May 21, 2019

Pairings: Salmon complements Oregon pinot

Press Democrat Logoby Michele Anna Jordan

“Our Wine of the Week, 2017 Argyle Willamette Pinot Noir ($27), is suave, expressive and a bit of a chameleon, in that it changes over the course of a glass, revealing different aspects of itself, especially if you wait a while between sips.

It is a pretty wine, as any well-made pinot noir should be, but it is also a bit austere, more so than you find when the varietal is grown in local appellations, such as the Russian River Valley.

There is less forward fruit, and it isn’t particularly ripe.

There are hints of cherries and a bit of black raspberry, but these flavors are quickly eclipsed by savory characteristics that are both surprising and delightful.

I notice something resembling spring garlic, a suggestion of coriander seed, and a hint of braised shallot. It is both delicious and interesting.

The texture is, for the most part, silken, with just a bit of roughness around the edges, from tannins that will resolve over time.

You’ll enjoy this wine with duck, including duck meatloaf on a bed of sautéed chard or kale.

It is excellent with wild mushrooms and smoked cheese, such as smoked mozzarella and caciocavallo fumato, a Sicilian cheese that you can sometimes find at Oliver’s Markets. Smoked sausages are a good match, too.

The wine is also outstanding with our local wild Pacific King salmon.

Add a Bing cherry gremolata and some earthy farro, and you have a feast worthy of this delightful wine.”

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