Tasting Pinot Noir at Rex Hill Winery

On Sunday, I went to Rex Hill Winery to do a tasting.  This was my first “official” tasting for this blog – and actually one of the few tastings that I have done.   The last tasting I did was probably five or so years ago.

The winery is very nice – nestled on a hill in Newberg, OR, off of 99W.  The tasting room was warm and inviting and the grounds were lovely.  It was a brilliant winter day and I could tell that in the spring and summer, the vineyard and picnic area would be just stunning.

I had my three-year old, husband and mother-in-law in tow, and while I was the only one doing the tasting, the person pouring the wine was very hospitable, offering my daughter crayons and picture to color.  He didn’t eve blink as she sat in an antique looking desk, coloring to her heart’s content.

The person pouring the wine was courteous and gave me some information about each wine – but to be honest it was a little awkward.  I didn’t know what I was doing and wasn’t sure how to go about making small talk.

I did take some notes and here is the low down on my experience:

  • The tasting flight was for 5 wines and cost $10.
  • They all smelled like wine – note to self, need to learn more about the smelling portion
  • The first part of the tasting included two Chardonnay’s:
    • 2009 Rex Hill Dijon Clone Chardonnay & 2009 Rex Hill Old Vine Chardonnay
    • To me the Chardonnays were both a little sharp.  I am not sure if that is even the right termonology, but that is the thing that struck me the most. I did notice the Old Vine was a bit sweeter and smoother.
    • Interesting tid-bit about the “old vines”.  Apparently, these are grape vines from California.  The vines are used to warmer temperatures, and overall did not produce well for Rex Hill.  However, the summer of 2009 was a hot one and the grapes did good, thus the wine.
  • There were three Pinots:
    • 2007 Rex Hill Sims Vineyard – this one had an earthy flavor to it
    • 2008 Rex Hill Reserve Pinot – a smooth taste and I liked it the best.  I ended up buying a bottle of it (for $48)
    • 2008 Rex Hill Jacob Hart Vineyard – was fine – not as good as the second one

I brought the 2008 Rex Hill Reserve Pinot home and will serve it at the next get together with my brothers.  I would like for them to weigh-in to see if I am at least on the right track for tasting.

What did I learn:

Well, for starters, tasting wine for real and not for show is hard.  I have a lot to learn.  Plus, the next time, I will bring along someone with more wine knowledge than myself, that can fill me in on the important details and procedures.

So, thank you Rex Hill for the fun experience and the patience.

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