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Anam Cara Cellars

I recently visited Sheila Nicholas at the Anam Cara Cellars tasting room in Newberg. I have written extensively in the PinotFile about this winery: www.princeofpinot.com/winery/268/. The winery has had several winemakers through the years, but owners Sheila and Nick have had considerable input and the style, although changed in subtle ways through the years, has never wavered. The current winemaker is Michael Collins who crafts the wines at 12th & Maple Winery in Dundee. All wines, including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling and Gewürztraminer, are estate grown. The website is www.anamcaracellars.com.



The 2012 Pinot Noirs tasted here will be released in the late fall of 2014 except for the Mark VII which will be held back until next year. These wines are among the very best I have tasted from this winery. Scary to think they were bottled in February 2014 and will only get better over the ensuing months in bottle.

2012 Anam Cara Cellars Nicholas Estate Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 1,700 cases, $33. 20% 114, 20% 115, 20% 777, 10% 114 and 10% 667. Aged in 21% new French oak. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of fresh cherry coulis and sandalwood. Delicious array of mid weight fruit flavors including black cherry and black raspberry with plenty of spice and a graceful oak sheen. Impressive harmony with remarkable persistence on the royal finish. Score: 94

2012 Anam Cara Cellars Nicholas Estate Reserve Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 420 cases, $46. 30% Pommard, 30% 777, 20% 115, 10% 114 and 10% 667. Aged in 37% new and 29% once-filled French oak. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. The nose invigorates with effusive aromas of fresh cherries, spice and dark red rose petals. Bright and elegant on the palate, with a pleasing core of cherry fruit accented with hints of brown spice and white chocolate. The suave tannins are nicely integrated, the texture is silky, and the finish is clean and refreshing. Score: 94

2012 Anam Cara Cellars Nicholas Estate Wädenswil Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 95 cases, $55. 100% Wädenswil clone. Aged in 25% new and 25% once-filled French oak. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. The wine offers a darker fruit profile, including black cherry, blackberry along side flavors of cola, sassafras, spice and graham. All silk and satin in the mouth with firm, but integrated tannins. Definitely unique in character. Score: 93

2012 Anam Cara Cellars Nicholas Estate Heather’s Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 90 cases, $66. 50% 114, 20% 777, 15% 667, and 15% 115. Aged in all once-filled French oak barrels. The most elegant expression of the vineyard which contains the most clone 114. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Seductive aromas of Bing cherry, raspberry, spice and sandalwood lead to a feminine, graceful wine with light flavors of cherry and red berries, brown spice and subtle oak. The fine-grain tannins are embracing and the cherry-laden finish is charming. Score: 92

2012 Anam Cara Cellars Nicholas Estate Mark VII Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 90 cases, $66. 50% Pommard and 50% 777. Aged in 50% new French oak. The only unfiltered wine in lineup. A masculine, age worthy expression of the vineyard. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. My notes say,“fantastic nose,” with aromas of an array of dark red fruits and exotic spices. Discreetly bold flavors of dark red cherries and berries and red plums with a hint of dark chocolate in the background. A grand wine with excellent balance and length, ending on a high note with a rush of aromatic sweet cherries. Score: 94

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