Sometimes you never know what to expect when as a writer, walking into the doors of a winery. Because they know that you're there to get a story and they are there to put as pretty of a bow on it, as much as they possibly can. It's kind of like when you attempt to sell your car to a dealer, you may shine it up, vacuum it out and clean up all those fast-food wrappers that you may have forgotten about.
But none of that was the case walking into the professionally appointed and comfortable tasting room of Hawks View Cellars, I got the feeling immediately that it looked as nice for each and every thirsty vino-sapien walking through their doors, like it did when a bus-full of wine-writers came tromping in from the Washington County excursion bus just a couple weeks ago. All visits to the their tasting room is done by appointment. Although the tasting room has a professional feel, our host General Manager and founding Partner Mr. AJ Kemp, felt rather comfortable wearing shorts, flannel shirt and flip-flops, what I call "California Casual". A style btw, which indelibly communicates to the consumer, "hey come as you are and spend a great afternoon with us."
But this was not going to be just another some what hallow presentation from a hired-gun known to some folks as PR-flacks, no in fact our welcoming intro was given by their GM AJ Kemp [a guy not afraid to get his hands dirty]. What I heard as he was speaking was good old fashion "passion" the kind that comes from the heart, as I said earlier, there was no teleprompter needed and you could sense the loyalty of other employees and see the pride on their face as they poured their wines for us.
Trust me folks; I'm just as jaded as the next guy, it's like "blah-blah okay, uh-huh, been there and seen that" but as I tasted their wines and listened to them speak about how they "do-things" [technical term] at their winery. I was impressed by the over-all quality and the dedication to doing things right. In fact looking up their Mission Statement just today, "At Hawks View, we don't define success in conventional terms. We define it on your terms." I'd have to conclude from the small amount of time I spent with them that afternoon, that their success is not conventional, but is translated into each and every experience for the consumer. I'm saying this winery is going to make some folks heads turn, they are the right track in this wine-writers opinion for producing high-caliber wines at reasonable prices that deserve a place in your cellar and in your glass.
Because I'm now starting to sound like I'm on the payroll [which I'm not] and with no further ado, I present to you my tasting note on each wine I had the pleasure of swirling about in my glass, slurping and yes eventually spitting out. I know for many reading this the whole concept of "spitting" is at the very least odd. But for me to maintain my senses, it's essential wine writing etiquette.
2011 HV Pinot Gris: Weighing at 13% abv, grapes picked mid November, I found abundant floral notes and the scent of nectar easily escaping from the glass. While on the palate, subtle white pepper, layers of honey, white flowers, and nectarines danced on my tongue. One of the better PG wines I experienced in while in Oregon. It sells for $26 and I scored it 89 points.