Wine by Joe
Pinot Blanc 2005
Joe Dobbes is a native of Oregon, born in the Willamette Valley. Dobbes has been making wine for others in Oregon for over twenty years, and in 2003 he started Wine by Joe as a consulting and crushing company. In 2004, Joe expanded it into a complete winery, and he added the title of winemaker. He has since passed that to Travis Procter, Director of Winemaking Operations.
The 214-acre vineyard, in the Eola Hills / Amity AVA, gets cool coastal breezes from the Pacific ocean, 45 miles to the west. Pinot Blanc was planted in 1989 under previous owners.
If you like your whites subtle and unassuming, this one’s for you. The color in the glass is pale, almost to the point of colorless. The taste features hints of pears, peaches, and a bit of smokiness (no wood, though), supported by a crisp talc-flinty acidity. The finish is short.
Feature this wine at brunch with sea bass and roasted bell pepper, baked cod with tarragon, or almond-crusted sole.
Barba Colle Morino Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2005
The Fratelli [Brothers] Barba winery, completed in 1991, is in Scerne di Pineto, at the foot of the Colle Morino hills. This relatively young winery prides itself on using the latest technology and equipment, especially after a major renovation in 2005.
This Montepulciano is nicely rustic. It was fermented for about ten days in conical oak vats, and then aged in the winery’s air-conditioned cellars.
The fruit is there (primarily stone fruits like cherry and plum), but in the old world, slightly under ripe, style. Structure comes from a robust punch of tannins, particularly evident after an hour and a half or so of breathing. The initial taste is surprisingly “hot,” even with a respectable alcohol level of 13%.
During summer, scrape off that grill and pair this Montepulciano with black pepper / ancho beef filets, barbequed porterhouse steaks, beer-simmered bratwurst with grilled onions and ‘kraut, or lamb chops with fresh thyme and grilled lemons.
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