Several months ago we attended an event where we bid on wine in auction; the cause was good, we knew nothing about the wines. Two of those bottles were Wine by Joe Pinot Noir and the first one we opened wasn’t good; it had not been stored well and was beyond drinkable but was ok to cook with. I didn’t look up where they were from as we weren’t impressed enough to seek such information. Oddly enough, we were in the
Willamette Valley for the long weekend and discovered where this wine came from quite by happy coincidence: Dobbes Family Estate and Wines by Joe are made by the same winemaker for different markets. Joe Dobbes is owner and winemaker here. Wines by Joe are distributed whereas the Dobbes Family Estate are sold only through the tasting room. There is yet another label for restaurant distribution, Jovino, that we haven’t tasted.
The tasting room is huge, built to appear as an old barn, but beautifully new and modern. This business was established in 2003, grew rapidly with this facility providing a charming ambiance for customers. The gardens are coming in nicely, a few new plants were still in their pots, but right outside the open tasting room window was a daphne plant bursting with fragrant blossoms. That is most likely my favorite ornamental shrub, I might have to see if I can grow one in Walla Walla. The daffodils were nodding their bright yellow heads in the slight breeze, but all in all Spring was well underway on Valentine’s Day in the Willamette Valley! Walla Walla has been under a shroud of fog for weeks, so the sun was delightful!
The Dobbes Family Estate fruit is sourced from several vineyards in the Willamette and Rogue AVA’s. We were treated to a library Viognier, 2009 as the 2013 sold out; it was excellent, still fresh and crisp. The 2012 Chardonnay was only lightly oaked with no malolactic fermentation to moderate the acids in the wine so we both liked it. We were able to compare the 2008 and 2010 Symonette Vineyard Pinot Noir side-by-side for an interesting vintage comparison. The 08 was a warmer vintage with more color extraction for a deeper red color, while tasting fantastic. 2010 was a cooler year, not cold though, this is the current release of this wine.
From the Rogue Valley AVA the 2011 Grand Assemblage Syrah was a glass full of fresh purple fruits and tobacco leaves, remarkably well-integrated with a great finish.
Patrick, pouring our tastes, is in the Chemeketa Community College. We met another student last June when we visited Stoller Vineyards, Gary. They know one another, of course, which was a nice coincidence. I am always intrigued to meet other EV students and get to converse with them.
Our last taste was paired with chocolates, the 2010 Mirror Image Port-Style Syrah with 18.5% ABV. Nearly 8% residual sugar, bursting with fruit preserves finishing silky smooth after all that time in the barrel.
We still have a bottle of the Wine by Joe Pinot Noir, if it isn’t up to drinking we will see if we can cook with that one too. But we are more likely to purchase a bottle should we see it for sale somewhere.