AWG Correspondent

Rob Boss

Southeast Wine Collective Photos

Southeast Wine Collective Review

Regions: Willamette Valley AVA, Oregon

Reviewed: August 5, 2015 by Rob Boss
Published: October 20, 2015

(Photos by Jai Soots)

The entrance to the Southeast Wine Collective tasting bar is next to the big garage door for the winery proper, and it’s easy to expect that that environment would be equally utilitarian and plain. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is a gorgeous bar, with shelves and paneling made from barrel staves, wine racks, high ceilings and big windows. Since it’s a wine bar and not just a tasting room, there’s a kitchen that turns out real food, not just little nibbles. Again, I underestimated. The food’s outstanding, both in presentation and flavor. Even the deviled eggs seemed too pretty to eat—at first.

I chatted with Luke, our bearded bartender, resplendent in grey linen shirt and pink striped shorts, about the five different flight possibilities, including a tap flight, a collective club flight consisting of samples from member wineries, and a surprise flight. Trusting the professional, I took the bartender’s choice and Luke led me through some great stuff, only one of which I might have reached for on my own.

Starting with bubbles is always a great idea and Division Wine’s Cremant de Portland was a lovely sparkler. Bright acidity, lime, mango and white peach lit up the palate, and we determined then and there to order a glass to enjoy after the work was done. Next up was their 2014 “Village” which is made with carbonic maceration and fermentation, so it’s very soft. There was big, bright blast of fresh strawberries, and Jai got cotton candy on the nose. Rich, ripe, fresh fruit flavors were eminently guzzlable.

2012 Château de Brézé Saumur turned out to be an interesting contrast (with the next one). There were loads of fresh fruit flavors—plums, blackberries, marionberries and raspberries, with an earthy undertone and a good long finish. Text book Loire, and a very good book at that. This was poured alongside the 2014 Division Béton, made from Cabernet Franc, Gamay and Pinot Noir—a Loire style, aged in a large, concrete vessel, which has been a mainstay in the Loire Valley for many years. “Béton” is a slang term for concrete. I loved the crushed raspberry nose and the intense and ripe, raspberry and strawberry flavors.

The mission of Southeast Wine Collective is to be an incubator for new wineries, and in just a couple of years, they’ve had some great success: two of the original occupants, Vincent Wine Company and Helioterra Wines have outgrown the space and moved. (Their wines were available but will be included later, when their new environs are reviewed. For now, trust me: they’re excellent.) Others have taken their place, and more will be coming in the future. That sense of growth and learning is almost palpable. I certainly felt something like that as Luke led me through the flight and schooled me on the company wares.

Notes complete, Jai and I settled back for an obscure guilty pleasure enjoyed by wine connoisseurs: popcorn and sparkling wine. Popcorn at Southeast Wine Collective is topped with truffle oil and grated pecorino cheese. It’s a gloriously decadent afternoon snack when paired with the Crémant de Portland. Never tried it? Well, you heard it here first.

Address & Contact Information: 2425 SE 35th Place Portland, Oregon 97215. Telephone: 503-208-2061, email:, website: Tasting Hours: Mon, Wed-Fri 4:00-10:00, Sat 1:00-10:00, Sun 1:00-8:00 or by appt..

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