Download 11.23 (PDF)

Reviewed Wines from the current Newsletter
PinotFile 11/23

From Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

2016 Broadley Vineyards Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc. $35. Composed of a variety of blocks containing newer and older vines. · Nicely scented with aromas of dark strawberry, blueberry, plum and spice. Gentle in the mouth with a light to mid weight core of red and purple berries with a touch of spice, a little smokiness, and a savory herbal thread. Forward drinking, with exquisite balance . This elegant wine draws you in with its charm. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Broadley Vineyards Open Claim Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 50 cases, $35. 100% Pommard clone. Fermented in small open-top French oak wood fermenter for 14-21 days. Aged 12 months in neutral French oak barrels. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of Marionberry, black cherry, spice, dried herbs and barrique. Light to mid weight and quite sleek and demurely satisfying, with flavors of purple berry and black cherry fruit. Welcoming and easy going now with minimal tannins. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Cooper Mountain Vineyards Life Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $40. No sulfites added (may contain naturally-occurring sulfites). Certified organic and biodynamic. Johnson School and Meadowlark vineyards. Native fermentation. Aged 8 months in French oak barrels, 40% 2-year-old, 60% neutral. Unfined. · Very dark garnet color in the glass. Demure aromas of blackberry, blueberry-pomegranate and barrique. The fruit fades rather quickly in the glass over time. Full-bodied and ultra-rich, with a hedonistic core of purple and black fruits along with a velvety mouth feel. Fruit-driven and Syrah-like, yet tannins and acidity are in complimentary balance with the fruit load. A uniquely-crafted style, that is richly concentrated, but still retains charm. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 de Lancellotti Famiglia Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 225 cases, $40. A reserve blend from the winery’s biodynamically farmed home vineyard planted to clones ”828,” Pommard, 777 and 115. Only the best barrels are selected and blended. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Intoxicating nose with considerable nuance, offering aromas of cherry, boysenberry, nutty oak, dark rose petal and chocolate basil. Light to mid weight in extract, with vibrant flavors of cherry, strawberry and spice. A modicum of tannins add interest to the silken texture, with the wine finishing dry and unpretentious. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Big Table Farm Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 1,835 cases, $45. Released March 5, 2018. A blend of grapes from eight vineyards making the wine a good representation of the Willamette Valley. This wine is more affordable because a lot more of it is made, but it receives the same care and handling s the rest of the lineup of wines. A drawing by Grace of Buttercup, an American Guinea Hog, graces the label. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Lovely fragrance of red cherry, red berry, rose petal and sous-bois. Darker fruited on the palate with giving flavors of purple grape and blueberry. Soft and found in the mouth with a conforming texture and some finishing length. A hint of grapes from Pelos Sandberg Vineyard shows up. Beautifully composed, although not extremely complex. This wine is liable to be sold out by the time you read this review as it is very popular among “bigtablers.” Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 AWE Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.8% alc., $50. Sourced from Olenik Vineyard planted in 1989. Volcanic soils with basalt rocks. 100% Pommard clone. Harvest Brix 23.3º. 25% whole cluster fermentation. Aged in neutral French oak barrels for 12 months. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. Tasted twice two months apart with this review based on the second tasting that was most recent. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of black cherry, raspberry, savory herbs and compelling spice. Mid weight plus in style, with expansive flavors of plum, blackberry, allspice, and a whiff of leaf and stem. The fruit finds every nook and cranny in the mouth. Silken in texture, with modest tannins, and a juicy finish. The wine offers matching flavor ripeness and phenolic ripeness. More overall pleasure when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Thoroughly enjoyable now, but another 6-12 months in bottle will prove even more rewarding. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Walter Scott Dubay Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., 75 cases, $55. This is a steep, rocky vineyard farmed organically by Ryan Hannaford. Sourced from a 1-acre block yielding 1.2 tons per acre. Ambient yeast fermentation, 30% whole cluster, aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 35% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Plenty of nuance on the nose, offering aromas of black cherry, baking spice, tobacco, earth and forest . Mid weight plus in size, featuring flavors of black raspberry, blackberry, black grape and a riff of spice. Boldly fruited with a healthy tannic backbone, but with good energy, and a long and voluptuous finish. This wine has impressive ripeness of flavor at a modest alcohol level. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Walter Scott Freedom Hill Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 225 cases, $55, silver wax cap. Vineyard planted in 1982 and farmed by the owners, Dan and Helen Dusschee and their son Dustin. Soils are Bellpine loam. Ambient yeast fermentation, 15% whole cluster, aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 35% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Brooding aromas of black raspberry, spice and compost. Very classy, with mid weight flavors of black cherry, black raspberry and intense spice. A subtle pine, forest and floral note plays alongside the core of delicious fruit. The texture is enticingly silken, and the tannins are unusually tame for this vineyard. Overall, a highly nuanced wine with impeccable balance and an intensely aromatic and spicy finish that captivates. Score: 95. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Walter Scott Sequitur Vineyard Ribbon Ridge Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., 75 cases, $55. This property is adjacent Beaux Frères’ Upper Terrace Vineyard. 12 acres with 17 clones of planted Pinot Noir surrounded by a forest of Douglas Fir trees on three sides. Farmed with organic and biodynamic principles. Marine sedimentary soils. Ambient yeast fermentation, 25% whole cluster, aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 35% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Vivacious aromas of blackberry jam, blueberry croissant, cookies-in-the-oven, fertile earth and slate. Mid weight flavors of black cherry, black raspberry and spice supported by cohesive and fine-honed tannins. The satiny texture appeals, as does the intensely aromatic and tenacious finish. