Seneste opskrifter

Masút Vineyards Sætter en Pinot Noir -standard

Masút Vineyards Sætter en Pinot Noir -standard

Et nyt destinationssted i vinlandet

Masút Vineyards and Winery 2012 er et sammenhængende, udtryksfuldt, elegant, komplekst og herligt forfinet udtryk for Mendocino Pinot Noir.

Californiens Mendocino County er blevet en destination for nye pinot noir -elskere i verden. Mange af de vellavede tilbud, der kommer derfra, kommer fra familieejede boutique-vingårde, der laver små mængder vin. Masút Vineyards and Winery, som blev grundlagt af tredje generations vinbønder Ben og Jake Fetzer, passer til den beskrivelse. Fetzer -familien har en lang og fornem historie inden for vinfremstilling fra Mendocino. De har lavet Pinot Noir under navnet Masút Vineyards and Winery siden årgangen 2009. Efter at have haft mulighed for at smage hver på hinanden følgende årgang, har jeg hvert år været intet mindre end imponeret. Her er et kig på den seneste udgivelse af deres flagskibsvin.

Masút Vineyards and Winery 2012 Pinot Noir blev produceret udelukkende af frugt fra deres Estate Vineyards i Mendocino County. Denne vin blander tre kloner; Dijon 115 (73 procent), 777 (18 procent) og 113 (ni procent). Frugten blev sorteret i hånden og helbær destimeret. Fermentering fandt sted over 18 dage. Fadlagring fulgte i løbet af de næste 10 måneder i helt fransk eg, hvoraf 33 procent var nyt. 2.450 kasser af denne udgivelse blev produceret med en vejledende udsalgspris på $ 40. Rosenblade, mørke bær, læder og svampearomaer er alle en del af den herligt parfumerede næse, der leder denne pinot noir. Smagen er lagdelt med Bing -kirsebær, sammenflettet med jordbær- og hindbærkarakteristika. Hvid peber og honningkage krydderier er også til stede og giver en understrøm til det velafbalancerede angreb af frugtsmag. Jorden og et strejf af cikorie dukker op på finishen, der har stor længde, fantastisk dybde og imponerende vedholdenhed. Noget faste tanniner trækker sig tilbage med lidt eller luft. Hvis du drikker det nu, skal du dekantere det i cirka en time, så alle dets vidunderlige charme kan afsløres fuldt ud. Masút Vineyards and Winery 2012 Pinot Noir er et sammenhængende, udtryksfuldt, elegant, komplekst og herligt forfinet udtryk for Mendocino Pinot Noir.

Elsker du Pinot Noir, der er lavet med omhu, og er du begejstret bare over at tænke på en vin, der taler til både oprindelsesstedet og de særlige betingelser for en bestemt årgang? Hvis dit svar er ja, så er denne vin og Masút -vinene generelt helt sikkert noget for dig. Fire årgange i, deres Pinot sætter en imponerende standard for konsekvent ekspertise. Høj kvalitet, vellavet Pinot Noir er sjældent, hvis nogensinde, billig. Masút Vineyards and Winery 2012 Estate Pinot er ikke billig, men det er en fantastisk værdi. Pinot af denne kvalitet sælger ofte for en del mere. Fetzer-brødrene er fire-for-fire med deres Pinot Noir. Det er umuligt for mig at anbefale denne vin og vingård stærkt nok. Konklusionen er, at Pinot Noir -elskere skylder sig selv at smage denne vin. Hop også på deres mailingliste, og sørg for, at du er blandt de første til at høre om deres nye udgivelser.


Russian River Valley-Beaune i USA

Beliggende 60 miles nord for downtown San Francisco er Russian River Valley en kasseformet region i det nordlige Sonoma County kun femten miles på enhver side. En af tretten appeller i Sonoma County, de fire hjørner af Russian River Valley består af byerne Healdsburg og Guerneville i nord og Sebastopol og Santa Rosa i syd. Den russiske floddal omfatter 126.600 hektar rullende bakker, tætte røde træskove og æbleplantager med 15.000 hektar plantet til vinmarker (afbildet med grønt på kortet herunder).


