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Montreal native Gabriel Franchere traveled to Oregon in the employ of fur magnate John Jacob Astor in 1811. Two centuries later, his ancestor Mike Hinds is making wine in Oregon.
The fruit for the 2013 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir comes from Zenith, Illahe, and Zena Springs vineyards, all in the Eola-Amity Hills. This inexpensive wine is made at Illahe.
2014 Franchere Eola-Amity Hills Oregon Pinot Noir
13.4% alc., pH 3.54, TA 0.61, 150 cases, $24. Release September 2016. Sourced from Zenith Vineyard (83%, Harvest Brix 23.4º) and Zena Springs Vineyard (17%, Harvest Brix 22.1º). 100% de-stemmed, no cold soak, spontaneous native yeast fermentation, 1g/L tartaric acid addition, aged 10 months in used oak barrels. Bottled with Diam closure unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose offers a strange mix of aromas including muddled black cherry, hops, bruised apple and Beaujolais nouveau. Light to mid weight in style, soft in the mouth, with simple flavors of black cherry and dark red berries energized with a lively acid spine, balanced tannins, and a modest finish. Score: 85. Reviewed July 9, 2016 ARTICLE »
2014 Franchere Zena Springs Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Oregon Pinot Noir
12.6% alc., pH 3.67, TA 0.63, 48 cases, $28. Release September 2016. Harvest Brix 22.1º. Native yeast ferment, 0.5 g/L tartaric acid addition, aged 15 months in used French oak barrels. Bottled with Diam closure unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Deep aromas of black fruits, forest path and white pepper. The exuberant, sweet, and sappy flavors of blackberry and cassis are overwhelmed by muscular, drying tannins that ply the finish with a vengeance. Better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle when the tannins had ameliorated some but this will always be a tannic wine. Best to decant this wine if drunk now. Score: 87. Reviewed July 9, 2016 ARTICLE »
2014 Franchere Zenith Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Oregon Pinot Noir
13.9% alc., 70 cases, $34. Release September 2016. Native ferment, addition of 1 g/L tartaric acid, aged in used French oak barrels for 15 months and bottled with Diam closure unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Shy aromas of black fruits, cassis, black grape syrup and a hint of bruised apple. The mid weight plus core of black cherry and black raspberry fruits are nicely spiced and charming. The mouthfeel is silky and the tannins, although evident, are nicely integrated and do not haunt the enjoyable, purple-fruited finish. Score: 88. Reviewed July 9, 2016 ARTICLE »