Phelps Creek Vineyards

Owner(s) Robert Morus
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Phelps Creek Vineyards

A specialist in Pinot Noir located in the Columbia Gorge AVA on the banks of the Hood River Valley. Robert Morus founded Phelps Creek Vineyards and Mt. Defiance Wine Company. The estate vineyards consist of 30 acres of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with initial plantings dating to 1989.

Rich Cushman was the inaugural winemaker. A Hood River native, he had over 25 vintages in the Willamette Valley before returning to his home region. Alexandrine Roy, from Burgundy, was initially a contributing winemaker consultant, but will be responsible for all Phelps Creek wines beginning with those from the 2012 vintage. She will fly in four times a year to oversee the winemaking.

Alexandrine Roy is a fourth generation winemaker at Domaine Marc Roy in Gevrey-Chambertain. Her first wine for Morus was the Cuvée Alexandrine Pinot Noir, followed by Fleur de Roy Pinot Noir Rosé, and then Coeur de Roy, a Pinot Blanc from vines that are at least 20 years old.

The winery's tasting room is open daily from 11:00 to 5:00 at 1850 Country Club Rd. in Hood River, Oregon. To order wines, e-mail or phone 541-386-2607. Production is about 3,500 cases a year including three to five Pinot Noirs, a Pinot Gris and three Chardonnays. A Syrah from The Dalles is planned in the future.

Reviewed Wines

2012 Phelps Creek Vineyards Columbia Gorge “Lynette” Chardonnay

13.7% alc., 178 cases, $N/A. 100% French oak barrel fermented using grapes from estate vineyards. Named in honor of owner, Bob Morus’ fiancee, Lynette. Dijon clone. · Mild golden yellow color in the glass. Interesting aromas of butter cream, nuts, briny minerality and cherry blossom. Quite flavorful and discreetly rich, with notes of lemon curd, pineapple, honey, and blond caramel. Slightly creamy on the palate with a lemon-driven finish. Still enjoyable two days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle indicating age ability. The flavors are the clincher. Score: 92. Reviewed May 15, 2014 ARTICLE »

2012 Phelps Creek Cuvee Alexandrine Columbia Gorge Pinot Noir

$49 · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Sexy and alluring in the glass, with a panoply of spicy cherry fruit, crafted with admirable tannin support and juicy acidity. This is one of those Pinot Noirs that grabs your attention and your heart. Score: 94+. Reviewed April 4, 2015 ARTICLE »

2012 Phelps Creek “Corduroy” Columbia Gorge Pinot Noir Blanc

$59. You might balk at the price of this wine but it is a wine with serious intentions that is one of the most stunning examples of this little-produced style of Pinot Noir. · Strawberry, white peach, pear and spice aromas and flavors are vibrant and clean. Moderately rich with good structure and finishing goodness. Score: 92-94. Reviewed April 4, 2015 ARTICLE »

2011 Phelps Creek Vineyards Crest Block Columbia Gorge Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 80 cases, $N/A. This block is west of the winery on a windward slope absorbing the blunt of strong breezes leading to slight dehydration and thicker skin thickness bringing more concentration to the wine. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Perfumed with fresh crushed red berries, oak and rose petals. Delicious mid weight essence of dark red berries with hints of cherry and pomegranate. Nicely integrated tannins, lively acidity and complimentary oak in the background. A thoroughly enjoyable wine that can be drunk now but has the goods to improve in the cellar. Score: 93. Reviewed July 6, 2014 ARTICLE »

2011 Phelps Creek Vineyards “Regina” Columbia Gorge Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 220 cases, $34. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Aromas of red cherry, beef and soy. Light to mid-weight flavors of red cherry and cranberry backed by lively acidity and suave tannins. Soft in the mouth and easy to drink, with good oak integration. Nothing to complain about, but nothing special. Score: 88. Reviewed July 6, 2014 ARTICLE »

2011 Phelps Creek Vineyards Cuvée Alexandrine Columbia Gorge Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $50. Fourth generation Burgundian winemaker Alexandrine Roy joins Phelps Creek in Hood River, Oregon, each fall after placing her Gevrey-Chambertain wines in barrel. This wine is made from a selection of estate fruit. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Elusive aromas upon opening that emerge over time in the glass to reveal scents of cherry, raspberry and vanilla. Intensely flavored on the mid palate and finish exhibiting ripe cherry and raspberry fruits with a little dash of herbs and earth. A striking wine that has the tannins in the forefront at this young age, but is uniquely interesting. The finish is particularly noteworthy for its persistence and charm. Even better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. This wine has obvious French breeding and will require patience. Over time, there will be plenty to discover. Score: 94. Reviewed March 29, 2014 ARTICLE »

2007 Phelps Creek Cuvee Alexandrine Columbia Gorge Pinot Noir

French vigneron Alexandrine Roy leaves her estate in Gevrey-Chambertin to craft this special wine made from hand-selected rows, using native yeast and foot punch downs. · Light cherry red color in the glass. Delicate and demure, but enough fresh fruit flavor to hold your interest, and nicely reflecting this very cool vintage. Score: 90-91. Reviewed April 4, 2015 ARTICLE »

2007 Phelps Creek Vineyards Cuvée Alexandrine Columbia Gorge Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $40. French vigneron Alexandrine Roy comes from Gevrey- Chambertain to craft this wine at Phelps Creek Vineyards in Hood River, Oregon. · Initially the nose and flavors are dominated by oak-derived notes of toast, dark caramel, toasted marshmallow, dark chocolate and toast. There is a beautiful and ripe deep red fruit core underlying the oak blanket. Tasted later in the day from a bottle opened in the morning, the wine had changed dramatically with the oak influence receding and charming fruit aromas and flavors rising to the forefront. This wine will definitely benefit from cellaring to allow further integration of the oak. If you open a bottle now, decant it for several hours before drinking. Very good. Reviewed June 22, 2010 ARTICLE »

2006 Phelps Creek Vineyards Becky’s Cuvee Columbia Gorge Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $20. A blend of Columbia View, Jewitt Creek, Wy’east and Phelps Creek Estate vineyards. · Aromas of grapes, red berries, flowers, chalk and cola. The fruit is very delicate and flat and carries a vegetal note. Flamboyant tannins and sharp acidity. Reviewed March 26, 2009 ARTICLE »