Oregon Wine 2019

These Are the 5 Best Oregon Natural Wines Under $40

The future is biodynamic...and tastes like the "Venus de Milo if she still had arms."

Edited by Ramona DeNies By Phaedra Brucato September 23, 2019 Published in the October 2019 issue of Portland Monthly

 

Who picked these wines? Prior to working at SE Portland bottle shop Ardor Natural Wines, self-described “Dadaist Sommelier” Phaedra Brucato directed wine and beverages at the Willows Inn on Lummi Island.

Cutter Cascadia 2018 Heavy Water Riesling, Columbia Valley This is a new release for Cutter; a bone-dry Riesling that sees two weeks of skin contact. The result is a rich, layered olfactory experience: a delicate crown of wildflowers and dangerously ripe peach. On the palate, it plays like textured minerality arm-wrestling with powerful acidity. Buy Bar Norman, Dame, $36

Statera 2016 Johan Vineyard Chardonnay, Willamette Valley Like two sides of a perfectly balanced scale, this chardonnay evokes harmony. White flowers, tart orchard fruits, and a coy white limestone smile—think Venus de Milo if she still had arms. Buy Ardor Natural Wines, $37

Analemma 2017 Mosier Hills Tinto, Columbia Gorge This blend of three brazen grape varietals (tempranillo, grenache, Syrah) still maintains self-awareness and restraint. It’s desert herbs and brambly berries drying on a soft angora blanket of tannins. Buy E&R (late October), $35

A.D. Beckham 2018 50/50 Pinot Gris/Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley A bright, grinning Cheshire Cat that gives a delightful fruity/earthy love tap before you’ve blinked once and realized the whole bottle disappeared. Who drank it, you or the cat? Bonus: it’s aged in clay amphora handmade by the winemaker. Buy E&R, $35

Buona Notte 2018 Vermouth, Columbia Valley A well-made vermouth needs no adornments. This Buona Notte, made with a rosé of pinot gris and flavored with six different botanicals, drinks like strolling through an exotic spice market under a full moon. Plus, a whisper of sweetness from Mount Hood honey. Buy Baldwin’s Bottle Shop, $30 (750 mL)

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