Recently Tasted 2013 Oregon Pinot Noir
Sokol Blosser, Dundee, Oregon
2013 Sokol Blosser Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 9,700 cases, $38. Made with 100%
organic grapes, and an Oregon Department of Agriculture Organic Certified Wine. Estate grown, 100% Pinot
Noir. A portion is vinified with limited skin contact and another portion undergoes a lengthy post fermentation
maceration. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 31% new.
Moderately light reddish purple color in the
glass. Initial aromas of black cherry, pipe smoke and rose petal give way to more oak influence over time in the
glass. Soft in the mouth with gentle tannins, featuring light to mid weight flavors of black raspberry and black
cherry and a thread of dried herbs in the background. The brief finish offers notes of oak kissed maraschino
2013 Sokol Blosser Orchard Block Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 400 cases, $70. Made
with 100% organic grapes, and an Oregon Department of Agriculture Organic Certified Wine. Estate grown,
100% Pinot Noir. From a 6.4-acre block replanted with clone 777 in 2000 in Jory soil. 25 days in fermenter
including 16 days of post fermentation maceration, aged 17 months in French oak barrels, 38% new.
Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Deep aromas of cherry, spice and red rose petal. Elegantly
crafted, with a middleweight charge of black cherry and black raspberry fruits accented with baking spice and
truffle. Very clean and silky, finishing a bit shallow and oak-charged. When tasted the following day, there was
still considerable oak overlay and I am not convinced that this wine will relegate the oak over time.
VIDON Vineyard, Newberg, Oregon
Owned and operated by Don and Vicki Hagge for 16 years, VIDON Vineyard is located in the Chehalem
Mountains AVA between 300 and 500 feet elevation, 3 miles north of the Dundee Hills. The site is southwest
facing and very warm, with deep volcanic Jory soil. The three blocks of clones 777, 115 and Pommard were
planted in 2000 and 2001 with a vine density of 1,555 per acre. The VIDON (VEE-DOHN) vineyard and winery
are LIVE certified sustainable. Winemaking is non-interventional with gravity used primarily. Grapes are 100%
de-stemmed and fermented in 1.5-ton tanks. After a cold soak of 3 to 5 days, fermentation ensues with feral
yeasts. The wines undergo malolactic fermentation and are aged in French oak barrels. The owners planted
the vines, harvest the fruit, make the wine and sell it out of the winery. These outstanding wines are among the
tops I have tasted from the 2013 vintage in Oregon and are available on the website and through a mailing list
at www.vidonvineyard.com. The winery’s tasting room is open daily.
2014 VIDON Vineyard Estate 3 Clones Chehalem Mountains Oregon Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., pH 3.67, TA
0.55, 710 cases, $40, Vinolok glass closure. Release September 2016. Twelfth vintage from this block. A blend
of the three clones in the VIDON Vineyard. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels.
Moderately light reddish
purple color in the glass. Fruity aromas of black cherry and black currant lead off, infused with savory aromas
of spice, fig and oak. Very ripe but not over ripe flavors of black cherry and black raspberry along with a thread
of herbs. The fruit is vivid and fresh in quality, the texture is silky, and the cherry and raspberry infused finish
2013 VIDON Vineyard Estate Mirabelle Clone 115 Chehalem Mountains Oregon Pinot Noir
14.3% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.55, 96 cases,
$50, Vinolok glass closure. Eleventh vintage from this block of clone 115.
Aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 35% new.
reddish purple color in the glass. Generous aromas of Bing cherry,
raspberry, and strawberry with an earthy undertone. The ornate cherry
and raspberry fruit really pops on the palate. A touch of spice and a
sidecar of oak add interest, Very juicy and refreshing, with impeccable
balance and a raspberry-fueled finish that is heavenly. I was giddy over
2013 VIDON Vineyard Estate Hons Clone Pommard Chehalem Mountains Oregon Pinot Noir
pH 3.70, TA 0.53, 100 cases, $50, Vinolok glass closure. Eleventh vintage from this block of Pommard clone.
Aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 35% new.
Light reddish purple color in the glass. Delicate aromas of
cherry, cranberry relish and savory herbs. Light to mid weight in style, with a core of bright cherry fruit infused
with cola, baking spice and Provencal herb flavors, supported by chalky tannins. The finish impresses for its
juiciness. This wine demonstrates the influence of site on clone, for this Pommard based wine is not the dark
black cherry fruited, ripe and sappy Pommard based wine that one has come to expect from the Russian River
Valley of California.