Det afgørende træk ved den russiske floddal er et enkelt ord på tre bogstaver: tåge. Tåge fra Stillehavet er den vigtigste enkeltindflydelse på vindyrkning her, og det definerer grænserne for Russian River Valley -betegnelsen, der blev etableret i 1983. Tågen kommer ind i dalen i vækstsæsonen fra sydvest gennem Petaluma Wind Gap mellem Pt Reyes og Bodega Bay, med en mindre indtrængning, der rejser indad langs den russiske flod fra dens oprindelse ved Jenner på Sonoma -kysten. Masser af varme i dagtimerne (Russian River Valley er en Region III på University of California Davis skala) giver plads til kølige nætter og morgen forårsaget af tågen, der strømmer ind gennem hullet. Resultatet er langsom modning og forlænget hængetid for druerne. Vinbønderne her siger gerne, at de forvandler tåge til Pinot Noir.

Der er mange sorter, der trives i de forskellige mikroklimaer i den russiske floddal. Det var de såkaldte & ldquofield-blandinger og rdquo af sorter som Grenache, Mourv & egravedre, Carignane, Petite Sirah, Syrah og Alicante Bouschet sammen med Zinfandel, at de italienske amerikanere voksede så vellykket og populariserede her. Nogle af disse italiensk-amerikanske immigranter og rsquo-familier, såsom Seghesio, Rochioli, Pedroncelli og Pellegrini, laver stadig vin i den russiske floddal. Med tiden er regionen blevet den udvalgte til dyrkning af de burgundiske sorter, Pinot Noir og Chardonnay.

Den russiske flod er 105 miles lang og begynder sin rejse i kystbjerge i nord nær byen Willits i Mendocino County og snor sig sydpå gennem Alexander -dalen, inden den når den russiske floddal. Lige under byen Healdsburg drejer floden mod vest mod Stillehavet. Det omkringliggende område her er den såkaldte Middle Reach of the Valley, den søde plet og fødested for moderne Pinot Noir vindyrkning i dalen.

Gary Farrell leverede ofte sine vine til kunderne i dalen, hvoraf den ene var Ed Selyem, som var vinkøber til Speer & rsquos Market i Forestville. I en sfgate.com -artikel dateret 8/22/06 skrevet af Linda Murphy, blev Gary Farrell rapporteret som at sige, & ldquoTheir (Ed Selyem og Burt Williams) indtræden i virksomheden overraskede mig. Ed ville spørge mig om Rochioli -vinmarkerne, om vinfremstilling, og jeg gav ham opskriften. Det gik aldrig op for mig, hvad han havde gang i, før Joe Rochioli fortalte mig, at han & rsquod solgte druer til Williams Selyem. & Rdquo

Den nu legendariske Williams Selyem Winery var den originale Russian River Valley garage vingård. Burt Williams kom fra Sebastopol, arbejdede som korrekturlæser for San Francisco Newspaper Agency (Chronicle and Examiner) og lavede vin derhjemme. Ed Selyem var vinkøber og bogholder for en lille købmand og lavede øl og frugtvin i sin garage i Forestville. Sammen begyndte de at lave vin fra Sonoma Zinfandel druer til eget brug i 1979. Deres første kommercielle vingård var baseret i en lejet garage på River Road i Fulton begyndende i 1984 (billedet til højre viser et nylig foto af garagen).

