Oregon Goes To Washington
The first time I heard of an Oregon winery making wine with Washington State fruit sounded a little odd. Why would an Oregon winery buy grapes from so far away when they are smack in the middle of some of the best Pinot Noir vineyards in the world? It seems a little bit of a reach.
Then I realized that I suck at directions. There is only a four-hour drive between Willamette Valley (the center of Oregon winemaking) and Columbia Valley (the center of Washington’s vineyards). That is pretty much the same distance between Napa and Paso Robles in California; that’s a trip wineries in Napa Valley like Mark Herold do every harvest.
North by Northwest is the Columbia Valley brand owned by King Estate, best known for its Oregon Pinot Noirs. The brand has been kicking around since 2005, but it’s making inroads into the East Coast only recently. Like many Columbia Cabernet, it’s got amazing fruit in the bottle and an equally attractive price on the label.
This wine sports an attractive bouquet of cocoa, graphite, and toasted apple wood. The palate is deeply extracted with dense boysenberry notes followed by Asian five-spice and a finish that turns up the sweet vanilla and plum notes. Under $20, this is a steal.