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Walter Scott Sojourner Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., 450 cases, $55. This 15-acre vineyard sits at 650 feet elevation. Clones are 115, Pommard and Wädenswil. Soils are rocky, volcanic clay with many stones littered throughout the hillside. Vineyard is farmed sustainably moving toward organic options. Ambient yeast fermentation, 30% whole cluster, aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 35% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Earth-kissed aromas of blueberry and pomegranate with a hint of oak. Refined and suave in the mouth, with earth-dusted flavors of blueberry and black cherry. Beautifully composed, with excellent balance, and a stylish finish. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Walter Scott Temperance Hill Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., 125 cases, $55. This vineyard is on the crown of the Eola-Amity Hills at elevations of 600 to 900 feet. The site is exposed to cool afternoon marine breezes that contribute to late ripening. Dai Crisp has farmed the vineyard organically since 2000. 26-year-old vines. Fruit 100% de-stemmed and aged for 15 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Flamboyant aromas of black cherry, exotic spices and sassafras. Stunning and succulent on the palate with far-reaching dark red cherry and berry fruit flavors. Harmonious, with a deft touch of oak, and a long, long, long finish. Ridiculous! Score: 95. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 de Lancellotti Lachini Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 175 cases, $60. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Restrained, but pleasant aromas of cherry and nutty oak. Silky, sleek and refined in the mouth with a mid weight core of red cherry and berry and blueberry flavors. Nicely composed, with exceptional vibrancy and a quenching finish. Unchanged when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 de Lancellotti Onelia Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 60 cases, $60. A special limited bottling named after owner Paul de Lancellotti’s Italian grandmother. The wine is sourced from the winery’s biodynamically farmed home vineyard. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The nose reveals scents of purple grape, cherry, earthy flora, spice and vanilla. The mid weight plus essence of crunchy black cherry and black raspberry fruit is quite satisfying. Juicy, with an earthy, woodsy tone, featuring balanced tannins and a thread of oak in the background. The finish is very good in length but not exceptional. More expressive when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Big Table Farm Pelos Sandberg Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 285 cases, $62. Released March 5, 2018. Clare’s drawing of vineyard owner Don Sandberg’s clippers graces the label. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The nose offers a plethora of aromas including spiced boysenberry, burnt tobacco, compost , barnyard, and turned earth. Discreetly concentrated flavors of purple and blackberry with a hint of peppery spices and the guaiacol note that is typical of this vineyard. Noticeably more enchanting when tasted the following day from a previously opened and recorked bottle, when the fruit flavors were more intense and the wine was more outgoing. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Walter Scott Seven Springs Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., 225 cases, $65. One of the few wineries to obtain grapes from this iconic vineyard. Sourced from Block B, a mixed clonal block planted selection massale in 2007. Farming is done using biodynamic practices. Ambient yeast fermentation, 20% whole cluster, aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 35% new. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The nose opens slowly in the glass to reveal aromas of fresh crushed berries, cherry, spice and earthy flora. The lightest and most elegant wine in the 2016 lineup, with delicate flavors of blueberry, cherry and raspberry. The wine picks up a little depth over time in the glass but never sheds a green thread. The tannins are fine grain, there is good acidity, and the wine finishes with modest intensity. Tasted repeatedly over a two-day period with no change. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 A to Z Wineworks The Essence of Oregon Oregon Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $24, screw cap. A selection of fruit from 35 vineyards blended to produce a celebratory cuvée to celebrate the winery’s 15th anniversary. A to Z is Oregon’s best selling wine brand. Classy black and white bottle label and neck ring. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. This wine evolves nicely in the glass over time and offers plenty of Pinot pleasure for a modest price. Aromas of black cherry, rhubarb, earthy flora, spice and seasoned oak barrique. A middleweight spiced black cherry core has some length and intent, there is redeeming balance, and the whole package is juicy and easy to like. Tremendous value. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Cooper Mountain Vineyards Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $25. Made with Demeter® Certified Biodynamic® grapes. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. An appealing appellation wine from an outstanding vintage, with aromas of blackest cherry, underbrush and teasing oak, leading to mid weight flavors of black cherry and blackberry complimented with a deft touch of oak. Juicy and very agreeable now, yet there is enough tannin to suggest decanting or a little more time in the bottle. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Lenné Le Nez Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.81, TA o.59326 cases, $30. The winery’s “infant,” early drinking wine that represents the entire vineyard and all five clones. “Le Nez” is French for “The Nose,” and is a reference to Karen Lutz’s late father Lenny, who also was the inspiration for the name, Lenné Estate. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, aged 11 months in French oak barrels. · Moderate ruby red color in the glass. Deep aromas of cherry, rose, spice, mocha and pleasant oak. Light to mid weight in style, with easily approachable, robust flavors of black cherry and boysenberry framed by matched tannins and finishing with a juicy cut of acidity. The lightest, freshest and most forward wine in the 2015 Lenné lineup, but not a demure wine. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Analemma Oak Ridge Vineyard Columbia Gorge Pinot Noir