Det originale navn på deres vingård var Hacienda del Rio, et navn Ed brugte på sine første hjemmelavede vine. Billedet herunder til venstre viser etiketten Hacienda del Rio fra 1980. Denne vin blev produceret i Ed's Forestville garage af Ed og Burt for venner og familie og blev ikke frigivet kommercielt. De tre første kommercielle Pinot Noirs, 1981-1983, blev fremstillet ved Russian River Vineyards i Forestville og aftappet under navnet Hacienda del Rio. Vinene blev en øjeblikkelig succes, og Bourgogne -elskere begyndte at tale om Williams Selyem Pinot Noir i ærbødige toner. Hacienda Del Rio -etiketten (nedenfor til højre) lignede nøjagtigt den nuværende Williams Selyem -etiket ved hjælp af samme bogtryk, farve og papir. En klage fra Hacienda Winery fik partnerne til at droppe det originale navn og erstatte deres egen begyndelse med 1984 -årgangen.

Williams var en voldsom vinhandler, der havde en uhyggelig og selvlært fornemmelse af, hvordan Pinot Noir skulle vinificeres. Han satte aldrig sin fod i Bourgogne. Produktionsmetoder var mildest talt gammeldags, forårsaget af mangel på kapital. I de første år fortsatte Burt sit job i San Francisco, ligesom Ed gjorde på Speer & rsquos Market, og de tog ferie på knust tid. De begyndte med få penge, lånte aldrig og voksede 25% hvert år ved at starte i det små og pløje al deres indkomst tilbage i forretningen. Konerne Gayle Selyem og Jan Williams var også partnere i vingården, der tidligt lejede ingen hjælp udefra. Det var et perfekt forretningspartnerskab, da Burt blev drevet til at lave vin i verdensklasse, og Ed var fast besluttet på at skabe en succesrig forretning fra lokalt landbrug. Burt foretrak farverige sportstrøjer med seler, Ed valgte t-shirts og støvler. Begge levede enkelt og undgik omtale. Der var aldrig et skilt i garagen, der annoncerede vingården og rsquos -placeringen, og der var ingen smagslokale.

Denise Selyem, Ed & rsquos datter, var for nylig venlig nok til at dele to fotografier af Ed, der arbejdede på den originale vingård i Fulton. Billedet øverst viser Ed uden for garagen med de små, dobbeltvæggede, rustfrit stål, genbrugte, åbne mejeritanke, der blev bjærget fra et Windsor-mejeri, hvor gæringer blev udført. Metoden til fremstilling af Pinot Noir, der anvendes af Burt og Ed, praktiseres nu i øjeblikket i det mindste i en eller anden form af de fleste californiske vintagere af Pinot Noir -druen. Både Burt og Ed tjekkede konstant på druerne i vingården. Druerne blev plukket modne, lagt i trækasser og transporteret med pickup til vingården (se gammelt foto på side 6), hvor de blev håndsorteret ødelagt. Fermenteringer var lange og seje. De kom ind i tankene og lavede nogle nedslag, men der var ingen knusning. Mosten blev let presset ved hjælp af en håndbetjent kurvpresse fra 1906. Vinen blev tyngdekraftsrammet, og de sidste liter saft blev løftet ud af tankene i spande. Vinen så aldrig en pumpe, et finmidler eller filtrering. Lagring blev udført på hovedsagelig nye 225 liters tønder af fransk egetræ fra Troncais fremstillet af Francois Freres. Tønderne blev aldrig brugt mere end to gange. Vinen blev håndflasket, mærket og folieret.

Det andet foto på side 5 viser Ed inde i en af ​​de store fragtcontainere, der var rigget til at opbevare tønder. Containerne indeholdt engang lammekroppe i New Zealand. Ed udviklede konceptet om en mailingliste for at distribuere deres vin længe før mailinglister blev den accepterede måde at tildele knappe vin i Californien. Tidligt blev vinen hovedsageligt solgt til andre vinproducenter og detailhandlere med gode ganer, som vinen ofte blev leveret til hånden.

