Spring King

Posted on March 15, 2012


Fresh Troll Caught King Salmon photo by Seattle Fish Company

We enjoyed another sunny day in Juneau and it was so nice getting out for a skate ski. It was true spring skiing with the snow turning mushy and wet in some spots and I didn’t even need to wear a hat while I was out. I’m loving it. The weather inspired me to go looking for some fresh king salmon, but I came up empty-handed. There is nothing like eating King Salmon that has never been frozen and is nice and fat from feeding all winter in cold water. It practically melts in your mouth with its butteriness and the flavor is unparalleled. I was told at the seafood sources that I visited that more should be showing up at Juneau fish counters now that the weather is nicer and more fishermen are heading out on the water.

Today we received a shipment of wine on the barge and I am especially excited about two of our selections, both are great salmon wines. One is Evening Land Vineyards Willamette Valley Pinot Noir and the other is The Eyrie Vineyards Dundee Hills Pinot Noir.

The Eyrie Vineyards and Evening Land Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs

Evening Land’s Oregon wines are made my Isabelle Meunier with renowned Burgundy winemaker, Dominique Lafon, guiding her as lead consultant. I first learned of Dominique Lafon by reading Jonathan Nossiter’s book Liquid Memory. You may know him from his directing of the controversial wine film Mondovino. Nossiter describes Lafon as “brawn(y) and …extroverted (like his wines.)” In his book he also shares a description by Lafon about how he perceives wines from Burgundy, “You never know quite how to approach a great Burgundy. What you’ll find when you open it. You may get fireworks or you may not perceive much at all. It depends on how you open it, with whom, with what. Burgundies are full of panache and as unpredictable as life.” To me this passage is very compelling and reflects what I like to find and look for in my wine drinking. Knowing that Lafon is involved in the direction of Evening Land wines excites me, however big or small his role is in the process.

The Eyrie Vineyards have the distinction of being the first Pinot Noir vines to be established in the Willamette Valley. David Lett first planted in 1965 despite his UC Davis professors’ doubts. Lett had the vision that wines produced in the Willamette Valley had the possibility to rival those of world class Burgundies because of their comparable climates. His gamble paid off and not only has Eyrie received acclaim as a top producer of New World Pinot Noir, but many wineries following Lett’s lead are recognized for the distinctive terroir driven qualities that the Willamette Valley imparts. David Lett passed management of The Eyrie Vineyards to his son, Jason, in 2005. The transition appears to have been seamless with Jason being true to his Father’s philosophy while introducing his own distinctive line of Black Cap wines. Recently a wine reviewer with her own unique approach of incorporating graphic reviews into her writing published a review of a sample of Jason Lett’s Eyrie wines. Be sure to check out more of Lily-Elaine Hawk Wakawaka’s wine reviews when you visit the link.

It is good to know that we will have some nice wines on hand when we finally get our hands on some spring king salmon.