Yesterday (Monday, May 18) Lynn and I drove down to Seven Hills Road near Milton-Freewater to the Tero Estates. The winery had just reopened for wine tasting by appointment under Oregon's Phase 1 reopening. When we arrived, Doug Roskelley, the winemaker, showed us the outdoors where tastings will be held when the weather warms up. Then we went upstairs to the tasting room.
In accordance with the Phase 1 requirements, we wore face masks except when tasting the wines. All precautions were taken: a maximum for five persons per group, each group being 6 feet from another group and social distancing at all times by all, and proper sanitation with sanitizers. Wines are served in flights and poured by employees only.
Four our tasting, Doug poured us the following wines:
2019 Tero Estates Rosé of Charbono ($22) - Produced from a grape originating in the Savioie region of France, also known as Corbeau, this showed a pink-peach color and lovely aromas of strawberry, pomegranate and orange peel. The flavors were nicely extracted and balanced, with a bit of spritz on the way to a dry freshly fruited finish. Reviewed in the May issue of the Review of Washington Wines. 18.5/20 points.
2012 Tero Estates Nebbiolo - This comes from a small block in the southwest corner of the Windrow Vineyard. It showed typical Nebbiolo characteristics of a garnet color and a sultry, smoky nose of semi dried fruits, orange peel and tar and roses. The flavors were simultaneously authoritative and warm, with velvety semi-dried fruit and a long, slightly nutted dry finish. 19/20 points.
These were followed by three 2014 reds, from a nearly ideal growing year.
2014 Tero Estates Charbono - This showed a semi opaque ruby color and intoxicating aromas of wild fruits, crushed roses, tobacco, oregano, dried orange peel and incense. The flavors were thick and round, with notes of licorice, cocoa powder, French roast and minerals. The back picked up macerated berries, roasted nuts, mocha and charcoal, followed by a long finish, lifted by bright fruit acids. 19/20 points.
2014 Tero Estates Cabernet Sauvignon, Old Block ($57) - This was a compelling expression of 39 year old vines Cabernet. It showed an opaque ruby color and an intoxicating nose of ripe fruits - blackberries, cherries, plums - with scents of dried roses, tobacco, sandalwood and smoldering incense. The dark fruits were mouth encompassing and layered, developing considerable complexity, especially on the long, rich finish. 19.5/20 points.
2014 Tero Estates Petit(e)2 - This blend of 62% Petite Sirah and 38% Petit Verdot displayed a deep ruby-crimson color and intense aromas of dark fruits with scents of smoke and pepper (Petite Sirah) and perfumes of roses and violets (Petit Verdot). The flavors were deep and well packed, with layers of black fruits that were infused with licorice, chocolate and charcuterie, followed by a long, delicious ripe tannin finish. 19+/20 points.
After the tasting, I commented on how nicely the 2014s were developing. We also talked about the impact of Covid-19 and agreed that wineries will recover, but that will take time.
To schedule a tasting (by appointment only), go to www.trwines.com and then at the Tero website go to Contact and Taste. The winery will be open most weekends and other times may be scheduled. The wines being poured will generally be current releases.