Wine Down Eugene

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One of the great things about publishing EDN is the opportunity to find unknown writers and make them known, to give them a platform for their voice.  We’ve had some inquiries about who we’ve got coming up next in our wine section. While we aren’t quite ready to spill the grapes as it were, we can tell you, you are going to enjoy getting to know them as much as we’ve enjoyed it.  Each of them has a distinctive honest voice when it comes to wine.

This edition of Wine Down I’m highlighting an article by Sarah Tunnell (The Frugal Wino!). Sarah was writing in Spring about the 2011 Cuvee Amrita – one of my favorite hot weather, easy to drink affordable wines.


Anne_Amie_Patio

The Frugal Wino: Anne Amie Vineyards Cuvee A Amrita 2011

by Sarah Tunnell

Picking out a wine during the spring season here in the Willamette Valley is always tough. One day it will rain for 12 hours straight, and the next it will be sixty degrees with sunshine. The wine I have picked out for this week I actually purchased a few months ago from Anne Amie Vineyards, which would be perfect for a warm sunny day.  I was saving it for a special occasion, but I just decided that drinking the wine that I purchased from a beautiful vineyard was enough of an occasion.  I bought the  2011 Cuvee A Amrita because it was a spectacular deal ($12 a bottle, what a steal!) and because I love a good white blend.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my single varietal whites like Viognier and Pinot Gris; however, the right combination of white grapes blended together can end in a flavorful and refreshing blend – perfect for a summer day.

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Anne Amie Vineyards is located in the Willamette Valley near the Chehalem Mountains. It’s near Carlton, Oregon; in the heart of Oregon wine country. I had the privilege of stopping there for the first time back in February, and I was blown away by the vineyards and the beautiful tasting room. It’s located in what used to be Chateau Benoit, but in 1999 the property was purchased by Robert B Pamplin, Jr. – an author, farmer, minister, and owner of the Portland Tribune. He bought the vineyard hoping to create wines of the highest quality and brought well-known local winemaker, Thomas Houseman, on board. Their primary grapes are Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Blanc but they also do many other varietals. I was fortunate enough to also try the Muller Thurgau dessert wine “Amie,” and it was one of the best dessert wines I’ve ever tasted. Not only are all the Anne Amie wines delicious, the view from the tasting room is to die for.

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Over the past few years I’ve been able to try lots of wine, and a few of those, upon first sniff, smell like alcohol -not a good start, in my view.  One of the first good signs I look for when evaluating wine is a fruit forward nose, and the Amrita had just that. Green apples and ripe pears filled my senses, and I knew I was in for a good white blend.  It tasted like melons, peaches, and strawberries, and had a bit of minerality with a citrusy, slightly sweet finish.  The sweetness was just right, not too much, not too little.  I loved this wine.  I was impressed that it had 10 grape varietals in it, as well!  The primary varietals were Reisling, Chardonnay, Viognier, and Pinot Blanc. I drank this on a chilly night by itself and it held up on its own very well.  I didn’t eat anything with it, but I think it would pair beautifully with spicy Asian food like Pad Thai or Curry based dishes.

At $12 a bottle, I highly recommend this wine for all of my fellow wine lovers, it’s a must try.

The Frugal Wino - Sarah Tunnell.  Yes, she does not just write, she also rocks.
The Frugal Wino – Sarah Tunnell. Yes, she does more then write, she also rocks.

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