My wife and I love to try new wines and have a glass of wine with dinner most nights. We're not novices at tasting; we know our wines. Hood River Vineyards was recommended in local guide materials so we looked forward to a visit.
The woman in the tasting room could not have been nicer. It's not a fancy facility, but our experience is that some of these small wineries can be real gems. We tasted six wines for the $5 fee: Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Late Bottled Riesling, and Zinfandel Port. There were some sweet fruit wines that we did not taste.
There was virtually no taste difference between the Chardonnay and Riesling. Both were flabby and alcoholic. Frankly we've had "critter" wines that were better.
The Pinot Noir probably told the whole story. When poured into the glass it had clearly oxidized. The taste was off. Clearly this wine had been opened many days before. At that point we realized that the two white wines had probably also been left open for a few days.
The Cabernet Sauvignon was undrinkable. The Late Bottled Riesling tasted strongly of yeast. We desperately wanted to find something about this winery or the wines to appreciate, so we tried the Zinfandel Port. It had a classic port nose, but the taste was very thin with way too much alcohol.
The wines at Hood River Vineyards were just awful. We're sorry.
Our recommendation: Don't even drive in the road. Give these folks a few years to learn about storing and presenting their wines.
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