Wine Feature of the Month – Trisaetum

The Pinot Noir Grape

The “thin-skinned and tempermental” Pinot Noir Grape

In the 2004 movie Sideways, Paul Giamatti (Miles) delivers one of the best loved wine quotes of all time, describing his passion for Pinot Noir: “It’s uh, it’s thin-skinned, temperamental, ripens early. It’s, you know, it’s not a survivor like Cabernet, which can just grow anywhere and uh, thrive even when it’s neglected. No, Pinot needs constant care and attention. You know? And in fact it can only grow in these really specific, little, tucked away corners of the world. And, and only the most patient and nurturing of growers can do it, really. Only somebody who really takes the time to understand Pinot’s potential can then coax it into its fullest expression. Then, I mean, oh its flavors, they’re just the most haunting and brilliant and thrilling and subtle and… ancient on the planet.”

We are lucky that one of those “tucked away corners of the world” is in our own backyard in the verdant Oregon wine region. Oregon’s cool, marginal climate, and abundant rainfall aid in creating the elegant character of Pinot Noir and its top wines.

Creating some of those incredible Pinots, as well as outstanding Rieslings, is one of El Gaucho’s great wine partners, Trisaetum. Located in the heart of Oregon’s Ribbon Ridge AVA, Trisaetum produces small lots of acclaimed Pinot Noir and Riesling from its three estate vineyards: Coast Range Vineyard, Wichmann Dundee, and a 28-acre vineyard that surrounds their winery near Newberg.

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Trisaetum creates Pinot Noir and Riesling wines, which will be featured at the upcoming Triple Crown winemaker dinner at El Gaucho Portland on May 3rd.

Winemaker James Frey and his wife Andrea founded Trisaetum (named after their two children by combining their names, Tristen and Tatum) in 2003; their first vintage was distributed in 2007. Trisaetum now releases 10 different Pinot Noirs and up to 10 Rieslings every year.

“We love Trisaetum because they are a small, family-oriented and owned winery,” explains El Gaucho Portland wine captain, Corey Hightower. “The complexity of the wines allows us to recommend their Pinot Noir whether guests enjoy our Certified Angus Beef® brand Prime steaks or our fresh seafood.  The 2012 Trisaetum Pinot Noir we pour by the glass pairs perfectly with our Alaskan Halibut, as well as my favorite, the Steak El Gaucho.”

Trisaetum Winemaker James Frey is also an accomplished artist

Trisaetum Winemaker James Frey is also an accomplished artist

Trisaetum is also well known for their Riesling. We will be featuring the 2013 Coast Range Vineyard Riesling at the upcoming Triple Crown Wine Dinner,” Corey concluded. The Triple Crown Winemaker dinner also features Dobbes Family Estate and Raptor Ridge wines, held May 3rd at El Gaucho Portland. Seats are available for purchase – for more information visit the El Gaucho website.

“It’s going to be an incredible evening with a 5-course menu paired with wines from three brilliant local winemakers. Our Chef team has created an outstanding menu to highlight these great wines,” Corey exclaimed.

If the wine dinner doesn’t fit into your schedule, one thing you must add to your calendar is visiting the Trisaetum tasting room. Besides sampling their acclaimed wines, you can enjoy the beautiful art displayed. In addition to being a winemaker, James is also an accomplished artist with work sold and displayed throughout the world.  His paintings and photography fill the 1,500 sq. ft tasting room at the winery.

One of James' paintings that hangs in the Trisaetum Gallery and Tasting Room. Titled Willamette No. 13.

One of James’ paintings, titled Willamette No. 13, hangs in the Trisaetum Gallery and Tasting Room.

It brings to mind a quote from wine contemporary Robert Mondavi: “I’ve always wanted to improve on the idea of living well. In moderation, wine is good…even more importantly, it’s wine, food, and the arts. Incorporating those three enhances the quality of life.”

We couldn’t agree more! Enhance your life and live well by joining us.

El Gaucho Portland, 319 SW Broadway (503) 227-8794 starting at 4:30pm each day. Triple Crown Winemaker Dinner, May 3rd at 6:00pm. Call for reservations.

Trisaetum Winery and Tasting Room, 18401 Ribbon Ridge Road, Newberg, OR 97132 Wednesday-Mondays 11am – 4pm.

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