at 600 feet elevation. Good Northwesterly winds keep the site free of frost and still air. The entire site is dry farmed which brings out the mirror of the weather that year, in the fruit In 2000, Rosback decided to try the Pinot Noir from the site. What resulted was a spicy Pinot Noir with layers of blackberry, cherry and a touch of anise. Small quantities of the Pinot Noir are made every year and it sells out quickly.
Recipe: Veal Chops with Asparagus and Morels
Here is a decadent dish for Spring time that makes my mouth water just thinking about it. This month's juicy offering from Sineann will be perfect, but as this recipe serves four, I would dig into your cellar and plan on two bottles!
- 16 thick asparagus spears, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 2-inch lengths
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
- 2 tbs of butter
- 12 ounces fresh morel mushrooms, well rinsed to remove sand, halved lengthwise if large
- 4 (8- to 9-ounce) veal rib chops (each 3/4 to 1 inch thick)
- 1/3 cup minced shallots
- 2 tbs fresh thyme chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup of veal demi-glace
- 1/2 cup of low sodium chicken broth, homemade if possible
Cook asparagus in large saucepan of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain. Transfer asparagus to bowl of ice water. Drain well.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Heat 1 tablespoons peanut oil and 1 tbs of butter in heavy large ovenproof skillet or wide pot with lid over medium-high heat. Add morels and saute until tender and browned, about 8 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer morels to bowl (do not clean skillet).
Heat 1 tablespoon peanut oil and 1 tbs of butter in same skillet over high heat. Season veal chops with salt and pepper and thyme Add veal chops to skillet; cook until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer pan to oven and roast for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and put the chops on a warmed plate to rest. Add 1/3 cup minced shallots and chopped garlic and sauté 3 minutes. ( add a bit more butter if the pan seems dry.) Add asparagus, morels, and veal demi-glace and broth; simmer until asparagus is tender, about 5 minutes. Return veal chops to skillet, cover, and cook just until heated through and liquid is slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Transfer veal chops, morel-asparagus mixture, and pan juices to plates. Sprinkle with chopped chives and serve.