Friday, October 29, 2010

Very nice treat! from Robert Parker's - The Wine Advocate

The hours are getting long for Brian right about now....

So getting the following VERY nice review and scores from the Wine Advocate was a nice shot in the arm!

94 Points - The 2008 Pinot Noir Resonance Vineyard
93 Points - The 2008 Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

The 2008 Pinot Noir Resonance Vineyard was sourced from abiodynamically farmed site and made with 75% whole clusters, naturally fermented, and aged sur lie. Medium ruby red, it offers up a seductive perfume of cedar, earth notes, Asian spices, incense, cherry, andraspberry. Mouth-filling, sweetly-fruited, intense, and concentrated,this precision effort will evolve for several years and deliver prime drinking from 2013 to 2023.

...The 2008 Pinot Noir Willamette Valley was sourced primarily from the Johan Vineyard, made with 60% whole clusters, and aged in 25% new oak.It offers up a splendid nose of balsam wood, exotic spices, underbrush,...cherry, and raspberry. Dense, sweet, and packed with fruit, it concealsenough structure to evolve for 2-3 years. This pleasure-bent effort will be at its best from 2012 to

Big Table Farm began making wine in 2006 from purchased fruit, planted a 70 acre vineyard, and built a winery in Gaston. Production in 2008 was 350 cases.

No telephone number available.


for the record... the 'marketing department' aka me clearly did a bad job getting the facts to the wine taster ( although I wish some of these things were true...)

"Big Table Farm began making wine in 2006 from purchased fruit, planted a 70 acre vineyard, and built a winery in Gaston. Production in 2008 was 3
50 cases."

No telephone number available.

#1 - we have no vineyard (yet!) unless Brian planted 70 acres with out telling me...

#2 - we also have no winery (yet!) we have a 1/2 falling down barn that we propped up this summer to host a great summer IPNC event and now holds hay and horses.. Someday I would love to have the cash to do this.. with a few more nice reviews hey you never know what could happen - dare to dream I say

#3 350 cases !!! we only made 77 of the Willamette Valley and 94 cases of the Resonance Vineyard...

oh and my number is on my web site if you'd like to order wine you more than welcome to call me : )

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Something other than wine!

A few weeks back before harvest ate my life I had the absolute pleasure to spend a day with the Van Dyke crew and plow with Duane's lead team! Thank you as always Duane - It was a truly great day beautiful weather and an amazing group of plowmen and women! Thanks Sara for the great photos!

In other farmie foodie news ... (and before you start to really think I've gone off the deep end these are NOT my cows!)

I've started getting raw milk from a wonderful place (and no I'm not adding a milk cow to BTF!!)- As a pasture based farmer at this point I think you know my standards for my food are pretty darn high! - I was pretty picky about finding cows who were on heavy pasture rotation with a diet of rich green pasture as much of the year as Oregon would support. And I was very happy when I found those cows! And the quality shows in the product!

These are grass fed cows - they are knee deep in grass for the full Oregon growing season which is at least 9 months. When the grass stops growing in winter they are happily kept out of the deep mud & fed grass and alfalfa hay. During the rest of the year they are on fresh grass at all times and moved every 24 hours to a fresh grass paddock, not returning to the same grass paddock for at least 3 weeks, which allows for natural sanitation of the pasture, thus insuring healthy cows & sanitary milk. Being on fresh grass every 24 hours also insures that they are eating the grass when it is fast-growing and at it's most nutritious. Just like my animals they receive no corn or soy.

If you too want in on this beautiful raw milk - here's Charlotte's info - 503.860.6286

and just to really break you heart here's Charlotte and her new baby calf Nicoleta!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

wowzers Thank you Darryl at Cork wine shop in Portland for the super fab wine write ups!! I really trust Darryl's palette and and deeply flattered by his reviews... It's also affirming to know I'm not the only one that is hoarding the Riesling!... : ) I'm in good company...

