An Unexpected Surprise in Oregon

One damp, grey, and foggy Saturday afternoon my husband and I ventured out in the Willamette valley for the annual Memorial day weekend wine tasting event (2011). May can be hit or miss for warmth and sun in Oregon so you never know what the weekend will bring. He and I were dating at the time and this was his first adventure into Oregon wine country wine tasting. He grew up near Napa Valley so I was excited to show him where Pinot Noir really comes from. As a side note he isn’t really into wine as much as I am so this was something he wanted to try with me which was sweet. Besides, I was in the industry so I was lucky to have gotten to know amazing people and smaller type wineries that only open their doors for tastings on or around Memorial weekend. We took the back roads through Newberg and landed on a country road. Rows of vines lined one side of the road while farm houses and ranches lined the other. The clouds lingered over the treetops of the Chehalem mountains as if they were kissing the treetops. We pulled into a big dirt parking lot next to something that could represent a barn. They had opened the big wide double doors and had tables set up to feature the 3 or so different labels the winery created. I love the people of Oregon. They are inviting and warm. They are also very farm casual which is great. You can tell that some of them do all the work themselves to create the wine from working in the vineyard to blending and creating the final product. That just makes it all the more special. This stop was actually Roco winery just outside Newberg. However, as we were tasting we stumbled upon Purple Hands Red Blend from 2009.

purple hands red blend 2009The winemaker looked so young and he had been working under the winemaker at Roco but was able to also produce his own label Purple Hands. He was also the one showcasing his wine and my husband was enjoying the conversation. My husband was throughly enjoying this gentleman’s wine so we ended up purchasing 2 bottles. I knew at the time this was something special but also very new. I couldn’t find it in any of the local grocery stores so it made sense to stock up.

Wine notes:
Nose: Anise, Forest Funk, Red raspberries
Taste: Jammy, Red Raspberries, fruit bomb, funk, on the finish; espresso, chocolate and nutmeg. Very silky smooth. Truly enjoyed each bottle.

At the time I drank these I wasn’t sure what the blend was but after looking it up: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and Pinot Noir. Really nice blend. I did a little digging and it seems his label is doing well. He and his wife now have their own place. I love stories like that. Working hard and ending up where you want to be. Cheers!

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