2013 VIDON Vineyard Estate Brigita Clone 777 Chehalem Mountains Oregon Pinot Noir
14.3% alc., pH
3.70, TA 0.53, 95 cases, $50, Vinolok glass closure. 11th vintage from this block. Harvested before heavy rains
started that year in late summer. 100% clone 777. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 35% new.
Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas
and flavors of blueberry compote, cherry, raspberry and graham impress in this wonderfully balanced wine that
is sleek, easy to drink, and finishes with a gloriously long, fruit-filled finish.
2011 VIDON Vineyard Estate Barrel Select Chehalem Mountains Oregon Pinot Noir
13.9% alc., pH 3.60,
TA 0.63, 99 cases, $80, Vinolok glass closure. Pommard and 777. Four favorite winemaker barrels. Aged 18
months in French oak barrels.
Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Enticing aromas of black cherry,
sous-bois and saddle leather lead to a middleweight wine replete with black cherry and blackberry fruits as well
as savory herb highlights. The tannins are well-concealed and there is some length on the dry finish. Admirable
concentration in this challenging vintage. The wine has aged nicely and after five years, is probably at its
Youngberg Hill, McMinnville, Oregon
Youngberg Hill vineyards consist of 20 acres (15 acres of Pinot Noir, 2.5 acres of Chardonnay and 2.5 acres of
Pinot Gris) on a 50-acre estate. 12 acres of own-rooted vines were planted in 1989 to 60% Pommard and 40%
Wädenswil clones of Pinot Noir. 3 additional acres of Pinot Noir, Dijon 777, was planted in 2008. The vines are
not irrigated. Organic farming started in 2003, and currently some biodynamic farming practices are being
instituted. The vineyards are LIVE certified. The estate also incorporates a B&B Inn and the tasting room is
located within the Inn. Visit www.youngberghill.com.
2013 Youngberg Hill Jordan Block McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.0% alc., pH 3.10, TA 0.69,
265 cases, $50, screwcap. The 4-acre Jordan block is located on a steep slope at about 800 feet elevation.
60% Pommard and 40% Wädenswil clones planted in 1989. Harvest Brix 20.9º. Aged 13 months in French oak
barrels, 35% new.
Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. A discreetly bold offering featuring aromas
and flavors of black cherry and black raspberry infused with oak seasoning. Intensely fruity on the mid palate
and finish. The chunky tannins are daunting at this time because the high acidity in this wine accentuates the
2013 Youngberg Hill Natasha McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
12.4% alc., pH 3.20, TA 0.63136
cases, $50, screwcap. Natasha is the larger of the two original blocks, 6.5 acres planted at 600 feet elevation
in Willakenzie soil. 60% Pommard and 40% Wädenswil clones planted in 1989. Harvest Brix 20.9º. Aged 13
months in French oak barrels, 35% new.
Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Dark red and purple fruits
are featured in this lighter weight wine with significant acid backbone. Aromas of black cherry, wine cave and
dark rose petal are inviting, but on the palate, the tannins and acidity seem to fight for dominance. The very
modest finish is acid-driven and thirst quenching.
2013 Youngberg Hill Cuvée Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.0% alc., pH 3.40, TA 0.59, 378 cases, $35,
screwcap. A blend of grapes from the McMinnville and Eola-Amity Hills AVAs. Clone 777. Harvest Brix 21.1º.
Aged 13 months in French oak barrels, 40% new.
Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is both
savory and fruity, with pleasing highlights of dark red stone and berry fruits along with sandalwood and
mushroom. Comforting on the palate with discreetly concentrated flavors of vivid cherry and cranberry,
balanced and supportive tannins, a deft touch of oak, and inviting generosity on the finish.
Look for many more Oregon Pinot Noir reviews in an upcoming issue based on my travels along the Pinot Trail
in Oregon in July 2016. Visited wineries include: The Eyrie Vineyard, White Rose Estate, Van Duzer, Airlie,
Native Flora, Lange Estate, Bell’s Up, Knudsen Vineyards, Alloro and Brooks. In addition, there will be an
extensive tasting of Amalie Robert Estate wines.