Brian and Clare, the dynamic duo behind Big Table Farm out in Gaston, are really revving up their tractors these days with production. They are just about to roll out their 2009 releases, and after a sneak peak at the wines a few weeks ago, I jumped on as much as they would sell me to stock the shelves (and my own cellar). I don't want to over-hype this, but I gave the white wine featured below the highest score I've ever noted on an Oregon white wine. And the Cattral Vineyard Pinot Noir - well, let's just jump down to the writeups, because calling the Eola Hills the next Volnay is probably going to get me into trouble!

2009 Riesling

They had me with the gorgeous Chanterelle label, but I really wasn't prepared for what was inside the bottle. Brian really likes to push the envelope with his winemaking and avoid what the common expectation might be. Forget whether or not you like Riesling, because it won't matter at all with this wine. It tastes nothing like Riesling and everything like love. As in the sheer positive energy that went into long maceration on the skins, extracting amber colors and textures that those enamored by the off-beat whites from Friuli's Gravner or Radikon might appreciate. But the wine isn't oxidized, even if it tends toward an orange hue. It offers hazelnut and pine, apricot and honey. If I had to place this in my mental mind of world wines, it falls somewhere dead in the heart of the Loire Valley, probably Vouvray. Which is quite odd, since those wines are made from Chenin Blanc and this is made from Riesling. There must be some magic in those Eola-Amity hills adjacent to the Brooks winery, where Brian procured the old-vine fruit for this bottling. I really don't care if you buy any of this, because they only gave me 2 of the 40 cases they produced and I will be pretty happy if I get to drink them all. But my wife keeps reminding me that the whole idea of having a wine shop is that I have to share what I find! Okay then, have at it.

2009 Pinot Noir - Cattrall Brothers Vineyard

This is one of the first single-vineyard bottlings I've seen out of the 2009 vintage, and it isn't really because BTF wants to rush their bottlings to the market. It's because they feel it is ready to go and, having only made 100 cases or so of a few different Pinots, it's what they have to offer. That's the problem with these super-delicious, well crafted wines from these tiny producers - we can't get enough of them!

First, let's give Clare Carver credit for creating another gorgeous label (not to mention all the great photos I pulled from her blog for this post). She told me when she saw the Cattral Brothers drive up in this old truck with the grapes to deliver during harvest, she knew exactly what the label would look like. Thanks for the beautiful rendering, Clare!

The Cattral Brothers Vineyard is the oldest certified organic vineyard in Oregon, located in the Eola-Amity AVA and planted in the late 1970's. It is such a delight to taste a wine made from older vines and see how the potential of Oregon Pinot Noir is coming to fruition. Having taken my first visit to Burgundy this summer and immersed myself in the wines of Volnay and Pommard particularly, my palate was struck by how at home this earthy, layered and savory-spiced red would be in the company of those village wines. I was just starting to get excited about all of the 2008 single-vineyard releases and now I'm not sure where I'm going to put them after we stack a pile of this Cattral 2009 at the shop. Please help us find a home for the 3% of production we are allowed to purchase!

2009 Pinot Noir - Resonance Vineyard

Kevin Chambers' Resonance Vineyard is one of those sites where the biodynamic farming methods he champions has brought a vivid increase in the flavors coming out of the grapes harvested here. Brian and Clare have worked with the Resonance fruit since they started Big Table Farm, and this is definitely the best bottling thus far from the vineyard. Lighter cherry notes and cedar predominate the palate right now, but I suspect that cedar will take a backseat to the underlying clove and cinnamon fighting for attention in the background. The wine is a little tannic at this stage, and I'd recommend laying this one down until the Spring. Which gives you plenty of time to enjoy the Cattral during the winter. A whopping 190 cases were produced, so if you want to be looking at that pretty cow label come April, buying it now and stashing it away is your best chance to guarantee you get some.

Monday, October 25, 2010

All in...

All the Pinot is IN!! which is great as the rains have come on full force the last two days! All the fruit looks great and now it's a heck of a lot of punch downs and pump overs for Brian... still some long hours to go yet...

