As part of the 5th Annual Wine Bloggers Conference in Portland, we had the opportunity to travel Oregon and around the world via wine glass.

During Live Wine Blogging sessions, think speed dating for discovering new favorite wines, we spent a fast paced hour of wineries visiting tables and giving several minute presentations on the one wine they were pouring. Our table for the Red session had ten wineries pour for us of the 31 pouring.

Here were my favorites, no surprise two lovely Oregon Pinot Noir, and where you can find them…

Alexana Winery 2009 Signature Pinot Noir

  • Variety: 100% Pinot Noir from Oregon’s Willamette Valley Dundee Hills, selected from Alexana’s top nine barrels
  • Aroma: Red fruit and molasses
  • Taste: Cola, cherry and molasses
  • Price: $75
  • My thoughts: This wine and the other two I tried at the conference are stunning in aroma and taste (2010 Alexana Pinot Noir – Revana Vineyard $42 and 2011 Pinot Gris Dundee Hills $26)! Alexana Winery is owned by Dr. Madaiah Revana, also of Revana Family Vineyard in Napa Valley, and the wines are made by Oregon’s famous winemaker Lynn Penner-Ash. Dr. Revana’s goal is to produce Pinot Noirs that rival those of Burgundy, France. The 80-acre property is unique in that it has eighteen soil types (great picture of this on their homepage). This wine, I believe, is only available for wine club members. You can order the others here.

J. Christopher 2010 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley

  • Variety: 100% Pinot Noir from three of Oregon’s Willamette Valley AVAs: Dundee Hills, Chehalem Mountains, Eola Hills
  • Aroma: Big dark fruit
  • Taste: Dark fruit with a nice minerality
  • Price: $28
  • My thoughts: This wine is unfiltered making it very nice and fruit forward! J. Christopher, a small winery established in 1996 by Jay Somers, specializes in Pinot Noir made using the traditional methods of Burgundy, France. This passion for Pinot Noir formed a friendship between Jay and the famous German winemaker Ernst Loosen, Dr. Loosen and J.L. Wolf wines. In 2010 they formed a partnership building a winery and vineyard in Newberg, Oregon. The new venture produces wines under the already established “J. Christopher” brand. You can buy the wines online.

Seven of Hearts 2010 Chatte d’Avignon

  • Variety: Grenache, Syrah and Mouvedre from the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge in the Columbia Valley AVA
  • Aroma: Leathery dark fruit
  • Taste: White pepper and raspberry
  • Price: $25
  • My thoughts: This red wine, inspired by France’s Rhône region reds, is yummy! Seven of Hearts is the passion of Byron Dooley and his wife Dana, started in 2006. It’s a great story! Visit their tasting room in Carlton, Oregon and order their wines online.

For more Live Wine Blogging, see my White & Rose article.