13.5% Alc., 350 cases, $32. Organic grapes were fermented with a majority of whole cluster in stainless steel open-top tanks. The wine was aged on its lees for 16 months in neutral barriques and concrete. · Light ruby red color in the glass. Hi-tone cherry aroma with a woody riff. Engaging red cherry and red berry fruits in a mid weight style that seduces with a silken mouth feel. Gossamer tannins and redeeming balance, finishing modestly but pleasingly. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Youngberg Hill Cuvée Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., 286 cases, $35, screw cap. Released April 2018. Grapes from the estate vineyard (youngest vines), Bjornson Vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA, and Yamhill Valley Vineyards in the McMinnville AVA. Dijon 777. Harvest Brix 22.7º. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The nose offers aromas of black cherry, raspberry, toasty brioche, vanilla and walnut. The mid weight plus charge of black cherry, black raspberry and cassis flavors are intense and opulent, expansive in the mouth and carry a creamy texture through a generous finish that gives a slight notion of alcoholic warmth. The higher alcohol gives the wine body and sweetness. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Lenné Estate Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.76, TA 0.59, 376 cases, $38. A barrel selection of the finest wine from the estate vineyard. Primarily Pommard and clone 114, with balance made up of 777, 115 and 667. De-stemmed, 5-day cold soak prior to inoculation, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 20% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Shy perfume of black cherry, dark red berry and oak barrel. Middleweight flavors of purple and black fruits with an herbal thread. Sleek in texture with welcome balance, offering a giving purple-fruit finish of noticeable length. Unchanged when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Alloro Vineyard Estate Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.57, 1,600 cases, $40. Estate grown, produced and bottled. 46% Pommard, 35% 777, 19% 114. 100% destemmed, 4 to 6-day cold soak, native fermentation, native malolactic fermentation, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 23% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Vigorous aromas of black cherry, rose petal and earthy flora. Generous surge of cherry fruit really alerts the palate. Very fresh and juicy in a mid weight style, with terrific balance and some finishing intent. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 VIDON Vineyard 3-Clones Estate Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., pH 3.67, TA 0.55, 565 cases, $40, screw cap. Released April 2018. 40% 777, 27% 115, 33% Pommard. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 30% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. The nose leads with aromas of red berries, sandalwood and mushroom. Demure and graceful, with flavors of red cherry, strawberry and raspberry with a touch of spice. The slightest oak plies the background. Very open, with soft tannins and an unpretentious finish. My interest in the wine faded a bit when sampled over time in the glass. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Élevée Winegrowers Élevée Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., 300 cases, $48. Vineyard is located on a south-facing slope at 540 feet. Volcanic Jory series soil, vines densely planted. 100% de-stemmed, native fermentation, aged 12 months in French oak barrels, 38% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Up-front aromas of cherry and spice pick up power over time in the glass. Flavors of strawberry, ripe cherry and raspberry, in a discretely concentrated style with a silken mouth feel and the right touch of oak. A bit of grippy tannin shows up on the finish, but this should be more accommodating with more time in the bottle. This wine is quintessential Dundee Hills in character and is quite affable now. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Alloro Vineyard Estate ‘Riservata’ Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.57, 300 cases, $50. A 12 barrel selection blend to capture additional body, weight, texture and complexity. This wine represents the best marriage of all the diverse characteristics contributed by each of the individual vineyard blocks. Truly, a reserve wine. 32% Pommard, 46% 777 and 22% 114. 100% de-stemmed, 4 to 6-day cold soak, native primary and malolactic fermentations, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 46% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. The nose is somewhat brooding but very genial, with aromas of dark cherry, raspberry and complimentary oak. More of everything in this wine, including concentration, intensity, tannin and finish. Makes a bold statement, yet easy to cozy up to. Mid weight plus in style, with flavors of black raspberry, blackberry, blueberry and spice. Silky in the mouth with a deft integration of oak. Still a bit aloof but the potential is obvious. Considerably more giving when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re- potential is obvious. Considerably more giving when tasted the following day from a previously opened and recorked bottle. A stunning wine with swagger, depth and dimension. Score: 95. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Red Electric Armstrong Vineyard Ribbon Ridge Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 120 cases, $50. Inaugural release. This wine is a collaboration between winemaker John Grochau and grape grower Douglas Ackerman. The vineyard has sedimentary soils and is meticulously farmed. Clones are Pommard, Wädenswil, and Dijon 667, 777 and 115. 20% whole cluster and native yeast fermentation. Aged 17 months in French oak barrels, 18% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Pleasing aromas of black cherry and sandalwood. Mid weight flavors of black cherry and Marionberry are vibrant and easy going. Very satisfying, in a sleek and polished style with a silky texture, a hint of complimentary oak barrel seasoning, and some finishing length. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 VIDON Vineyard Brigita Clone 777 Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.55, 75 cases, $50. Release May 2018. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 35% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Invigorating aromas of dark red berry mix, spice and earthy flora. The most concentrated wine in the 2015 lineup, yet discreetly composed, offering mid weight flavors of dark red and purple fruits with added spice and cola notes. Thoroughly satisfying, with integrated tannins, a silken mouth feel and admirable aromatic persistence on the finish. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 VIDON Vineyard Hans Clone Pommard Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.55, 75 cases, $50. Release May 2018. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 35% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Light ruby red color in the glass. Lovely Bing cherry aromas arrive over time in the glass. Light in weight, but highly flavorful, featuring a core of perfectly ripened cherry fruit. Nicely composed, with silky tannins, energetic acidity, and noticeable finishing generosity. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 VIDON Vineyard Mirabelle Clone 115 Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.55, 46 cases, $50. Release May 2018. 15th vintage from this block. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 35% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Light ruby red color in the glass. Aromas of cherry and floral bouquet lead to a lighter weighted wine that exudes elegance. Tasty flavors of cherry, raspberry and baking spice framed by gossamer tannins. The finish is modest but pleasing, leaving behind aromatic candied cherry and a compliment of oak. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Youngberg Hill Jordan McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., 448 cases, $50 . Released April 2018. The Jordan Block consists of 4 acres of estate vines situation on a steep and high slope, getting more benefit from prevailing afternoon coastal breezes. 60% Pommard and 40% Wädenswil clones. 28- year-old vines. Harvest Brix 23.3º. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The chosen one in this vintage with invigorating aromas of fresh cherry, raspberry and earthy flora. Discretely concentrated in a mid weight style, featuring vivid flavors of black cherry and black raspberry. This amiable wine has good energy, supportive tannins, righteous oak, and a spirited finish of some length. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Youngberg Hill Natasha McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 558 cases, $50. Released April 2018. The Natasha Block is 6.6 acres in the estate vineyard. 28-year-old vines on owned-rooted Wädenswil and Pommard clone planted in marine sedimentary soil. 40% Wädenswil and 60% Pommard. Harvest Brix 24.5º. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The nose opens slowly in the glass to reveal effusive aromas of boysenberry and blackberry with added compliments of sweet mulch and fertile earth. In the mouthe, there is a succulent and well-ripened mid weight plus core of purple and blackberry fruits with some toasty oak in the background. The tannins are quite noticeable and surface on the mildly astringent finish that has good fruit-driven persistence. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the tannins had softened. I would suggest decanting if you drink now. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Lenné Eleanor’s 114 Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.59, 75 cases, $55. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak prior to inoculation of proprietary yeast, and aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 66% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. The most aromatic wine in the 2015 Lenné lineup, with intoxicating aromas of black raspberry, cola exotic spices and caramel. Mid weight plus in style, with hearty, masculine flavors of black raspberry and blackberry with a background hint of smoke and vanilla, and a rustic earthiness. Intensely sappy, yet vibrant with good freshness. Substantial tannins and frisky oak at this early stage. Much better when tasted the following day from a previously opened and recorked bottle when the aromatics made my knees go weak, and the tannins had moderated. Rare to find a Dijon 114 single clone bottling which makes this wine all the more intriguing. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Lenné Jill’s 115 Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 100 cases, $55. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Rather exotic nose featuring black cherry and blackberry fruits, spice, and toasty oak. Mid weight plus in concentration, offering a luscious array of ripe purple and black berry flavors. Somewhat burly, with husky tannins, yet the wine glides across the palate. Still closed in and out of sorts with prominent oak on the sideline and muscular tannins on the finish. Much better when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, with more integration of oak and tannin and more expressive fruit. This one should be cellared for a couple of years for full enjoyment. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Lenné Karen’s Pommard Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 100 cases, $55. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Shy upon opening, but very giving when tasted the following day from an opened bottle with aromas of black cherry, spice and fertile earth. The attack of mid weight black cherry fruit is focused and serious with remarkable intensity. An underlying earthiness adds interest. Acidity is well-mannered, but the tannins are muscular and a bit daunting initially. This is the most backward wine in the lineup and will benefit from a couple years in the cellar to ameliorate the fruit tannins. That said, it is hard to ignore the glorious fruit now, especially if you decant. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Lenné cinq élus Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $80. This wine is made only in great vintages. The name, cinq élus means “five chosen,” reflecting that this wine is a blend of the best barrels from all five clones grown at the estate vineyard. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Hi-tone aromas of ripe strawberry and Bing cherry with a hint of mocha. Clearly a step up in class, with a mid weight core of delicious purple and black fruits backed by polished tannins. Great energy, vibrancy, length and intensity. Didn’t taste it the next day because my neighbors and I finished it off the same day I opened it. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Alloro Vineyard Estate ‘Justina’ Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.66, TA 0.57, 150 cases, $85. A special barrel select blend, crafted to show off the very best of the vintage. The wine is named after winery owner David Nemarnik’s daughter. 81% 777, 19% 114. 100% de-stemmed, 4 to 6-day cold soak, native primary and malolactiic fermentation, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 80% new. · This beauty is the polar opposite of the Riservata. More pastel in color with a moderately light garnet tone. Soaring aromas of cherry, raspberry, spice, balsam and nuttiness, becoming more demonstrative over time in the glass. More red-fruited in a mid weight plus, seductively elegant style that literally dances across the palate. The silk pajama texture creates the impression of grace and splendor, while the expansive finish resonates lip-smacking spicy goodness. There are notable tannins in the background, most certainly from the high percentage of new oak, but these tannins showed more amelioration when the wine was tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. This wine went from great to exceptional over night. Score: 96. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Evening Land Anden Seven Springs Estate Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., $100. For a brief period, following the divorce of Seven Springs Estate founders Al MacDonald and Joni Weatherspoon, the Seven Springs Vineyard was cleaved in two. Joni retained the vineyard’s upper half and the name Seven Springs, while Al christened the lower portion ‘Anden,’ a linkage of their children’s names Andrew and Kristen. The lower half of the vineyard is home to the Seven Springs’ original plantings of Pommard and Wädenswil on their own roots dating to 1984. Anden Pinot Noir celebrates the oldest corner of the Seven Springs vineyard as it slowly succumbs to phylloxera. 100% whole cluster, aged in 100% new Ermitage oak barrels and bottled without filtration. · Light ruby red color in the glass. Intoxicating aromas of cherry, mulch, burnt tobacco and spice. Light to mid weight in concentration, with a generous charge of dark red cherry fruit. Hints of tobacco, earth, toast and vegetation add interest. Elegantly composed and silky in the mouth, with imperceptible tannins and an extremely long finish reflecting the pedigree of the vines. This wine won’t bowl you over with sap, but it will seduce you with nuance. As the winery announcement said, “A subdued and timeless interpretation of Pinot Noir ….and a celebration of the finite time these vines have left.” Score: 96. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Siltstone Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., $20. Produced from the Myers Family vineyards. The Myers Family owned Familys and Vinetenders farming company has been growing wine grapes in the Willamette Valley for more than 35 years. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Aromas of dark cherry, raspberry, earthy flora and a hint of oak. A straightforward, simple wine with mid weight flavors of black cherry and subtle oak char. Modest tannins, smoothly textured, with unassuming acidity and a short finish. Score: 87. