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Argyle Winery

Established in 1987, Argyle farms over 350 acres in both the Dundee Hills and Eola Hills-Amity District AVAs. The co-founders are Texan Rollin Soles and Australian Brian Croser. Rollin Soles earned a Master’s Degree in Enology at University of California Davis and met Croser while working in Australia. In 2000, Croser’s Petaluma Winery in Australia purchased Argyle.

The winery’s focus is on farming vintage-driven wines from great sites. 500 acres of vineyards are currently under the direction of viticulturist Allen Holstein. The three major vineyards are the 120-acre Knudsen Vineyard planted in 1972-1974, the 8-acre Stoller Vineyard planted in 1995, and the 160-acre Lonestar Vineyard located 15 minutes south of Dunee and planted primarily to Dijon clones.

In most vintages there are four Pinot Noirs produced: Willamette Valley, Reserve, Nuthouse and Spirithouse. Nuthouse is a uniquely styled Pinot Noir (nutty if you will) that is intense and bold. It takes its name from the original winery which was housed in a previous hazelnut processing plant. The primary source of the Nuthouse Pinot Noir is the Lonestar Vineyard. Spirithouse is a more subtle and silky style. The name comes from the fact that the current tasting room is housed in the former Dundee City Hall which is said to be inhabited by the ghost of a troubled women (the full story is available on the website).

2006 Argyle Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 3,156 cases, $25, screw cap. Double-macerated on the skins - once before fermentation cold and then again after fermentation to extract flavor and produce a silky texture. On the label: “To open: Hold cap, then twist bottle.” · Light in color. Tutti-fruiti aromas of red cherry and strawberry and a hint of tropical fruits. Soft in texture, light in weight, featuring simple red fruits. A quaffer that is not meant for contemplation.

2005 Argyle Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $35, 4,900 cases, screw cap. From 8 of the best vineyard blocks. · Hi-toned and bright black cherry and Xmas spice scents. Yummy cherry flavors with a little citrus tang. Velvety and rich in texture with cleansing acid on the finish. A little more hedonistic than the Nuthouse. Not terribly complex, but drinks beautifully.

2004 Argyle Nuthouse Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $45, screw cap. Primarily sourced from the Lonestar Vineyard. · Cherry driven on the nose and echoed in the flavors with a subtle oak and cranberry sidecar. A lighter style with silky tannins that is pretty good but a bit austere.

2004 Argyle Spirithouse Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 1,810 cases, $65, screw cap. Sourced from the Knudsen Vineyard. · Cherry and herbs aromas up front with farmyard in the background. Flavors veer toward dark berries, soy and game. Plenty of fruit but still nicely proportioned and a delight to drink.

Argyle Winery is located at 691 Highway 99W in Dundee. The tasting room is open daily from 11-5. The wines are sold on the website and distributed nationally by Terlato Wines International. Soles also crafts exceptional sparkling wines. 1-888-4-ARGYLE. The website is www.argylewinery.com.

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