CS: December 2022

Festive Libations: Enjoy these top picks during the holidays

PANEL PICK: Terrapin Cellars 2011 Ten-Year Single Barrel Tawny Dessert Wine, Willamette Valley

This is truly autumn-inspired. Cozy scents of dates, walnuts, dark honey, leather, white pepper, pine needles and fall leaves. The palate tastes of dates, vanilla, walnuts and salted caramel. $30

Woven Wineworks 2019 Méthode Champenoise Sparkling Rosé of Pinot Noir, Covey Ridge Vineyard, Willamette Valley

Strawberry almond scones with very light honey encapsulate the aromas and flavors. Rich for a sparkling wine, yet dry with balancing, fresh lemon and a tart pie cherry finish. $40

Chris James Cellars 2021 Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc, Yamhill-Carlton

A pretty nose of white lilac, lemon/lime, green banana, orange and peach. Aromas repeat on a floral driven palate that is sweet, yet balanced, delivering a full, silky-textured body. $32

Winter’s Hill 2018 Méthode Traditionnelle Sparkling Wine, Dundee Hills

Gourmet aromas of marzipan, buttery crust, and baked peaches blend with brewed white tea. Flavors reappear on an inviting palate, along with tart Granny Smith apple and a pleasant finish. $55

Argyle Winery 2012 Méthode Champenoise Extended Tirage Brut, Willamette Valley

Fruity and savory on the nose - baked stone fruit, nuttiness and warm yeast. A complex palate layered with culinary herbs, nuttiness, minerality, baked apple and a Spanish peanut skin finish (40% Pinot Noir, 60% Chardonnay). $85

Domaine Willamette 2018 Méthode Traditionnelle Brut, Willamette Valley

High toned aromas of fresh, clean straw, lime zest, and salinity predict the tart, bright palate. A precise burst of lemon acidity, limestone and a refreshing finish. $75

Sokol Blosser 2020 Méthode Champenoise Bluebird Cuvée Brut Sparkling Wine, Willamette Valley

The nutty, salty, earthy tang of parmigiana meets with sweet pineapple and notes of fresh, green pine needles. Lemon joins pineapple on the palate with hints of Gruyère, breaths of menthol and herbaceous tarragon. $36

Bryn Mawr Vineyards NV Sparkling Rosé, Willamette Valley

Fresh aromas of grass, straw, orange and strawberry. Sweet red fruits continue on the palate with hints of sourdough and a rich, white chocolate finish. $35

ROCO Winery 2019 Méthode Champenoise RMS Brut, Willamette Valley

Mineral-driven and elegant, the nose opens with grapefruit, fresh orange and the refreshing chill of cucumber. Fruity notes continue on the palate with the addition of pineapple, straw and clay minerality (70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay). $65

Left Coast Estate 2016 Méthode Champenoise Brut Rosé of Pinot Meunier, Willamette Valley

Delicious marzipan and cherry notes lifted by limestone. Sour cherry repeats on the mineral driven palate with a full mouthfeel, toasted notes and an herbaceous tea quality. $55

Montinore Estate NV Ruby Pinot Noir Dessert Wine, Willamette Valley

Blackberry, honeysuckle, milk chocolate and vanilla aromas develop into a taste experience of blackberry, cinnamon, dried fig, black pepper and bitter chocolate, Floral notes recur on a finish just sweet enough. $40

Elk Cove Vineyards NV Ultima Estate White Wine, Willamette Valley

Honey, apricot and pineapple entice and lead to a palate of rose, black tea, honeyed peach and an orange finish. $36

Mt. Hood Winery 2012 Puerto Montaña Pinot Noir Dessert Wine, Columbia Gorge

A layered blending of dried currant, Hatch chile jelly, blackberry compote, and sweetly spiced soft pipe tobacco. Blackberry takes center on the palate rounded by chocolate and peppery spice. $42

Weisinger Family Winery NV Barile Red Dessert Wine, Rogue Valley

Hazelnut, clove, caramel and dried cherry mark both nose and palate with melted butter texture, hot cinnamon spice and orange oil. $45

Quinta do Prive Vineyard NV Ruby Pinot Noir Dessert Wine, Oregon

A solera port style wine that presents as mole sauce. The perfect marriage of rich, savory and sweet - dark chocolate, roasted red chile peppers, toasted pepitas and spice. $70

Rain Song Vineyard NV Sundown Syrah Dessert Wine, Columbia Valley

A “holiday” nose of milk chocolate, orange and sugared, dried dates. Aromas arrive on the palate with herbaceous notes and a walnut skin finish. $40

Remy Wines 2012 Ten-Year Beneficio Barbera Dessert Wine, Washington

A complete dessert experience in a glass. Cherry, cocoa, vanilla and oak scents open to a reverse cherry cordial on the palate. The taste buds experience cherry, then vanilla, followed by chocolate. Sun-brewed black tea with lemon adds complexity while caramel toffee notes flavor a long finish. $35


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