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Child’s Play Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $24. Tendril second label featuring value-priced wines. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Very shy black cherry fruit with overwhelming aromas of heavily toasted oak. Mid weight plus, oak-infused black cherry and blackberry fruit that isn’t particularly pleasant. Tannins show up on the dry finish. Very little Oregon Pinot Noir typicality in this wine. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the nose was still oak-infused while the palate was a little day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the nose was still oak-infused while the palate was a little more redeeming with more fruit and spice coming through. Score: 86. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Analemma Oak Ridge Vineyard Columbia Gorge Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 300 cases, $32. Organic grapes were fermented with a majority of whole cluster in stainless steel open-top tanks. The wine was aged on its lees for 16 months in neutral barriques and concrete. · Light ruby red color in the glass. A lighter-weighted offering, featuring aromas and flavors of red cherry, cranberry, wintergreen and spice infused with herbaceous thread that carry over in a short finish. A delicate tannic backbone makes for easy drinking. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Angela Estate Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., $36. this 34-acre vineyard was planted in 2006 to Wädenswil, 777 and 115 clones. Marine sedimentary soils. The vineyard is owned by South African wine producer Antony Beck as a gift to his wife Angela. Production of the wine is overseen by Ken Wright. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Aromas of berry patch, black cherry, dried herbs and damp mulch lead to a an elegantly styled, but powerfully flavored middleweight wine featuring a delicious core of black cherry fruit. Forward and giving, with impeccable balance and an intensely-aromatic, cherry-driven finish. Classic Oregon Pinot Noir to enjoy now or over the next ten years. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Lundeen Articulate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., pH 3.52, 75 cases, $40. Released February 1, 2017.Articulate wines are the top tier counterpoint to the Single Vineyard wines. 100% destemmed, un-inoculated, 20-day skin contact, pump overs and punch downs. Aged in a mix of once-filled and neutral French oak barrels. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Extremely demure aromatics even when sampled over an extended time in the glass. Much more expressive on the palate, with a mid weight core of vibrant dark red and purple berry fruits complimented by a riff of oak. Vibrant, with food-compatible acidity and a silky texture, finishing with some giving fruit. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Lundeen La Cantera Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., pH 3.59, 106 cases, $40. Released February 1, 2017.Sourced from a 20-acre vineyard planted by John Davidson in the late 1980s. Laurelwood soils. 100% de-stemmed, un-inoculared fermentation, 21 days on the skins with pump overs and punch downs. Aged in a mix of once-filled and neutral French oak barrels. · Light ruby red color in the glass. Very savory nose with aromas of spice, sous-bois, damp earth and a little barnyard. The mid weight core of dark red cherry and berry fruits is wrapped in gentle tannins and supported by driven acidity. Nicely balanced, with a forestry overtone. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Lundeen Winter’s Hill Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., pH 3.52, 75 cases, $40. Vineyard originally planted in 1990 by Peter and Emily Gladhart. Those own-rooted Pommard clone vines are the source for this wine. 100% de-stemmed, un-inoculated fermentation, 20 days on skins with pump overs and punch downs. Aged in a mix of once-filled and neutral French oak barrels. · Light ruby red color in the glass. Shy fragrance of cherry and fertile earth. A straight-forward, Light to mid weight styled wine with a juicy core of black cherry fruit. Matching tannins make for easy approachability, and the wine finishes with some intensity and length. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Lundeen Z’ivo Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., pH 3.63, 100 cases, $40. Released February 1, 2017. 25-acre vineyard originally planted by Dr. John Zelko in the mid 1990s. 40% whole cluster. Un-inoculated fermentation, 24 days on the skins with pump overs and punch downs. Aged in a mix of one new and the remainder neutral French oak barrels. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Aromas of pie cherry, forest floor and balsam lead the way to a light weighted style that offers cherry, cranberry and raspberry flavors along with a modicum of oak. A lean wine with energetic acidity, modest tannins and a tart cherry finish. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 VIDON Vineyard 3-Clones Estate Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $40. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Shy, but satisfying aromas of saucy purple and black berries with a bit of seasoned oak. The most sappy and ripest-flavored wine in the 2015 lineup but still discretely rich, with flavors of purple and black berries.The tannins are well-blended and there is enough underlying acidity to buffet the fruit load. Some oak plies the background. There is a hint of alcoholic heat on the finish (unusual for Oregon but not surprising in this very warm vintage). Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Cooper Mountain Vineyards Mountain Terroir Meadowlark Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $50. Certified Biodynamic® by Demeter®. Vineyard Series. Meadowlark Vineyard planted in 1982 in Willakenzie soil. Native fermentation. Aged 10 months in oak barrels. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Charming aromas of blackberry, blueberry, sandy loam and toasty oak entice. Very satisfying in the mouth, with a polished texture, and a mid weight core of boysenberry and black raspberry fruit wrapped in gentle tannins. A classy wine with impeccable balance, drinking perfectly now. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 VIDON Vineyard Brigita Clone 777 Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.3%% alc., $50. Release May 2018. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Very shy and woody nose with demure added aromas of black raspberry, black cherry, spice and underbrush. Light and elegant in style, with flavors of dark berries and black cherry. Modest tannins, very modest intensity and a modest finish. Unchanged when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 VIDON Vineyard Hans Clone Pommard Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $50. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Lovely perfume of cherry, floral blossom, spice and a hint of bark and white pepper. Light to mid weight in concentration in an elegant style, with a core of black cherry fruit with added cola and green dried herb flavors. Sleek in the mouth, with fine-grain tannins. Much more appealing when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 VIDON Vineyard Mirabelle Clone 115 Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $50. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Very savory nose, with vegetal aromas along side aromas of berry compote and spice. Dark red berry and black cherry fruits are featured in this mid weight styled wine with an herbal thread in the background. A whisper of tannin, a polished mouthfeel and a sumptuous raspberry finish. Considerably more fruit expression when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »


