208 Boylston Avenue East
Seattle, WA 98102
This Friday’s wine lineup asks more from you than just tasting: it asks you to look. Carefully. It’s not often we get to quote Ken Kesey when talking about wine.
We host a special, unprecedented tasting event this Friday from 5-8pm with John Grochau, founder and winemaker of Grochau Cellars of Oregon. John’s wines are anything but the norm, and he may be making one of the highest quality Oregon Pinot Noirs we have ever tasted for under $20. Meanwhile, his other wines have a focused strategy and original, invigorating flavor profiles. That is really saying something.
John doesn’t fool around. In fact, he clearly states that part of his main winemaking philosophy is “don’t screw it up.” Let the weather and biological process take its course. Guide, don’t force. John also appropriately says, “we come to wine as appreciators first, explorers second, and creators third.”
This is the right approach. In being observant, the right things can come to the surface. You will taste the very pure, exciting results of John’s winemaking in each of his bottles.
To confirm the point, here is an excerpt from fellow Oregonian Ken Kesey’s groundbreaking and brilliant novel Sometimes a Great Notion:
“Look . . . Reality is greater than the sum of its parts, also a damn sight holier. Truth doesn’t run on time like a commuter train, though time may run on truth. And the Scenes Gone By and the Scenes to Come flow blending together in the sea-green deep while Now spreads in circles on the surface. So don’t sweat it. For focus simply move a few inches back or forward. And once more . . . look.”
Grochau Cellars follows the idea Kesey so eloquently describes: don’t extract the details to find truth, coax them out. The results are a set of delicious, original, and memorable wines.
Look, indeed! Here is the lineup:
2010 Grochau Cellars Pinot Blanc (Willamette Valley, OR)
Less than 200 cases were made of this animated version of Pinot Blanc, showing pretty floral and tropical aromas melding effortlessly with mellow apple and pear. Beautifully balanced with mineral and solid acidity that carries the flavor through the lengthy finish. Superb.
2010 Grochau Cellars RED 2010 (Willamette Valley, OR)
John’s Bordeaux style blend, featuring Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc. An expertly made table wine with verve and style, showing delectable red fruit notes that are crisp up front and smooth on the finish. An incredible value.
2011 Grochau Cellars Commuter Cuvée Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley, OR)
We haven’t asked why John put a bicycle on the label of this remarkably affordable Pinot Noir, but our guess is that he is referring to those folks who actually get it together to bike to work. You know, the practical people. The wine follows suit: Delightfully bright and expressive, it shows spicy cherry and raspberry fruit, with a glinting frame of citrus and just a touch of herb on the finish.
2009 Grochau Cellars Willamette Valley Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley, OR)
A bolder style of Pinot here, showing John’s gift for winemaking. Black cherry leads with plenty of tea and exotic spice notes, touches of orange peel and some pepper too. This puts layer upon layer of detail with earthy style and a strikingly bright finish. Extraordinary.