Summerhill Cipes Ariel 1998
Whoa, whoa, whoa: $85 clams for a bottle of BC sparkling wine? Bear with of us for sec. For starters, it’s 14 years old—try and track down some Champagne with this sort of age and it’s second mortgage time. The age gives that wonderfully toasty, nutty flavor profile (with some bread-y and dried apple) that only age brings to bubbles. The bottle is a bit of a hot mess design-wise, but it’s distinct.
Archery Summit Premier Cuvee Pinot Noir 2009
The great thing about Oregon Pinot (no, it’s not the price) is how many different expressions there are in a relatively small area. While a lot of producers want to talk about their “Burgundian” style, I find I’m often drawn to those who try to blend the finesse of Burgundy with some of the power of Sonoma for a distinctly Oregonian Pinot. Of these, my new fave is Archery Summit, whose “entry-level”Premier Cuvee is available here and is dynamite. It has 14.5% alcohol, which might put off some steadfast Francophiles, but it has such a nice backbone of acidity that it has no flab at all. It does have a beautiful perfumed nose of flowers and dry bark, and nice hit of complex raspberry and cherry in the mouth. Expensive but a lock for a nice dinner.
Mission Hill Perpetua Chardonnay 2009
Everyone seems to be crowing about his or her pure “un-oaked” Chardonnay, that it actually seems like an edgy choice to go the White Burgundy route and find a Chardonnay with a nice amount of oak. This is Mission Hill’s top white bottling, it comes in an fairly impressive bottle and even at $40, it’s not massively more expensive than a lot of wineries’ “normal” Chardonnays. You get all those classic modifiers: peachy, pineappley, buttery, a little vanilla, but none are overbearing, and some subtle citrus balances them. Very nice (if you can’t find Perpetua, Foxtrot’s 2010 Chardonnay is also of a like, albeit more expensive, mind).