VOL 11, ISSUE 50
Nov 1, 2019

Fullerton Wines

Owner(s) Alex Fullerton, Caroline Fullerton, Eric Fullerton, Susanne Fullerton
Web site www.fullertonwines.com
 
Link to this site
Fullerton Wines

A family owned, boutique producer of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Willamette Valley crafted by winemaker Alex Fullerton. The core lines of wines are named Five FACES, an acronym for the family of oenophiles behind the wines: Filip, Alex, Caroline, Eric and Susanne, all members of the Fullerton family.

Happenstance led to Alex becoming a winemaker. He was tasting at Penner-Ash when he found out a harvest intern had dropped out and Lynn Penner-Ash was looking for a replacement. Alex became an intern and later a cellar hand at Penner-Ash. He then worked at Drylands Winery in Marlborough before returning to Oregon and working a harvest again at Penner-Ash and then Bergstrom Winery.

Fullerton Wines started in a garage in 2011. Alex and his father Eric partnered with a good friend Roger Wallberg to make a few barrels of Pinot Noir. The wine was a success and Fullerton Wines was hatched at SE Wine Collective in 2012. Production increased to 5,000 cases by 2014. The wines are now vinified at Belle Vallee Cellars in Corvallis.

Current production includes a value-priced label, Three Otters, Five Faces Pinot Noir, and vineyard-designated Pinot Noirs. The wines are sold through distribution, the tasting room, a mailing list and the website store.

Reviewed Wines

2016 Fullerton Three Otters Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.53, $22, screw cap. Harvest Brix 22.9º-25.2º. Pommard, Wädenswil, 113, 114, 115, 667 and 777. Aged in French oak barrels, 5% new. · Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. Intriguing perfume of black cherry, nut oil, grilling spices and burnt tobacco. Very silky in the mouth with a stylish core of black cherry fruit underlain with a long kiss of oak. A satisfying wine with some finishing persistence. Score: 89. Reviewed January 16, 2019 ARTICLE »

2016 Three Otters Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.53, $22. This wine was favorably reviewed in the previous issue in an article about Willamette Valley Pinot Noir wines priced at $30 or less. Harvest Brix 22.9º-25.1º. Pommard, Wädenswil, and Dijon 113, 114, 115, 667 and 777. Aged in French oak barrels, 5% new, 95% neutral. · Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. Intriguing perfume of black cherry, nut oil, grilling spices and burnt tobacco. Very silky in the mouth with a stylish core of black cherry fruit underlain with a long kiss of oak. A satisfying wine with some finishing persistence. Score: 89. Reviewed February 2, 2019 ARTICLE »

2016 Five FACES Willamette Valley Chardonnay

12.5% alc., pH 3.32, TA 0.56, 300 cases, $35. A blend of five vineyards reflecting the entire Willamette Valley. Dijon 76, 95, 96, Davis 108 and Wente. Whole cluster pressed, barrel fermented with ambient yeast over several months at cold temperatures. Full malolactic fermentation. Aged 17 months on the lees in French oak barrels, 10% new. · Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. Attractive aromas of pineapple, ripe pear, kiwi and buttered toast. Rich, ripe, mouth filling flavors of lemon, pineapple and pear with a shading of nutty oak. Viscous in the mouth, with adequate acidity to maintain vigor. Score: 90. Reviewed February 2, 2019 ARTICLE »

2016 Fullerton LUX Willamette Valley Chardonnay

12.5% alc., pH 3.37, TA 0.54, 100 cases, $55. A four barrel selection of fruit from Apolloni, Andreas and Nemarski vineyards. Dijon 76, 95, 96, and Davis 108. Whole cluster pressed, barrel fermented with ambient yeast over several months at cold temperatures. Full malolactic fermentation and aging 17 months in French oak barrels, 45% new. · Moderate golden yellow color in the glass. A sophisticated offering with aromas of lemon peel, green apple, kiwi, and cold steel. Bright flavors of lemon, green apple and pear with a hint of vanilla. An edgy wine with submerged oak and a clean cut of acidity on the lean but quenching finish. This wine lacks the exuberant fruit of the FACES Chardonnay, but is more classy. Score: 93. Reviewed February 2, 2019 ARTICLE »

2015 Five FACES Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.54, 1,000 cases, $35. This wine is a blend from the winery’s best vineyard sources, showcasing the breadth of terroir in the Willamette Valley. Harvest Brix 22.8º-25.2º. Dijon 113, 114, 667 and 777, and Pommard and Wädenswil clones. 15% whole clusters. Aged in French oak barrels, 20% new with remainder second or third fill or neutral. · Light ruby red color in the glass. Leading the way are pleasant aromas of cherry, strawberry and toasty oak that gain traction over time in the glass. Light to mid weight flavors of dark red cherry, spice and toasty oak combine in charming and easy drinking fashion. A solid value priced wine with a modest, but juicy finish. Score: 90. Reviewed February 2, 2019 ARTICLE »

2015 Fullerton Croft Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.69, TA 0.52, 200 cases, $50. Primarily sedimentary soils. Pommard, Wädenswil and Dijon 115 clones. Harvest Brix 24.5º-25.0º. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 25% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Forestry aromas of fir tree and underbrush. A rugged and brooding mid weight plus wine showing aggressive tannins that envelope the black fruit core. The fruit does not come to the fore even when tasted several hours after opening. The wine finishes with cotton-mouth tannins. Score: 86. Reviewed February 2, 2019 ARTICLE »

2015 Fullerton Fir Crest Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.53, TA 0.54, 400 cases, $55. Marine sedimentary Willakenzie series soils. 30+year-old Pommard and Dijon 115 clones. Harvest Brix 23.4º-24.4. 30% whole cluster. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 40% new, 45% second fill and 15% third fill. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of cherry, sandalwood, baking spice and a hint of smoke. Light to mid weight in extraction, with straightforward dark red cherry flavor. A little smoky oak plies the background. The modest tannins are well integrated and there is some length on the finish. Score: 89. Reviewed February 2, 2019 ARTICLE »

2015 Fullerton Momtazi Vineyard McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.40, TA 0.60, 200 cases, $60. Sedimentary soils, biodynamically farmed vineyard close to the Van Duzer corridor. Harvest Brix 23.9º-24.6º. clones are Dijon 113, 114, 115 and 777. Fully de-stemmed, ambient fermentation, aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 35% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The nose is not particularly appealing with oak-driven aromas of char and smoke dominating over time. Earthy and rustic, and even weedy, with a mid weight core of black cherry and black raspberry fruits underlain with mushroom flavor and an overlay of oak. The tannins are a little aggressive and the finish is mildly astringent. Score: 86. Reviewed February 2, 2019 ARTICLE »



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