Aberrant: adjective meaning departing from an accepted standard, diverging from the normal type
In a world of paths, standards, and expectations, what happens when you wander off the path of standards and expectations? How will you know if you never try?
For over 15 years Eric Eide was on a predictable and privileged path. Over the course of his professional life to that point he had served, sold, and tasted some of the world’s greatest wines as a regional manager for Robert Kacher Selections. However, in 2008, while traveling through Burgundy on an annual wine trip with his employer, Eric had an epiphany listening to two great producers from Gevrey-Chambertin. As Claude Dugat and Christian Serafin spoke of their dedication, hard-work, and commitment to their craft Eric realized what separated these extraordinary men from mediocrity was their “extraordinary level of integrity maintained in their craft.” In that moment Eric realized his dream of working in the wine industry required a path adjustment.
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” ~ Mark Twain
Eric saw the potential Willamette Valley offered to craft world class Pinot Noirs and he knew his new chapter started there. As luck would have it in 2008, he was offered a cellar hand position at two small WV wineries, who each used distinctively different methods to craft wine. This allowed Eric a “crash-course” in winemaking. The rest of the story is in his words…
“As the 2009 vintage came on fast and furiously, fueled by passion, inspiration, and perspiration, Aberrant Cellars was born. Born out of the pursuit of living up to the personal expectations, which were set by all of those great vignerons before me, their attributes have been instilled into my methodology. They were born with bridle in hand, to attempt at harnessing the beauty and majesty of Pinot Noir; born with the confidence to zig when the majority zag, born with the humility and deep-seated appreciation that this wine will be shared with those who are most important to you- So, it better damn-well be good.” ~ Eric Eide, Aberrant Cellars
2015 Aberrant Cellars Philtrum Pinot Noir Blanc Willamette Valley USA ($29): A white wine crafted of 100% Pinot Noir; pale salmon with copper hues in the glass; medium+ inviting aromatics of white floral notes, fresh oranges, Rainier cherries, white stone fruit, with trailing white pepper and a hint of toasted graham cracker crust; an inquisitive tension between fruit and earth on the nose plays through on the palate, nice weight and silky roundness on the palate balanced with medium+ acidity that coats the palate with a crisp refreshingness, this is a unique and highly interesting wine that delivers on every level, wish I had more to share. Philtrum is a Latin word meaning “love potion.” I believe a love potion is meant to have the one drinking the potion to fall in love with another; however, in this case I fell in love with the potion itself! Click here to buy this wine direct from Aberrant Cellars.
2014 Aberrant Cellars Block B3 Old Vines Pinot Noir Chehalem Mountain USA ($50): Medium ruby in the glass; pronounced inviting aromas of fresh fruit including raspberries, black berries, black raspberries, and pomegranates, along with violets, cola, white pepper, white tea, forest floor, and white mushrooms; the palate was youthful and fruit forward with a balanced earthiness shining through on mid to back palate, medium acidity and tannins, medium body, elegant and refined with a pleasing finish, a wonderful and well-structured Pinot Noir that was gone way to fast; crafted from vines that are ungrafted and dry-farmed in a LIVE, sustainably farmed vineyard on Chehalem Mountain in northern Willamette Valley. Click here to buy this wine direct from Aberrant Cellars.
I was excited to pair these two wines with the first recipe I cooked in my new Tagine. Pinot Noir is typically a nice pairing with saffron so I made Moroccan Saffron Chicken with rice pilaf to enjoy with these two Pinot Noirs. The results were ideal all the way around. The Tagine was fun and easy and created one of the juiciest chickens I have ever made and the flavors paired beautifully with the Pinot Noir Blanc and the Pinot Noir. Furthermore, on the night I made the dish it poured down rain, unusual for June in Dallas, so my husband and I had a wonderful dinner indoors with great wines and food.
To learn more about Aberrant Cellars and view their entire portfolio of Pinot Noirs visit their web site.
Disclaimer: These wines were shared with me as media samples. All thoughts and opinions are my own; and my own are to highly recommend these wines.
My Song Selection: Eric said Aberrant is a winery dedicated to avoiding convention. When it comes to music I like convention and I like the avoidance of convention. One of my favorite non-conventional bands is Alt-J. There sound is not for everyone but I enjoy their innovation, uniqueness, and non-conformity. Alt-J creates delta, Δ, a scientific symbol for change or difference. Furthermore, I hear the influence of another one of my favorite non-conformist bands in their music, Radiohead. So my song selection is an attempt to match and honor Eric’s non-conformist nature in Aberrant Cellars by featuring Alt-J’s latest hit.
Get your own bottle of Aberrant Cellars wine and let me know what song you pair with them. Cheers!