Continuing with our theme of new acquisitions for the shop, let me introduce you to our new Pinot Noirs from Oregon:
Elk Cove Vineyards Clay Court Pinot Noir, 2014 $55.99 – If you’ve spent some time in our Oregon Pinot Noir section, you may have noticed that we move through Elk Cove fairly quickly and now we’re happy to add the 2014 Clay Court to our lineup. This is a savory, spicy, red fruited Pinot Noir with a long finish is sourced from the vineyards closest to the family’s house in the Chehalem Mountains AVA. This was a favorite of ours from an Elk Cove tasting earlier in the year.
Domaine Drouhin, Dundee Hills Pinot Noir, 2015 $52.99 – In many ways, the Drouhin family seems inextricable to France; they have enormous land holdings throughout the Cote d’Or and Chablis and their production traces back over one-hundred years. It would be understandable to see their work in Oregon as a project or as a second thought but it is much more than that. Robert Drouhin took over the family business in 1957 and by 1961, he had discovered the quality of Oregon Pinot Noir. In 1980, Drouhin organized a set of blind tastings in Paris and Burgundy at which the Oregon Pinot Noirs bested their French counterparts. Land purchases quickly followed this event and now Domaine Drouhin Oregon is an integral part of the winemaking culture of the Willamette, enmeshed in the close community of vintners and part of the push for sustainability and quality. This wine sees 20% new oak aging for 12-14 months and the fruit was sourced entirely from the estate’s Dundie Hills vineyards. It is an great example of the family’s elegant and balanced style.
Maysara Jamsheed Pinot Noir, 2012 $29.99 – Pound for Pound, is this the best value Oregon Pinot Noir on our shelf? It could just be me but this has the savory, peppery, floral, and mineral tinged aromatics that I like to scout out in my Pinots while the rich, black and red berries make this wine dangerously chuggable. The Momtazi family practices biodynamic agriculture and whether or not you accept the philosophy, I’ll bet you’d agree the wine has a vibrance and depth which sets it apart from other Pinot Noirs in this price range.
Arteberry Maresh Old Vines Pinot Noir, 2016 $59.99 – This is a highly sought after Pinot Noir of which we were fortunate to recieve a full allocation. Black tea leaves, anise, pepper, and a touch of cola add to the complexity of this great Pinot Noir which was bottled unfined and unfiltered. The wine has scored multiple upper 90 point scores from all the major publications and at this price, it’s a gem on the shelf. Everything you’d expect from a superb Oregon Pinot Noir.
Fausse Piste Vegetable Lamb Pinot Noir, 2014 $39.99 – This cuvee from the incredibly creative winemaker Jesse Skiles was sourced from the M0mtzi Vineyard (Maysara) as well as the Johan vineyard both of which are farmed biodynamically. This wine is vibrant and rustic, with bright acid and some incredibly savory tea notes from the cooler growing regions. This wine does well with a bit of air so it is a good option for drinking over a day or two or splashing it into a decanter before serving. While Fausse Piste is generally known for thier work with Rhone Varietals, I think this foray into Pinot Noir offers a glimpse into how talented this chef de vin really is.
Division Eola Amity Hills Gamay Noir “Cru”, 2017 $34.99 – Here comes the curve ball – Gamay Noir from the state of Oregon. This could be one of the most exciting trends in domestic winemaking today. Throughout Oregon, we are starting to see vineyards of Gamay pop up and the results from these experiments are fantastic. There are three or four of us on staff at the wineshop who are a bit obsessed with Cru Beaujolais and don’t be suprised if you ask us for a recommendation and we show you this. It has layers of complexity – herbal notes and juicy fruit character from the whole cluster carbonic fermentation which half the blend sees and plenty of structure and minerality from the more traditional fermentation. This could be a fantastic option for a Thanksgiving dinner, an easy Tuesday night drinker, or something to drink on its own with a friend.
Thanks for reading and we hope to see you around the shop soon,