Dave and Sara Specter were recently featured on the Big Blend Radio Podcast in a joint interview conducted by Lisa Smith and Linda Kissam. The four of us discussed the wines we shared with them — 2021 Helios Estate Seyval Blanc and 2021 Jupiter Estate Pinot Noir (just released) — as well as our story and approach to winemaking and wine tastings. Dave also explained the source of our label name and why each wine is named for different pieces of classical music.
Mother-daughter team Nancy J. Reid and Lisa D. Smith produce Big Blend Radio podcasts, videos, and Big Blend digital magazines. The pair co-create and share content that educates, entertains, and inspires a national and global audience of over 4 million. Producing content since 1997, the duo have more than 50 years of combined experience in tourism, hospitality, retail sales, marketing, publishing, media, writing, and photography. Because they firmly believe that “Variety is the Spice that Brings Quality to Life,” they cover a multitude of topics with the help of several different contributors.
Among those contributors is travel writer Linda Kissam who publishes All in Good Taste. Known as the ‘Food, Wine & Shopping Diva,’ Kissam is a longtime Big Blend Radio guest. She routinely appears on the podcast to share stories about her food, wine, and travel adventures across the country and around the world. A seasoned writer with a background in publicity and tourism management, Linda is also the Past President of the International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFTWTWA).
Both Lisa and Linda were big fans of the two wines we sent them. “Really special, exquisite wines,” according to Lisa. In addition to the podcast, the pair published the highlights of the discussion, as well as tasting notes, on Big Blend’s website in a feature entitled, “Who Ever Thought a French Horn Could Taste so Good?”
What Lisa and Linda Thought of the Helios Seyval Blanc
The first part of the conversation focused on the 2021 Helios Estate Seyval Blanc. Dave explained the background of this hybrid varietal, as well as why we chose to plant it in our vineyard and the two different ways we’ve produced it — both in still and sparkling versions.
Lisa detected notes of honeysuckle and grapefruit, and was really taken with the texture of the wine.
Linda said, “This wine is sort of like Pinot in that it is either done well, or it’s not… When it’s done like this, it’s quite beautiful. For me, it had big notes of citrus which I love, and an earthiness. When you put the earthiness with the citrus, for me that’s a winner. It’s almost like a New Zealand wine, and I really, really like that.”
Linda also noted topical fruits and a slight thread of diesel, which she found very interesting. She also praised its creamy, smooth character. “I think it’s food friendly. It’s also good for patios. And if your guests are tired of being welcomed with a champagne or sauvignon blanc, this is a really good conversation starter, I think. It certainly was for me when I had some friends over to taste this with me,” she said.
Dave explained that the diesel aroma is reminiscent of German Rieslings, which is part of Seyval Blanc’s charm.
Lisa, who had heard that the Helios pairs beautifully with dill pickle popcorn, sampled her bottle with pickles and also declared it a winner as well!
Two Thumbs Up for 2021 Jupiter Estate Pinot Noir
Lisa declared the Jupiter to be “like flying to the planet Jupiter with happiness. It’s the happy joy juice — incredible! I had to sit down because it was so amazing. You need to sit down and experience the journey with this wine.”
Linda agreed. “There’s an awful lot of power in this wine. I think for those of you who are patient, buy two [bottles] at least, and the first one try now and the second one leave in your wine case — or wherever you’re storing your wines — for a year to see just what this wine can do. And I think you might find it smooths out a little bit. Not that it needs to, but it might,” she said. ”
“Either way, this one you’re gonna like, and it’s just kind of fun in your journey to try something new, such as just being the only people at a winery and having a session,” continued Linda. “The other thing is to try, especially the reds, a year after you buy them to see what happens. Did it become stronger? Is it the same? Did it become smoother? Did it have less acid? These are things that you learn from aging a wine. But I think this is an excellent wine to try that with.”
Winemaker-Hosted Tastings Called “Unique”
Both Lisa and Linda were intrigued by our winemaker-hosted tasting experiences, reserved exclusively for one group at a time.
“It’s very unique,” said Linda. “If you’re on your wine journey, this has got to be one thing that’s on your bucket list. I think we have a star here and it would be my recommendation to go see this. This should be on your bucket list. This should give you a different view of how wine is made and instead of the great big productions and so forth and and even the small ones that do 1500, 2000 cases a year, this is below that.”
“And to have an a sit down with the owner/winemaker is just unbelievable. So that you can hear why he did the wines. You can talk about the taste of the wines,” she continued. “Some people, especially on their on their beginning journeys, just don’t know how to express what a wine is to them. This is a very lovely balanced wine and winery that should be on your experience list. If you’re truly serious about wine, this is where you need to be. This is just wonderful and if you’re going to be in Oregon, this is something you absolutely have to go to. And since it’s by reservation, you have to not call the day before.”
Lisa agreed. “I understand what Linda’s saying about wine enthusiasts who want that ultimate experience, but I also think it’s really a cool experience for someone starting out in their wine journey. Especially if they love music, no matter what style, because music is dynamics and if you don’t have the dynamic, you don’t have a symphony. That’s a tasting metaphor for people to understand and slow down and understand and appreciate. When you’re at a small winery, you start to understand, oh my God, they have to go out there in the dirt. Dave had to wash his hands before he came in and talked to you,” she laughed.
Watch the Podcast Video
As you can see from the video below, we had a lot of fun chatting with Lisa and Linda.
Want to add either of these wines to your collection? The 2021 Helios is currently featured on the flight during private wine tastings hosted by Winemaker Dave. We have just a handful of cases remaining. To sample and/or add to your wine collection, contact us by phone at 503.537.1328 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today.
As for 2021 Jupiter Estate Pinot Noir, we expect to be releasing that by the end of 2023. Stay tuned!