From Diversity of Styles Popularize Pinot Noir Rosé

2017 Willamette Valley Vineyards Whole Cluster Willamette Valley Rosé of Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.30, TA 0.674, 3,936 cases, $18. Harvest Brix 20.4º-22.0º. Clones 114, 115, 667, 777, Pommard and Wädenswil. Soft gravity pressing from weigh of whole clusters. 24 hours of skin contact. Saignée into stainless steel tanks while the remaining whole clusters are left behind in the vessel to ferment and become the winery’s Whole Cluster Pinot Noir. The rosé juice is fermented cold in stainless steel. The wine is then split into three tanks and one tank is kept on its lees while the other two are racked off the lees. · Moderate pink color in the glass. Bright aromas of fresh strawberry, candy apple and raspberry. Showy flavors of strawberry, blood orange and guava with a subtle sweetness. A boisterous, fruity style with balanced acidity and some finishing length. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 A Blooming Hill Vineyard Willamette Valley Rosé of Pinot Noir

13.0% alc.,100 cases, RS 2.3 g/L, $19. Release May 2018. · Moderate pinkish-red color in the glass. Leading off are aromas of watermelon, red apple and herbs Quite flavorful, featuring mid weight flavors of raspberry, strawberry and orange with the slightest salinity. A“big boy” rosé veering to a regular Pinot Noir in extraction, yet enough acidity to offer the refreshing character of a rosé. Finishes with some length and generosity. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Alma de Cattleya Sonoma County Rosé of Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.32, TA 0.57, 560 cases, $20. DIAM cork closure. Both whole cluster pressed and saignée method. Fruit harvested especially for this wine. Inoculated with a selection of French yeasts, no malolactic fermentation. Aged six months in the cellar before bottling. · Moderate pink coral color in the glass. Engaging aromas of orange peel, strawberry, red cherry and white flower blossom. Mid weight flavors of orange, red berry, pear, white peach and eucalyptus. Slightly creamy on the palate, with a thirst-quenching finish. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Van Duzer Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Rosé

13.1% alc., $20, screw cap. · Moderately light pink color in the glass. Gracious aromas of strawberry, pink rose, orange peel, tropical fruit and a hint of oak and herbs. Beautifully crafted in a Provence style, with flavors of red berry, apricot and orange flower water. Impeccably balanced with tantalizing acidity and a sleek finish . Highly enjoyable and consistently one of Oregon’s best Pinot Noir rosés. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 MonksGate Vineyard North Block Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Dry Rosé of Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., pH 3.09, 118 cases, RS 0 g/L, $21, screw cap. Pommard clone. Minimal skin contact. · Delicate golden-pink color in the glass. Really magnetic nose showing aromas of strawberry, spice garrigue, brioche and floral goodness. A highly distinctive rosé, with flavors of strawberry, white peach, melon, and hints of caramel and goodness. A highly distinctive rosé, with flavors of strawberry, white peach, melon, and hints of caramel and almond paste. Creamy in the mouth with an excellent finishing grip of acidity. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Anam Cara Cellars Chehalem Mountains Rosé of Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 110 cases, $22, screw cap. Dijon 114 from Nicholas Vineyard. This clone is grown in the coolest part of the vineyard and was a benefit in this relatively hot vintage. Fermented on skins for two days. · Moderate ruby red color in the glass (the color predicts what is to follow). Substantial aromas of strawberry, red cherry, nectarine and a hint of dried herbs. Very fruity, with mid weight flavors of Damsel plum, cranberry, and yellow peach. Very slight tannins with balancing acidity. Luscious for a rosé, and will stand up to hearty and savory foods. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Denison Cellars Kiff Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Rosé of Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.47, TA 0.61, 101 cases, RS 5.4 g/L, $22, screw cap. 62% Pommard and 38% 777. Harvest Brix 23.5. This wine was produced from fruit harvested specifically for rosé about two-thirds through harvest from younger blocks at Kiff Vineyard.. Fruit was de-stemmed, cold soaked for 7 days, then pressed directly to stainless steel tank for a 6-week fermentation completed under cool conditions, followed by aging. · The extended skin contact produced a moderately light ruby red color in the glass. Aromas of strawberry, citrus and savory herbs. Appealing flavors of strawberry, ripe cherry, raspberry and spice with a bit of garrigue. Veers to a traditional Pinot Noir, with moderately robust intensity of flavor, but offers the typical refreshing acidity and vibrant finish of a rosé. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Kramer Vineyards Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Rosé of Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., pH 3.35, TA 0.63, RS 0.2 g/L, 100 cases, $22. Released April 13,2018. Estate grapes planted in the late 1980s. Harvest Brix 21.7º. Grapes de-stemmed into 1.5-ton fermenter and pressed after six days. Racked to tank for primary fermentation and aged on fine lees for 5 months prior to bottling. · Moderate pinkish-red color in the glass. Really enticing aromas of fresh red berries and rose petal. Juicy flavors of strawberry, cherry, blood orange and spice . Excellent grip, silky on the palate, with a pleasing gift of aromatic fruit on the bracing, dry finish. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 R. Stuart & Co. Love, Oregon Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Rosé

12.1% alc., pH 3.29, TA 0.72, RS 0.11g/L, 184 cases, $22. Sourced from Hirschy, Courting Hill and Menefee vineyards using the second crop. / Grapes loaded whole cluster into the press, rolling it gently to break up some of the grapes. Maceration proceeded for an hour. Then pressed the juice off and fermented 7 days in neutral French oak barrels. After fermentation, the wine was aged another 28 days. · Moderately light pink in color. Shy aromas of crushed red berries, apple, rose petal and a hint of ginger. Light in weight and lean, with flavors of red berry, orange and herbs, finishing with a tart, strawberry-infused finish. A delicate, acid-driven style. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Winter’s Hill Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Rosé of Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 185 cases, $22. Grapes are crushed after picking and rest on the skins for a short time, then gently pressed into neutral French oak barrels for fermentation and 6 months aging. · Moderate pinkish-red color in the glass. Aromas of red cherry, strawberry, underbrush and a hint of toasty oak. Somewhat akin to a regular Pinot Noir, with mid weight flavors of cherry, red berry, dried herbs, blood orange and a hint of ginger, along with a lush mouthfeel. The fruit is striking. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Marshall Davis Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Rosé

