written by Julie Lee | photo courtesy of Kathleen Nyberg, McMenamins
We’re right in the middle of Oregon Wine Month, a month-long tribute to the booming wine industry in our great state. The future for Oregon’s bounty of wines is bright, and for bubbly varietals it’s sparkling! So pop the cork and look to these wineries for the latest and greatest sparkling wines.
McMenamins added a sparkling wine to its rapidly growing inventory of fun adult beverages, and the 2012 Blanc de Noirs Brut Sparkling Wine is a winner. Edgefield’s entry into the sparkling category has notes of lemon and apple and is highly versatile, pairing well with just about any appetizer or entrée. Blanc de Noirs translates to “white from black” paying homage to the process of making a white wine from red grapes. Priced at $28 a bottle, it’s available now at the McMenamins 23rd Avenue Bottle Shop in Portland.
2126 SW Halsey St., Troutdale | edgefieldwinery.com
While some wineries are just dipping a toe into the sparkling game, Argyle Winery in Dundee anchored into the category from the start, making it an Oregon pioneer of bubbly deliciousness. With a brand new, state-of-the-art tasting room, we recommend a trip to the source. From the top-shelf 2005 Extended Tirage Brut, to the 2012 Brut Rosé (our personal favorite) and the 2012 Vintage Brut, Argyle offers sparkling wines for a range of tastes and price points.
691 OR-99W, Dundee | argylewinery.com
The sustainable movement is an essential Oregonian practice, and it is embodied at Soter Vineyards. Originally from Napa, Tony and Michelle Soter are committed to nurturing the land they farm. As a participant in Planet Oregon, established in 2009 to produce and sell environmentally responsible wine at an accessible price, $1 from the proceeds of every bottle of their Oregon Pinot Noir goes to the Oregon Environmental Council. We like this. We also like the 2011 Mineral Springs Brut Rosé that makes any occasion special.
10880 NE Mineral Springs Rd., Carlton | sotervineyards.com
Looking for an exceptional Brut? The pinot noir-heavy 2001 Brut Cuvée by Domain Meriwether is worth your attention. The sparkling rosé sold out almost as soon as it was released, so any delay in purchasing the still-available Brut Cuvée is strongly discouraged. The perfectly balanced blend of eighty-five percent pinot noir and fifteen percent chardonnay grapes produces an elegant pink hue, and aromatic undertones of strawberries and caramel are detected. Domaine Meriwether specializes in sparkling wines and even hosts Sparkling Nights every Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.—free admission, live music, food for purchase and delicious bubbles to sip.
88324 Vineyard Lane, Veneta | meriwetherwines.com
Anne Amie Vineyards
Anne Amie Vineyards produces a beautiful sparkling wine, the 2012 Anne Amie Marilyn Brut Rosé. Made with 100 percent pinot noir grapes, it has hints of cherry and lime with a long finish. It’s mid-range in price at $45, but drinks like a higher end wine, making this elegant bottle a smart choice.
6580 NE Mineral Springs Rd., Carlton | anneamie.com
If you wish to try more delicious Oregon sparkling wines, check out the three varietals lovingly made by second-generation winemaker Kim Kramer of Kramer Vineywards, which is located at the far northern tip of Yamhill County near Gaston, Oregon. Kim joined her parents in making wine in 2008 and introduced her first vintage of Brut in 2009. Kramer currently make three different kinds of sparking wine–Rose’ of Pinot Noir, Mueller-Thurgau, and Pinot Gris. You can try them at three different locations–the estate tasting room at the winery, a second Kramer Vineyards tasting room in Carlton, and also at the Urban Decanter wine bar in Forest Grove. Urban Decanter is owned and operated by the younger Kramer daughter, Becky Kramer, so she’s very knowledgeable about all of Kramer Vineyards’ offerings!
Kramer Vineyards Sparkling wines:
Urban Decanter: http://urbandecanter.com/