Ross Andrew Winery 2008 Meadow
June 30, 2010 by Erin Thomas
I find it sad that I have to rely on the oracle that is Google to give me answers that my brain is gradually (and very slyly) erasing. Such as, have I already reviewed this wine?
Blame it on the alcohol, a worldly Jamie Foxx would recommend, but I am far too young to be forgetting things – placements of keys, movies I’ve already seen or wines I’ve consumed. Nay, recites the Oracle after multiple searches in several different word formations, I am safe. At least this time.
It gets even a tad trickier when you’ve had a handful(s) of wines from the same producers. Such is this case with the wines of said Ross Andrew Mickel. I am guilty to have sauntered into The Ross Andrew Winery Woodinville tasting room to flirt with his beautiful Bernese Mountain dog (Galena, like the city in Idaho) and beg for the winemaker’s claim-to-fame bottle of Pinot Gris from the praised Celilo Vineyard in the Columbia Gorge. Refused many a’times for the limited wine, this purchase time I decided to dive for the Meadow White Blend, the alleged “little sister” to Mickel’s exalted white.
And why shouldn’t it be well-reviewed? The man is a direct descendant of the Bob Betz School of Fine Wine, having played in puddles of grape juice with Bob for nine years before breaking out on his own with the 1999 harvest. Before that, Mickel was gathering experience at Rosemount Estate in South Australia and later with DeLille Cellars also in Woodinville.
Mickel is a textbook Woodinville winemaker. Zero formal education, all hands-on field study. I think it worked out okay for him – dude’s got flowery accolades from Tanzer, Parker, Wine Enthusiast and more. An added bonus is he’s sourcing fruit from the likes of Boushey, Klipsun, Ciel du Cheval and Celilo that dress his wines to the nines.
With that, Mickel’s philosophy (as stated on his Web site) is: “Don’t mess up what the vineyards give us…” In the 2008 Meadow’s case, this white blend is wholly from the great state of Oregon, mostly from Willamette but also dipping into the Rogue Valley. Having spent all of its time in stainless steel, this “Pinot Blanc (basically)” wine was also blended with Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewurztraminer.
The nose is a serious fruit basket. Honeydew, green melon, citrus shavings, starfruit and even some red berry balance itself against the flinty, spice (cardamom?) and waxy minerality of the Oregon terroir. The aroma itself is completely engaging.
Ripe, yet to the point with clean acidity and a crisp finish, the tropical fruits come out with melons, starfruit and lychee, with a citrus backbone. The wine is round yet cut with precision, staying true to the fruits’ home without messing it up like Mickel vows not to.
Serious pool-side sipper, given a day of sunshine and warmth. Can you make that happen, Mr. Mickel? Thanks.