13.0% alc., pH 3.64, TA 0.56, RS 4.9 g/L, 100 cases, $23, screw cap. Clone 114 from Marshall Davis Estate Vineyard. · Light pink color in the glass. A bit shy with aromas of white stone fruits, red berries, stem and bruised apple. Flavors of strawberry, raspberry, cranberry and spice. Medium bodied with noticeable sweetness on the juicy finish. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Ponzi Vineyards Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Rosé

13.0% alc., pH 3.29, RS 3.0 g/L, $23, screw cap. 24-hour maceration after de-stemming and pressed to stainless steel for a cool fermentation. Malolactic fermentation inhibited. A portion was fermented in neutral French oak barrels and allowed to complete malolactic to add a touch of creaminess to the mid palate. · Moderate coral pink color in the glass. Welcoming aromas of red berry, rose and seasoned barrique. Pleasingly dry with bright acidity, offering flavors of strawberry and blood orange. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Baileyana Edna Valley Rosé of Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $24, screw cap. Dijon and heritage clones planted in volcanic soils with marine deposits and clay loam at Firepeak Vineyard, a SIP Certified Sustainable site. · Moderately light pink coral color in the glass. Effusive aromas of fresh strawberry, white peach and white flower blossom. Discrete richness of peach, nectarine, strawberry and spice flavors with an arrow of acidity and a lip-smacking finish of note. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Belle Glos Oeil De Perdrix Sonoma County Pinot Noir Blanc

13.1% alc., $25, screw cap. The name translates to “Eye of the Partridge” in French. Whole grape clusters were lightly pressed with brief contact with French oak barrels during and after fermentation. · Moderate pink coral color in the glass. Primarily aromas of garden soil and toast with only the slightest hint of red berries. A distinctive wine apart from the usual rosé genre with flavors of blood orange, crushed strawberry, yellow peach, pear and toasty oak. Lacks the fresh, glorious fruit aromas and flavors usually found in rosé, and veers more toward a Pinot Noir Blanc profile as the name implies. Score: 87. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Tongue Dancer Sonoma Coast Rosé of Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.29, TA 0.64, RS 0.5g/L, 220 cases, $25. Released March 8, 2018. Classy package with a tall, stately bottle and a pink wax cap. A saignée blend from a selection of three Sonoma Coast vineyards. 2-day skin contact. Fermented and aged in stainless steel. Inoculated with a yeast from the Bandol region of France. Partial malolactic fermentation. · Moderate pink color in the glass. Seductive aromas of strawberry preserves, blood orange and Chanel No 5. Delightful flavors of strawberry, orange, and savory dried herbs. The slightest tannins add sustenance, the acidity lends crispness and the overall impression is one of harmony. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Saffron Fields Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Rosé of Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 175 cases, RS 0 g/ L, $30. Sourced from Saffron Fields Vineyard. 72-hour skin contact, stainless steel fermentation. Winemaker Tony Rynders. · Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. Aromas of strawberry reduction sauce and flower garden. Mid weight flavors of dark red cherry, melon, spice, mocha and edible flower. A hearty rosé with generous ripeness and a hint of oak seasoning. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Winderlea Dundee Hills Rosé of Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., pH 3.32, TA 0.62, 325 cases, $30. Sourced from Winderlea Vineyard (55% clone 777) and Weber Vineyard (45% Pommard). Aged 4 months in neutral French oak barrels following un-inoculated fermentation. · Moderately light pink in color in the glass. Delicate aromas of red berry, blood orange, nutmeg, and orange flower water. Crisp, bright and clean, with demure, but satisfying flavors of strawberry, apple and herbs. More Provence in style combining both fruit and savory characters. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2017 Alexana Willamette Valley Rosé of Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., RS 1.15 g/L, $32. Whole cluster pressed after picking with no skin to juice contact, then fermented and barrel aged in 100% neutral French oak barrels for 4 months. · Light apricot color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with scents of strawberry orange peel, floral blossom and a hint of puff pastry. Excellent palate-chasing flavors of nectarine, apricot, strawberry and blood orange in a crisp, refreshing and uplifting style. Hits all the right notes for a Pinot Noir rosé. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Miraval Côtes de Provence, Provence, France Rosé

13.0% alc., $26 (but available for $20 at discount retailers). A.O.P. Côtes de Provence. Imported by Vineyard Brands. Property owned by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie along with the Perrin family of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Some jokingly call this wine “Brangelina Rosé.” The 2017 vintage has been released but may not be in retailers yet. Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah and Rolle. Grapes de-stemmed, vinified in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats and in barrels (5%) with lees stirring. · Delicate pink color in the glass. Demure, but pleasant aromas of blood orange, strawberry, and spring rose. Gracious and crisp on the palate, with lighter-weighted flavors of apricot, red cherry and berry and spice imbued with bright acidity. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Chateau D’Esclans Rock Angel Côtes De Provence, Provence, France Rosé

13.5% alc., $35. A.O.P. Côtes de Provence. Imported by Shaw-Ross International Importers. Winery also produces the popular Whispering Angel Rosé. Primarily Grenache and Vermentino. De-stemmed and slightly crushed, using free run juice and first slight pressing with no maceration. Both free run juice and pressed juice partially vinified in demimuids (600L barrels) and stainless steel. · Light apricot color in the glass. Leading off are aromas of strawberry, yellow apple, and graphite. Discreetly concentrated flavors of nectarine, red fruits, papaya, honey, pineapple and spice. Silken in texture, with a delicate touch of oak in the background. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »


