After a grueling Stage 1 of the Tour de Vino, Stage 2 was planned as a much needed rest day. Just as the elite cyclists participating in the Tour de France are doing today, The Oregon Wine Blog Staff decided to take it easy and spend the day at McMenamins' Edgefield Winery. Aside from having a large assortment of wines from the Pacific Northwest, it is also noteworthy that they host a summer concert series. We just so happened to have tickets to see Steve Miller Band.
I had never had the opportunity to visit Edgefield before, but had heard great things. In a nut shell, Edgefield hosts a winery, brewery, distillery, multiple bars and restaurants, a golf course, day spa, concert venue, and a hotel. I'm probably leaving something out, but the point is that it is a very large estate with plenty to keep you busy for a day.
Our first stop (surprise!) was straight to the winery. McMenamins' wine selection is rather robust and tasting can be done through four different flights. Because we weren't staying the night and had to drive back the same day, it wasn't a good idea for us to try all four. Instead, Josh and I split their red flight as well as a "special selections" flight of mostly miscellaneous wine that didn't fit in any other category. Instead of reviewing all ten wines, here are some quick thoughts of two that particularly stood out:
2005 Blanc de Noir, Brut: I'll have to award this wine as the most surprising of the day. This dry, champagne-style sparkling wine is the result of using pinot noir grapes. I normally don't give much thought to sparkling wines, but this proved to me that there is a lot more potential for uniqueness in this category than I originally thought. While dry, it proved a much richer, deeper fruit content than your average champagne. Very well done.
2007 Cuveé De L'Abri Rouge: A relatively traditional Rhone blend, the Cuvee has been a favorite of wine blog staffer Drew Desilet since his first taste a few years ago. While I don't remember the specifics on the blend, the lions share is grenache balanced out by syrah and viognier. Sourced from Del Rio Vineyards in Southern Oregon, this wine is a softer blend that pairs well with lighter red meats or saucier white meats. This is one of those bottles that is nice to have sitting around to drink because you are thirsty.
In short, the rest are solid wines that are in all intensive purposes good, but not great. They appeal to a very broad range of people and are absolutely perfect if you're catering to both enophiles and non-enophiles alike. This is certainly not a bad thing at all and I think McMenamins' success with wine stems from this very fact. We even have a couple of bottles on the rack ourselves. The most notable wine we had that fits this description is their 2007 cabernet sauvignon.
As for Steve Miller Band, we elected to cut the night short due to torrential downpours and a lack of appropriate rain gear. We may be two stages in and yet to complete a full stage yet, but there's still plenty of hope. We're definitely looking forward to Stages 3 and 4, so stay tuned for more excitement from the 2009 Tour de Vino.