2020 was a challenging year on so many levels. Each time I even begin to feel sorry for myself, I realize there are so many others who had a far tougher time than me. I’m still kicking, and I’m filled with gratitude. Ken and Taryn were our hosts for our final wine tasting of last year. There were too few people to award stars this time around.

WINEormous wine tastingAs were most of our get-togethers last year, it was an intimate group practicing social distancing. I’m a big fan of Chenin Blanc, and we kicked things off with Dry Creek Vineyard’s 2019 vintage. Ed loved the nose and found the wine refreshing. Ken called the nose delightful and found it floral, smooth, and balanced on the palate. I enjoyed the unique nose and thought it was exceptionally well-balanced. For my money it’s a bargain at $16.

Our next wine is one I think would be ideal for Valentines Day. The 2019 Les Dauphins Côtes du Rhône Rosé is a lovely copper-colored wine. It’s got grapefruit on the nose and bright acidity with a long finish. Ken called the nose “luscious pink grapefruit” and said it was not dry, but not sweet either. “All in all a wonderful rosé” he added. The label is gorgeous and it sells for $20.

We tasted an Oregon Pinot Noir, the 2018 vintage from Résonance. Aged 13 months in French oak, this wine is sourced from some of the top vineyards in the Willamette Valley. Ken said the color was beautiful, and he enjoyed cherries on the palate with n ice depth and body extending to the finish. Randy called it “tasty.” I liked its ruby color, and like most Oregon Pinots it was quote Burgundian. $30

The 2018 Escudo Rojo Gran Reserva comes from the Baron Phillipe de Rothschild property in Chile. a blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Petit Verdot, and Syrah, James Suckling gave it a 93 score. Randy thought the finish was Tannat-like. Ken said the nose was full of a variety of fruits and spice. He called it very good for $20. I enjoyed its deep color and pronounced nose.

We finished off with a couple of spectacular wines. First was the 2014 Bonterra Vineyards The Butler. A blend of Syrah, Petite Sirah, Mourvedre, and Viognier, it spent 18 months in 100% French oak.  The nose was stunning. Ken said it made him want to jump into the glass! He described the wine as “like a party with a bunch of fun guests.”   We all agreed it was the wine of the night. $50

Our final wine was Gen 7’s 2015 The Yielding from Brookside Winery. It got kudos from everyone for the nose. Ken said he was a bit spoiled by The Butler. At this point in the tasting, the comments were few and far between. The group seemed to have hit Nirvana. It goes for $48.