I got to Laurelhurst Market, the hot new casual restaurant in Portland, a few minutes before meeting a couple of Oregon winemakers for dinner there, enough time to pore over the short wine list in search of something interesting to drink with the restaurant’s meat-centric menu. Prices looked good, a flat $15 over local retail.
The list had its quirks, though. Familiar names? Not for these guys. Instead they go for insider favorites, not all of which, I discovered when I extracted my iPhone to check their ratings on Wine Spectator Mobile ( http://mobile.winespectator.com), found favor with my fellow tasters. But Perrin & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Sinards 2005 jumped out, having received an enthusiastic review from my colleague James Molesworth.
The winemakers jumped at the chance to drink something other than their own wines for a change, and we all smiled at the first sip of the wine. Meaty in texture, it managed to remain lighter on its feet than most Châteauneufs, which can get pretty powerful these days. The Grenache-based wine showed a nice core of cherry and spice flavors, with hints of currant and a warm slate note that added depth. The tannins were well-handled, and it worked with the food. 91 points, non-blind.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Perrin & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Sinards 2005 (92, $41).