From Oregon “Tweener” Style Chardonnay Rising

2016 Walter Scott Cuvée Anne Willamette Valley Chardonnay

13.1% alc., 390 cases, $40. A blend of the winery’s best vineyard sites, including Freedom Hill, X Novo, Sojourner and Vojtilla vineyards. It is a reserve blend that reflects the winemaker’s vision of a Willamette Valley Chardonnay. Fermented with ambient yeast with minimal lees stirring and aging in a mix of new and neutral 500L and 350L French oak barrels for 12 months. The wine was racked and blended to stainless steel for an additional 3 months prior to bottling. · Light golden yellow color in the glass. A complex nose proves interesting over time, offering aromas of lemon peel, grilled peach, honey, toasty brioche, vanillin, nutty oak and a little reductive flint. The flavors replicate the aromas, with added notes of yellow grapefruit, yellow peach, pear and yeast with a subtle backdrop of toasty oak. The wine improves as it warms in the glass. The sleek, seamless texture appeals, as does the juicy, flinty finish. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Youngberg Hill Aspen McMinnville Willamette Valley Chardonnay

12.9% alc., RS 0, 336 cases, $40, screw cap. Release July 18, 2018. Clones 75, 76, 95 and 548 planted in uplifted marine sedimentary soil (Willakenzie). Vine age 10 years. Harvest Brix 21.1º. Barrel fermented in once-used French oak barrels for 6 months. Full malolactic fermentation. · Light golden yellow color in the glass. The nose arrives over time in the glass, offering uplifting aromas of green apple, straw, wax, per and buttery brioche. Clean and crisp with enviable vibrancy in the glass, displaying flavors of green apple, lemon, yellow grapefruit and poached pear. An acid-driven style, yet quite flavorful with a bright and steely finish. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Big Table Farm Willamette Valley Chardonnay

13.3% alc., 910 cases, $45. Released March 5, 2018. Barrel fermented in French oak barrels (10% new) with ambient yeast and bottled after 11 months of aging. Unfined and unfiltered. · Light golden yellow color in the glass with a slight haze. Aromas of lemon, cold steel and sawdust lead to a spirited wine with flavors of lemon creme, honey and yellow apple. There is noticeable oak input, but in a good way. The finish has some persistence and is highly refreshing. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Walter Scott Freedom Hill Vineyard Willamette Valley Chardonnay

176 cases, $55. The vineyard owners have been growing Chardonnay here since 1981. Vineyard is farmed sustainably and moving toward organic options. Fermented with ambient yeast and minimal lees stirring. Aged in one new 500L puncheon, a once-filled puncheon and a neutral puncheon for 12 months. The was racked and blended to stainless steel for an additional 3 months before bottling. · Light golden yellow color in the glass. A social wine with lingering aromas of lemon, poached pear, and toasted bread. The flavors of lemon-lime, green apple, honey, pear and field greens are bright and clear and married with sensible oak. The wine’s notable “minerality” gives the wine a crystalline character. Slightly creamy in the mouth, with a hint of tannin, and a very dry and mouthwatering finish of some length. Score: 93. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2016 Walter Scott X Novo Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Chardonnay

275 cases, $65. Craig and Robin Williams began planting this vineyard in 2010. Remarkably, the vineyard contains a plethora of different clones, and the block that Walter Scott works with has at least fifteen clones planted. It is a very unique site farmed impeccably by Stirling Fox. Fermented with ambient yeast and minimal lees stirring. Aged in a mix of new and neutral 500L and 350L French oak barrels for 12 months. Finally, the wine is racked and blended to stainless steel for an additional 3 months prior to bottling. · Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. This wine offers most everything you could want in a Chardonnay. Bright aromas of green apple, lemon, baking spice, bread in the oven and waffle. There is a little more body here, a little more creaminess in the texture, and a little more seductive flavors of lemon, pear, spice, and toast. The sprightliness of the fruit, the impeccably integrated acidity, the viscous palate feel, and the remarkable finish that hangs around for encores combine to produce a sensual wine that demands contemplation. Score: 95. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2015 Lundeen Articulate Willamette Valley Chardonnay

13.0% alc., pH 3.25, 105 cases, $30. Released February 1, 2018. Sourced from Bunker Hill Vineyard. 5-week primary fermentation, followed by full malolactic fermentation. Lees stirred weekly for the first six weeks. Aged in one new and three neutral French oak barrels. · Moderate golden yellow color in the glass. The nose offers aromas of lemon creme, pineapple, pastry creme and nutty oak. Flavors of green apple, lime and white peach with a herbal note. Very grippy acidity, with a soprano finish. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2014 Lundeen Bunker Hill Vineyard Willamette Valley Chardonnay

12.6% alc., pH 3.22, 102 cases, $30. Released September 1, 2016. Grapes are from a 5-acre vineyard located in the south Salem hills and planted exclusively to Chardonnay. Soils are volcanic Nekia in type. 4-5 week fermentation, lees stirred weekly for the first three months, full malolactic fermentation. Aged in one new and four neutral French oak barrels. · Moderate golden yellow color in the glass. Aromas of green apple, citrus, yeast and nut butter. Spirited flavors of lemon-lime, and Honeycrisp apple. Somewhat austere, yet bright and appealing, with a round, silken mouthfeel, powdery tannins and a refreshingly crisp finish. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »


Robert Parker’s 100 point wine scoring system, which became popular in 1983 and adopted by the Wine Spectator in 1988, has been a homing beacon for consumers seeking to buy good wine. Currently, a majority of United States based wine critics and magazines use the 100 point scale.

The reality is that the 100 point scale is actually a 10 point scale. MORE»
A Note About Prices

Price shown in a tasting note is either the winery-direct price or the retail price paid by the Prince.