Back on 3rd, where we began our discovery of some of McMinnville’s wines and brews the day prior, we went into R. Stuart & Co. for some food and to taste their wines with Casee (whom we met the evening before in the Bitter Monk). The store front is a wine bar, with a bar to sit at as well as tables that can be lined up down the middle of the shop as one long communal table. The philosophy of the owners subtly implies itself throughout. Poetry on the labels, simple but elegant food to pair with your flight or your glass. Come in, sit down, stay a while and visit: as we already share their theory of good food, good friends and good wine we felt right at home. It didn’t hurt that we were joined at the bar by Jake, an accountant with Irvine & Company LLC. CPA’s, specializing in accounting for ag related industries including wineries and vineyards. My confusion of notes in the margins of the menu and within the flight descriptions belies my chatting as I wrote – apparently I still can’t do both at the same time effectively. We also had the business manager at the bar with us, I believe his name is Devin, but this name is not by the note describing him, so I hope I translate the chicken scratch correctly, my apologies if I don’t.
Our food choices were warm Rosemary Cashews, a salami plate, and a cheese plate with onion marmalade with house-baked bread… wow, was that delicious! The website has recipes for many of the items they serve in the bar as well as suggested foods to pair with, if not cook with, their wines. I have tagged the Rosemary Cashews as well as a few other recipes to try.
There are two labels: Big Fire and R. Stuart & Co. Pinot Noirs. We shared a tasting of all of the Big Fire, easy drinking, table wines: Dry Rose’, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and a Tempranillo (I can’t find the vineyard source for this wine, but believe it is an Oregon-based vineyard) which are all flavorful. Oh, I shouldn’t forget we began with a Brut-style bubbly Rose’ d’Or! Such a good thing the food arrived before we began tasting in earnest.
There are vineyard designate Riesling and Pinot Gris as well as the Pinot Noir and a 10 year rotation on a Port-style Tawny Cabernet Sauvignon from a vineyard in our backyard here in Walla Walla – Klipsun Vineyard. We had the 2012 Ana Vineyard PN which was deeply colored, dark fruit on the nose and cedar, rosemary and red fruit on the palate with a lingering finish of tart raspberry – a medium-full bodied wine. The 2010 Big Fire PN has a lavender and spice nose, acids and tannins with ripe berries, a bit of citrus and smoke carrying the wine to a fine finish.
We decided to take the Big Fire home as it seemed to ‘fit’ with the profile we were developing for PN’s. The wines were, without exception, enjoyable, the company terrific and the atmosphere just what it we hoped for. Thanks for inviting us to come see you Casee, we are certainly glad we did.