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Ponzi Wine Bar

25-Apr-2005

My last stop on Sunday was at the Ponzi Wine Bar, which is adjacent to the Dundee Bistro.  The wine bar was more of a retail establishment than I had expected.  I knew that you could taste wines other than Ponzi but this was really more of a Wine Bar owned by Ponzi than a Ponzi Wine Bar that also had tastings of other wines. 

Ponzi was also one of the wineries I visited on my first tip to this area.  Although, I was not as fond of it as I was of Erath, I still remembered it as a winery with a lot of integrity and good structure.  I think you can still find that in Ponzi wines but you may need to look a little harder for it than in the early days of the winery. 

I decided to taste just the basic flight which was $5 and included:

2002 Ponzi Chardonnay Reserve:  I’m not positive I tasted the reserve but it seems to be the current offering so I think it must have been.  I thought this wine was okay.  Nothing special but okay. 

2003 Ponzi Tavola Pinot Noir:  I didn’t care for this wine at all.  It may be just that it was too young but I found it to be rather astringent.  The woman had described it as being their "entry level" Pinot Noir.  Later she asked me what I thought of it.  I asked her if she was being polite or if she really wanted to know. :-)  And I even gave her a chance to back out by telling her I’d let her know once I’d finished the entire tasting.  She said she really wanted to know and came back at the end to ask so I told her I did not think it was worthy of the Ponzi name.  I’m not sure that went over too well!

2003 Ponzi Pinot Noir: This was what I remembered from my earlier experience with this winery.  This is not a blockbuster wine, just a good decent Pinot Noir that would do well in a variety of situations.  There’s some nice berry taste and a little tannin.  The finish is not real long but it lingers enough for you to hold the flavor for awhile.  However, they have this wine priced at $30, which I think is too high.  This is what I would call an "entry level" wine. 

In addition to this flight, which was $5, there was a flight of non-Ponzi and, in fact, non-Oregon wines.  And there were several wines available by the glass and some light bites to have along with your wine.  The wine bar was actually a pleasant place but next time I will probably try to make it to the tasting room at the winery itself. 

After this tasting I returned to the Dundee Bistro, which I’ve already covered.  So this ends my little weekend road trip to Oregon and down memory lane.  It’s amazing how much I covered and saw in three days!  And even more amazing that it took me a week to get it all written up!  :-) 

I hope you have the chance to visit this area some time.  The country is beautiful, the people are very nice and there are many, many wineries in the area.  There is something for everyone. 

You can find some information at the Oregon Wine Board site.  It’s a good place to start but I found quite a lot of the information to be out of date.  During my travels I found another reference that is based on this website:  Willamette Valley Wineries.  Since I found it late in my travels I didn’t have a chance to really use the information but it appears to have the basic information correct.  Between the two sites you can at least get winery names and then most wineries have their own website that would have the most current information. 

Good luck in your travels and as my Grandpa used to say, "Salute!"

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