Oregon Wine Trail In LA: Biodynamic Cooper Mountain Vineyards Chardonnay, Pinot Noir

Did you know that Oregon has the most certified sustainable vineyard land of any major U.S. wine growing state? That’s why Oregon is justifiably well known for sustainable farming AND winemaking practices including organic and biodynamic wines like Cooper Mountain Vineyards and Troon Vineyards in southern Oregon which we wrote about last year (Vermintino in May) and Malbec in February.

It’s pretty simple actually: great wine starts with great land — land that is healthy and full of life!

Today Tuesday, April 24, Sue and I will be tasting lots of Oregon wine in Los Angeles at the Line Hotel on 3515 Wilshire.

During the day we will be attending  a trade event with seminars and tastings as well as food and then we’re staying on for the evening event as well which is open to the public!

Organizers say that “Oregon’s modern vineyards were planted in confident defiance of conventional wisdom. We like to do things our way and this grand happening will be no different. In addition to world-class wine and bites from some of Oregon’s favorite food artisans, we’ll be joined by a live-illustrator, and we’ll also have some fun surprises along the way.”

The venue sounds amazing: “As Oregonians, we need easy access to the outdoors. That’s why we’re coming to The Line Hotel. Our second floor ballroom opens onto two verdant patios that will be fully integrated into the event.”

The event is designed to help you get out of LA and visit Oregon’s wine country which offers much more diversity than most people realize. In addition to Pinot noir, there’s a wine for every palate and style. To accommodate this diversity, they’ve developed six wine trails to explore at the event.”

We’re excited to learn more about Cooper Mountain Vineyards. I tasted their biodynamic chardonnay a few years ago during a #WineStudio event  so when I saw their Pinot Noir at the Crowley Lake store near Mammoth for $26, I jumped at the chance to taste it and to taste the chardonnay again in advance of today’s LA event. We love the wines and we love that they are family owned and run and certified biodynamic by Demeter, and we love the labels too!

2012 – Cooper Mountain Vineyards – Chardonnay Old Vines – Willamette Valley, Oregon – 13% alcohol SRP $25

Color: Because of the age it has a beautiful honey color, like mead almost.

Nose: Most people would never guess this was a chardonnay. SO MUCH GOING ON HERE! Lots of herbal notes not regularly associated with Chardonnay like licorice or fennel, sage, and both elderberry flowers and the plant itself — the pollen and how the wood smells when it is trimmed. And yes I would know because I have lived with elderberry shrubs for the past 30 years!  The next day I shared it with Kathy and she too was fascinated. There was one more glass on the third day and that’s when Marshall smelled it. He had a hard time believing it was chardonnay too.

Palate:  Very complex on the palate as well. The acidity is unusual as well. It has a smooth menthol, licorice, cough drop type of feel as it rolls across the tongue, and it has a long lingering finish of citrusy zing that keeps you remembering and thinking about the wine. It was lovely with the cocktail shrimp, but the seafood meal Marshall made really allowed this wine to shine.

With these really interesting herbal notes on this wine, this wine loves savory herbal foods. It was fun tasting it in a big bulbous glass. Really a fun pair with the crab, bacon and cheese dip the herbal qualities of the wine, played well with the herbs in the dip.

DO NOT BE AFRAID TO AGE THIS WINE! That’s if you can stand to leave it  in the cellar…

2016 – Pinot Noir – Cooper Mountain Vineyards – Willamette Valley – 13.9% alcohol – SRP $40

When I saw this wine at the Crowley Lake store off the 395 in a remote area of the eastern Sierra Nevada outside of the Mammoth Mountain ski area, I couldn’t believe my eyes, and I was ready to buy it at any price. Knowing the quality I expected to pay $40-60, so when I saw it was only $26 I snapped it up! After tasting it, I will definitely be getting another (or more!) next time we’re in Mammoth! This totally tastes like a $50 wine.

Color: Rich dense color if you look straight into the glass you get this beautiful burgundy and violet.

Nose: Earthy funk, barnyard, cherry after first opening; once open in your class fruit comes forward, bright cherry fruit, not super heady, super enjoyable, just fresh, like picking and eating huckleberries along the Pacific Crest Trail in Oregon.

Palate: Really smooth, nice minerals roll across the tongue, lots of acidity on the finish, fruit up front. It liked the smoked crab, bacon cheese dip. Super yummy with the raclette and brie on bread. It shined best with the grilled wild salmon with a hint of teriyaki sauce. I can already imagine how this will be when salmon is in season around Memorial Day weekend!

I have so much more I want to say about Cooper Mountain Vineyards! But that will have to wait for a future post with more Cooper Mountain Vineyards wines because I need to get ready and drive to Los Angeles!

Can’t get to LA tonight to learn more about biodynamic Cooper Mountain Vineyards and taste other biodynamic wines from Oregon tonight?

Then plan on getting to San Francisco for the Biodynamic Wine Conference in San Francisco May 6 and 7 where you can taste Cooper Mountain Vineyard as well as Oregon’s Johan’s sparklers and other biodynamic wines from around the world!


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