Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Willakenzie 2011 Estate Cuvee Pinot Noir

The cowboys knew it! There's nothing like a refreshing drink in the saloon at the end of a long hard ride. We weren't exactly in a saloon, but we were in cowboy country as we pulled up to the Avenue Grill in Denver.

We just drove in from the airport and were meeting my brother, niece and her husband for dinner. Brother J was in town from Telluride and we were touching down for the night before heading west to do some skiing and visit our daughter.

We were a bit frazzled by a day full of travel and were clicking on east coast time. Any tension melted away as we walked through the balmy Denver night and into the very cool Avenue Grill.

Surveying the wine list, I decided that a nice Willamette Valley Pinot Noir would go well with just about anything in this fine dining establishment. I settled on the Willakenzie 2011 Estate Cuvee Pinot Noir. For her entrée, Green Dragon settled on the Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna while I locked in on the Slow Roasted Colorado Bison with chili lime sauce.

Conversation meandered like Bighorn Sheep on a Front Range hillside. I didn't know until that night that brother J had worked the grape harvest in Spain many years ago. His more recent wine exploits include landing his paraglider in a winery field in Oregon so as to score the free glass of vino offered by the winery for all fliers who land there.

The Willakenzie Estate Cuvee is a fine example of Willamette Valley Pinot. There's a nice floral nose. On the palate it's juicy and balanced with flavors of bright strawberry and raspberry. By the second bottle the flavors were melding beautifully with my bison.

This Willakenzie is a smooth sipping value at about $30 retail (higher of course at the restaurant). It's also highly recommended when you’re gnoshing in high altitude settings like the mile-high city. A great wine to enjoy with family and special friends.

Rating: 4 of 5 Value: 5 of 5

Technorati : Oregon, Pinot Noir, wine

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