Located in Carlton Oregon, Andrew Rich specializes in Rhone-driven wines with a Northwest spin, sourced from some great vineyards in Washington. Of course, being in the Willamette Valley he makes Pinot Noir too. Andrew studied wine making in Burgundy followed by 5 years at Bonny Doon, working with Randall Grahm, before starting his own winery in 1994. Stop in on Saturday and try some of his fine wines.
2011 Roussanne 18
From Ciel du Cheval and Alder Ridge Vineyards this Roussanne spends 11 months aging on it leas before bottling. It shows classic aromas of stone fruits and minerals, with a palate that sacrifices a bit of 2010’s stoniness for pure lush fruit with a simply gorgeous texture.
2011 Prelude Pinot Noir $23
From the latest vintage on record is lower in alcohol but it doesn’t lack body, with an uncanny marriage of suppleness and lift. The damp earth, strawberry, and pepper of the nose carry over to the palate, and even at this early stage the tannins seem fairly soft.
2011 Tabla Rasa Red $17
79% Syrah with Mourvèdre and Grenache
Literally “blank slate,” the phrase refers to each vintage, when the winemaker must start over with the current harvest, effectively wiping the slate clean. “Vin de Tabula Rasa” is a play on the French phrase vin de table, while “rasa” could almost be some obscure Mediterranean dialect for red. The wine is a soft and delicious Côtes-du-Rhône wannabe that’s perfect with pasta, pizza, stews, and just about anything hot off the grill.
2011 Coup d’Etat $30
57% Grenache, 26% Mourvèdre, 17% Syrah
Vintage 2011 was almost freakishly cool, and it shows in the Coup’s energy and tension -reminiscent of Châteauneuf. Sage, savory, and anise emerge first, followed by both black and red fruit. There’s a suave, supple middle here and fine tannins.
2011 Prometheus Syrah $30
A blend of Klipsun, Ciel du Cheval, and Red Willow vineyards the Prometheus shows great precision on a medium-bodied frame. With flavors of blueberry and licorice and a suave, singing mouth feel (that is, it has richness and good acidity), it can easily slumber in your cellar for half a decade or more and can be enjoyed now with rich and meaty dishes.
Andrew at work.
It is May Fair and Mother’s Day this weekend.
You’ll need wine. And speaking of Mother’s Day, bring her by the shop on Sunday when we’ll have two “mother friendly” wines open to sample.