Visiting Omero Cellars and Sarah Cabot
the tasting room in Carlton
inside the tasting room
getting ready to walk through the vineyards on Ribbon Ridge, our greeter
The Omero Cellars property rests in the smallest AVA in Willamette Valley at only 1300 acres, Ribbon Ridge. Omero’s vines are predominately Pinot Noir planted in 2009, with 26 total acres, 22 of which are Pinot Noir, 4 acres Pinot Gris. 2011 offered the first vintage of fruit off the property.
After completing studies at the Northwest Wine Academy with South Seattle Community College (as well as a degree in Jazz Composition from Berklee College of Music in Boston), Sarah Cabot sought harvest internships in Willamette Valley. The difficulty was found in her already having a secure position with the restaurant Wild Ginger in Seattle. Finally, she got the guts up to quit her job. The same day she gave notice she arrived home to an email about a harvest internship at Belle Pente, and the possibility of work as their Assistant Wine Maker, if she’d relocate, and proved the right fit. She hit the road.
“There has been a lot of serendipity for me in all of this.” –Sarah Cabot
“I love working with Pinot Noir. I love making whites. Those two are favorites. … There is no end to what we can learn. Each vintage is so different. I’m really playing mad scientist right now. Quality and knowledge in wine making come from trial and error. So, I always experiment, and put a lot of thought into my experiments before starting them, and talk with peers about them too. And then there are also the tools from school to work with. ” –Sarah Cabot
rains fell at bud break this year, causing some of the blooms to stay shut, thereby not turning into fruit. The phenomenon is known as “shatter”, leading to clusters with fewer grapes. Without shatter a Pinot cluster would form a small fairly cohesive fist shape. Here the open nature of the cluster shows the loss of berries caused by the opening rain. Asking Cabot about the health of her clusters this year she is surprised at the amount of shatter, but quickly remarks she’s okay with it because of what the loss of fruit now can do for the complexity of the wine in the end.
The Pinot Gris is planted on incredibly steep slopes. The Omero Cellars 2011 Pinot Gris offers juicy, bright fruit, with touches of light citrus powder, good movement of acidity, and a smooth mouth feel.
The wines are made to be served with food, and so we ate. Roasted Beets served with a goat cheese whip, and a reduction of pink grapefruit, peach, rosemary, and lavender.
Served with the 2008 Omero Cellars Pinot Noir made with fruit from Chehalem Estate Vineyard, which was planted in 1983. The wine offers rich aromatics, with light caramel notes, pepper, dark fruit, and rose floral, plus rose bramble notes. The palate follows. I am disinclined to spit. This wine has a lot to offer now, but also wants time to show the joy of experience.
Beet greens, red quinoa, fresh green beans, roasted potatoes, broccolini, cherry tomatoes, and balsamic. Oregon vegetables are one of the five necessities for a good life.
The 2009 Omero Cellars Pinot Noir from the Ribbon Ridge AVA but declassified to name as Willamette Valley fruit. The wine offers rose, and lavender spice with a belly of red fruit aromatics. There is a soft mouth feel carrying pepper, and rose perfume alongside thoroughly integrated red fruit and light caramel notes.
Shaved zucchini squash, corn, truffle oil, and shaved Parmesan
Carlton Farms Pork Ribs served in a blackberry and Omero Pinot Noir reduction. I like meat. #meat
The 2010 Omero Cellars Iliad offers rose and cherry blossom with integrated spice and pepper, and a perfumed palate carrying deep date notes. The flavors here are fluid, while also rich and concentrated.
The 2010 Omero Cellars Odyssey–their reserve wine that vintage–shows a darker, fuller, and richer presentation alongside the Iliad. The aromatics show spiced, with pepper, and cooked (not jam) cherry. There are rose back notes here integrated in with the fruit.
What is consistent in Omero Cellars wines is a rich presentation with plenty of movement. There is a focus here on dark-flower aromatics, concentrated fruits, and acidity.
Tartlets from mixed greens and vegetable juice pulp, plum-apricots, with black pepper crumple, Oregon hazelnuts, and truffle honey. Oregon hazelnuts are another of the five things necessary to living a good life.
As a surprise, Destiny Dudley pulled out the first wine Cabot ever made to go with dessert–a 2007 Late Harvest Pinot Gris made in 5 gallon buckets and Cabot’s garage. The wine is remarkably fresh, and only a touch sweet. It offers orange blossom, and quince in a delicate nose, with white herbs, nuts, white peach, very light residual sugar and white pepper, all well integrated through the palate, and served in a label-less bottle (my favorite).
Thank you very much to Sarah Cabot for the wines, and walking me through the vineyards.
Thank you very much to Destiny Dudley for the fantastic food served for lunch.
Thank you to Amanda Moore.
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