These are some photos from the Cattrall Brothers Vineyard pick for those of you who have enjoyed our 2009 Cattrall Pinot you may recognize the truck from the label... This is a wonderful site and really great family - This vineyard is the oldest certified organic vineyard in Oregon ...

Bill and Tom - the Cattrall Brothers : )

Friday, October 22, 2010

Harvest so far ...

Harvest so far has been amazing in so many ways!

It's been a beautiful harvest!!

First and foremost I've been again amazed and blown away by all the fabulous friends who have stopped there normal lives to come out to the winery and get wet and sticky and generally work long hours on there feet!!! THANK you ALL from the bottom of my heart!!

The biggest thank you goes out to Lester who quite frankly has saved our humps this harvest !! Lester I'll say it again don't know how we would have made it even this far with out you!! and Thank you to Laura, Kathleen, Sarah and Windsor for coming out and helping as well!! We are truly honored and warmed by your friendship and willingness to just plain show up!!

The weather has been PERFECT and the fruit coming in from our vineyards has been beautiful! Johan, Resoance, Cattrall Brothers, Pelos Sandberg and White Hawk all are just gorgeous and fulfilled what we've come to expect ... greatness!! beautiful job to the farmers!

The picking crews are all gracious, good, careful and the hardest working folks you'll EVER meet! -- Brian is holing in there amazingly well this year and on top of it all we've been eating VERY well this year with Deolinda and I trading off cooking big old winery lunches each day it's really been a lot of hard but fulfilling work!! I'll post more photos soon but here's this past week and we're not done yet so there will be more!!

the hands that pick!

there is a reason Sarah (Lester's girl) is smiling !! he's a gem ... although that hat is hiding his horns ; )

a well deserved lunch!

may all this goodness flow right into the wine... with gratitude!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

a dearth of posts of late

there is an inadequate supply of Clare at the moment due to the abundance of grapes flowing into the winery ... As a result there is a scarcity of sleep a lackscarcity of blog posts, a shortage of returned e-mails and phone calls, want for time with my horses, a paucity of sitting on the couch, and a general insufficiency of time to do all the things in I normally do in a week - I'll be back soon! with TONS of photos I promise! till then drink up we are making more!

Friday, October 15, 2010

gotta love it!

we are working with Pelos Sandberg Vineyard this year - which we are excited about! and this was a little art on the end of 'our rows' at the vineyard!! Thanks Don!

-- humm I think this would make a very fun label!!??

ps - grapes are coming on strong now we got resonance mostly in and Syrah is TODAY!! what the hell am I doing on the blog I gotta finish chores and get into the winery to sort fruit!! bye

Thursday, October 14, 2010

fall always gets the better of me

Between open studios, the fall wine release and web site updates, finishing up the septic install and now harvest coming on strong - blogging has fallen by the wayside a bit .. but just in case you thought I stopped feeding the animals - I wanted to share some snap shots of the last couple weeks...

Cecelia - I actually got up 'early' to do chores and thought of you so I took these shots!

This is a few weeks back one of our 'new to us' OLD vineyards

so when most folks say "we put in a septic" they don't really mean they where the ones that plotted site plans shuffled paper and permits back and forth with the county, schlepped many hundreds of feet of pipe and drain field liners and actually used a shovel and operated a back hoe for weeks on end... The septic project in finally complete!! wow I think this falls into the category of project you only do once your self.

the little miss clementine took another trip to California a few weeks back and met a new boyfriend we are crossing our fingers for pups right before thanksgiving...

Of course there's lots of fall bounty!

and just in case you thought the pig was having all the fun...

back story --
yesterday at the winery at 6pm as Brian stomped in a bin of grapes with nothing but his undies on the lab delivery guy came in and i think got his whole evening ruined.. he really just didn't want to see Brian 1/2 naked in grapes and didn't really think people still did that .. it was classic!!! all he said after groaning loudly was 'are you serious?'

big thanks to all the folks that came to open studios and took art and wine home!!

also if you aren't on our big table farm mailing list... the wine release letter just went out if you'd like one, e-mail me or just visit the big table farm web site!!