Anam Cara Cellars2005 Riesling, Nicholas Estate
Sheila and Nick Nicholas moved to the Willamette Valley from the Napa Valley where they owned and operated a restaurant in Calistoga. They have 28 acres of Pinot Noir and an acre each of Riesling and Gewurztraminer on Chehalem Mountain in the northern Willamette Valley. Buddy Beck, a veteran viticulturist, provides vineyard advice while Aron Hess guides them through the winemaking process at August Cellars, a gravity-flow winery and custom crush facility, a few minutes from the vineyard.
I got a preview taste of their 2005 Riesling at lunch with friends including Sheila. It was a perfect partner for our summer salads and an onion tart. It is a refreshing and sprightly wine with floral, apple, citrus and mineral aromas. Slightly sweet, peach, apple and citrus flavors gambol across the palate while tightly focused acidity leaves the palate invigorated and begging for more.
Sheila’s British origins are evident in the winery name. Anam Cara is Celtic and means “friend of my soul.” She notes that the vine that entwines around the vineyard scene on the label represents their relationship with their vineyard and those who enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Reviewed July 27, 2006 by Rebecca Murphy.
Rebecca Murphy began professionally assessing wine thirty years ago as a buyer for restaurants. She has been judging and writing about wine for twenty-five years. She believes that wine should provide pleasure whether it costs $10 or $100. She looks for structure, balance, complexity and food friendliness, and is leery of wines that are bloated with alcohol and oak. She is always on the lookout for wines with individuality and a “taste of the place.”