Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A Pinot Found in the Pantry

1921.  2007 Crowley Entre Nous Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley - Oregon)

Tyson Crowley is a New York transplant who relocated to Oregon in 1995 and started working in local wineries - such as Erath and Cameron - and a little farther afield with a vintage in New Zealand. While working as assistant winemaker at Cameron, Crowley made his own first four barrels of Pinot Noir in 2005. The next year, he made six barrels and, in 2007, he decided to branch out on his own after 12 years of learning and working with others. This 2007 vintage is, therefore, his third bottling but his first after setting up his own shop.

Crowley is still a small producer. Even today, the winery only produces about 2500 cases and, to be honest, I don't recall where I picked up this bottle.

This is one of those bottles in our cellar that have just been there for awhile. Seeing as how I don't tend to buy American wines up in Canada (as our taxes - and sometimes our dollar - can make the prices seem prohibitive), my guess is that I picked it up during a short vacation in New York, Seattle or North Carolina. Funny, but a visit to the local wine shops is pretty much a given part of any vacation I'm on. Once there, I generally ask one of the shopkeepers for some suggestions since I don't tend to know any of the wines available.

Not that the bottle's provenance matters at this time, the bottle has a bit of age on it now and, as far as I can tell from other posts and articles online, the '07 Oregon vintage is now drinking better for that additional aging. The vintage was apparently a tougher one and the wines - Pinot Noir in particular - started off rather uninteresting but have been growing in depth over time.

Crowley has a good reputation as being a producer of value wines and that is likely the reason for my taking a recommendation from one of those vacation wineshops. It may still be the vintage but I found the wine to be fairly Old World in its presentation. There was still some New World fruit - particularly cherry notes - but the wine was pretty earthy with a spicy kick on the finish. I'm no expert on Willamette Pinot but I tend to associate a bit more fruit with the limited number of Oregon wines that I've knocked back.

Good thing that profile goes right along with pork sausage and garlic potatoes.

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