Jun 04 2012
Oregon had its best vintage ever in 2008. Pinot Noir generally got excellent press and scores from each wine snob, enthusiast, viewer, connoisseur, and critic. But a new challenge lies ahead: Can these up and comers make additional styles of wine?
The answer is, of course, yes. They already do, most of which is not distributed to the east coast due to the shortage of demand. This is especially true seeing as there are only about five varietals that aren’t Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, or Pinot Gris available in Massachusetts from these states. The limited amounts of each are potentially too obscure and rare to produce demand.
Oregon’s future is a mystery to most, even to those in the wine business. We know that there are other styles/varietals being produced by Oregon wine makers, we’re just uncertain how they will fit into the market. Washington still hasn’t had its big break, and it appears like California has something new and thrilling that demands the limelight every year.
As an example, the “Rhone Ranger” trend from Paso Robles had the press in a tizzy once Wine Spectator released its Top 100 list and Saxum was ranked #1. A couple of other producers made similar wines and were given similar attention, while leaving Washington and Oregon to fend for themselves, comparatively unheralded. When will the other major wine producing states get some recognition?
It appears that the powers that be now and then mention Oregon reds or Washington Cabs, but never go in depth and highlight the potency of these wines. I have found lots of wines from these states with favorable reviews from all of the major wine reviewers, but I haven’t noticed consumers flocking in awaiting their arrival. I have not begun to be asked if reds other than Pinot Noir from Oregon even exist. It seems that, though the quality is there, the interest isn’t, and it’s going to be awhile before it is.
The wine industry in the States is maturing, and it seems to be happening all at once. Maybe that’s why consumers frequently look to hip wines rather than experimenting more enthusiastically. New opportunities are always presenting themselves, and they are sometimes a better bet than what everybody else is talking about.
To conclude, take little steps and work out what style of wine best suits you. Then try similar types from other locations, and keep right on going. Who knows? Maybe you’ll like a Cab from Rogue Valley over California, or maybe even a Cab from Red Mountain over Napa.
Nicolay Castro is a wine manager at Colonial Spirits of Acton. Classes at BU sparked his interest in wine and earned him his expert status . Nic is a great person to ask about the right wine to bring to a party or give as a present .Colonial Spirits’ latest venture is Colonial Spirits Delivers, which provides liquor store delivery to Eastern Massachusetts. We even provide champagne delivery for that important occasion!