Lange Wine Dinner at Enoteca Vin, Raleigh - Printable Version

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- wondersofwine - 04-04-2007 01:17 PM

Held March 15th. I couldn't find my notes so will record brief impressions (I do have the menu).

We were supposed to have a regular Pinot Noir and two special cuvee Pinots I believe, but the 2004 Lange "Three Hills" was not provided (maybe sold out at winery) so instead they served a Pinot Noir Reserve and a larger pour of the "Freedom Hills."
Jesse Lange, son of the founders, Don and Wendy (starting in 1987 so twenty years behind them) and General Manager/Winemaker, was in Raleigh for the dinner.

Seafood bisque with Prince Edward Island mussels, crispy shrimp and lump crab meat with
2004 LANGE PINOT GRIS RESERVE (retail $19.99)
Lange was the fourth producer in the USA to work with Pinot Gris and the first to pioneer this barrel-fermented style.
I'm just not a fan of Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio so have little to say about it.

Brown butter monkfish with saffron potatoes and tomato with
2004 LANGE CHARDONNARY (retail $14.99)
I seem to recall liking the Chardonnay fairly well but don't remember if we actually tried two Chardonnays or only one.

Duck confit with mustard greens and ricotta gnocchi with
2004 LANGE PINOT NOIR RESERVE (in place of "Three Hills" Pinot Noir) and
Now we're talking. I loved the Freedom Hills Pinot and was tickled that we had a more generous pour of this, the most expensive wine of the evening. It bothers me to spend more that $30 for a domestic wine and even with Pinot Noir, I generally hold the line at $50 for domestic wine and rarely more than that for Burgundies. However, I liked this well enough to consider buying a bottle or two. Can't relate specifics without my notes. Sorry.
Don Lange currently makes six Pinot Noirs as well as Chardonnay and Pinot Gris.

Caramelized pear crepes with
2006 LANGE BRICOLAGE ($17.99)
A white wine blend, mostly Gewurztraminer with some Chardonnay, off dry
A nice wine but not one I will buy for home use probably--I might have a glass at a restaurant if it is on the list. Interesting to try.

When Jesse got around to our table I mentioned that I had visited the winery in 2005 and said "You're next to Torii Mor aren't you?" He replied, "We like to say Torii Mor is next to us." Both wineries are up in the Dundee Hills and have beautiful views of the Cascade Mountain Range and two valleys. Well worth a visit. The bottle logo includes fishing lures. Website is at I asked if they grow all their own grapes and Jesse expressed relief that they don't. However, they have long-term contracts with certain growers and probably have some say on viticulture methods and time of harvest.

Great evening.

- dananne - 04-04-2007 07:59 PM

As per usual, great notes. Freedom Hill Vineyard produces some wonderful fruit, and it is used for single-vineyard wines from Ken Wright, Panther Creek, St. Innocent, and Bethel Heights, among others. It is located in the foothills of the Coastal Range, just south of Dallas, Oregon, and planting started relatively early for Oregon, in '80. Interestingly, they planted in Bellpine (ocean floor) soil, unlike the volcanic, "red" soils around Lange in the Dundee Hills. Typically, Freedom Hill wines have more tannic structure and age very well. In a good year like '04, it should be able to go 10, easy.

- wondersofwine - 04-06-2007 11:05 AM

I ended up ordering two bottles of the Freedom Hills at a sale price of $50 each. This was pre-arrival so I will be picking up the bottles next fall (?) or whenever Carolina Wine Company receives the shipment.
I doubt I can hold on to them long enough to age them (if I were getting a case maybe.)