During my first ever trip out to Oregon’s Willamette Valley last February, I had the chance to visit numerous amazing wineries. One of my favorite wineries from my visit was Seven Of Hearts which has a tasting room located in the charming town of Carlton. Carlton also happens to be one of my favorite towns in the valley. I remember owner/wine-maker, Byron Dooley enthusiastically pouring his wines in his tasting room. He told us the story of each wine he poured as well as the history of the winery. His passion for what he does, really shows. The tasting room also houses, some of the best chocolates around which happen to be made by his wife, Dana. The chocolate shop within the tasting room is known as Honest Chocolates.
Seven of Hearts was born out of a dream and the Dooley’s great passion for wine. Byron left behind a career in technology to pursue a degree in viticulture and winemaking. Upon graduating with his degree, Byron and Dana bought a property in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA. It was then that his other label Luminous Hills was born. His first Oregon wine was made in 2006 and his label Seven of Hearts was appropriately named after his labor of love.
During my most recent trip to Oregon for the Wine Bloggers Conference, I visited many more wineries but sadly, was not able to make it back to Seven of Hearts. I was very lucky to receive several bottles of both the Seven of Hearts and Luminous Hills labels to taste and share with my readers. This blog post marks the first post in a series of posts on the wines. I am extremely excited and proud to share with you the wines of one of my favorite Oregon wineries.
The first bottle out of the collection that I opened was the Seven of Hearts 2010 Chatte d’Avignon GSM. The blend is 50% Grenache, 35% Syrah, and 15% Mourvedre. Grapes for this wine are sourced from Washington’s Columbia valley. I am a huge fan of GSM blends, so I was naturally looking forward to tasting this wine.
The colorful label bears their iconic cat, Seven, and a medieval-style playing card in the hearts suit as all of the Seven of Hearts wines do. In the glass, the wine pours a lovely ruby color. The wine has lively cherry, cola, and vanilla aromatics. There is also fragrant rose petal present as well as spice and a touch of orange rind. On the palate, you get tart cranberry, raspberry, cherry cola, vanilla, cocoa, black pepper, and spice, all of which is balanced out by nice acidity. I absolutely loved this wine. It’s one of those wines that is fun to drink. I have tasted many GSM blends and this one is definitely one of my favorites. I did not happen to pair this wine with anything but it would go well with pork or beef dishes, even pizza would be a good pairing.
Unfortunately, this wine is sold out on the winery’s website however it has a $25 price point. This is a great price for a solid, fun wine. Only 252 cases of this wine were produced. I suspect you can still find some in local wine shops in Oregon or if you do some detective work, you may be able to find some online via online wine retailers. I am quite sad to see that it has sold out because this is one I would love to have on hand in my cellar.
This was a fantastic start to tasting the lineup of Seven of Hearts and Luminous Hills wines. The next blog post will feature some of the Luminous Hills wines. Stay tuned!
* This wine was provided as a media sample for review.