Jo mere vin Williams Selyem lavede, desto gunstigere blev pressen, der fulgte, hvilket forårsagede en sneboldseffekt i efterspørgslen. Det 1985 Williams Selyem Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir blev den mest sædvanlige vin i historien om Californien Pinot Noir. Denne vin vandt Sweepstakes ved California State Fair Wine Competition, kårede den bedste af de 2.136 vine, som 416 californiske vinfremstillingsvirksomheder indtog i 1987. Der blev produceret 295 kasser af vinen, og den blev solgt for $ 16 flasken! En kopi af den originale avisartikel, der dukkede op i pressedemokraten Santa Rosa, er på side 7, der indeholder fotoet af Ed I, som jeg fik fra Denise på side 5.

En af nøglerne til Williams Selyems succes var, at de var i stand til med succes at indgå kontrakter med de allerbedste avlere i Russian River Valley. Det var en enklere tid, og avlerne var venlige og beskedne mennesker, der var lette at arbejde med. Alle Williams Selyem -kontrakter var på et håndtryksgrundlag. Williams Selyem ejede aldrig nogen vinmarker. Deres nu berømte vingårdskilder til Pinot Noir omfattede Rochioli Vineyard, Allen Vineyard, Cohn Vineyard og Olivet Lane Vineyard i Russian River Valley, Summa Vineyard, Coastlands Vineyard og Hirsch Vineyard på Sonoma Coast og Ferrington Vineyard i Anderson Valley. I 1989 byggede Howard Allen, ejer af Allen Vineyard, der lå på tværs af Westside Road fra Rochioli, en vingård på hans ranch, som de lejede, så de kunne flytte ud af deres lejede garage i Fulton.

Williams Selyem Pinot Noir -vin blev så populær, at der blev udviklet en venteliste til dem, der tigger om at komme på mailinglisten. Til sidst blev 85% af deres vin solgt direkte til enkeltpersoner på den omhyggeligt bevarede mailingliste. Ed klarede listen mesterligt og nød at være i kontakt med, besøge med og lære af sine hengivne kunder.

Win Wilson og Jack Daniels, Napa Valley importører af Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, ringede til Williams Selyem i 1992. De ville sammenligne vine. 22 vine og 5 timer senere blev der ikke offentliggjort nogen konklusioner offentligt, men grunden til at lave en sådan sammenlignende smagning indikerede den cache, som Williams Selyem havde opnået med vinindustrien.

Populariteten af ​​deres vine tog deres arbejde i årenes løb på Ed og Burt. Det var en skræmmende opgave at styre mailinglisten og hamrene af vinentusiaster, der forsøgte at komme på listen. To af de syv fuldtidsansatte i midten af ​​1990'erne blev udpeget som & ldquokeepers på listen. & Rdquo Frank Prial, der skrev i The New York Times (19. marts 1997), fortalte en historie om Ed Bradley, en korrespondent på CBS & rsquos & ldquo60 Minutes, & rdquo og en vinentusiast, der ville komme på mailinglisten. Burt Williams sagde, og han fortalte os, at hvis vi ikke satte ham på listen, fik han Andy Rooney til at kommentere folk, der fører lister. Det kunne vi ikke få. Så vi tog ham på. & Rdquo Partnerskabet udviklede sig langsomt en del og Williams Selyem blev bragt på markedet i 1997. Det blev til sidst solgt til John Dyson i 1998 for $ 9,5 millioner. Det officielle ord var, at Ed udviklede alvorlige rygproblemer ved at løfte vinsager gennem årene, men årsagerne måtte være mere komplicerede, men blev aldrig afsløret. Den sidste årgang, Ed og Burt vinificerede hos Williams Selyem, var 1997, hvor Burt rådgav om årgangen 1998. På det tidspunkt, vingården blev solgt, var der 10.000 kunder på mailinglisten.

John Dyson, en velhavende New York -politiker, var en tidligere landbrugskommissær i New York og en tidligere viceborgmester under borgmester Rudy Giuliani. Han ejer Millbrook Vineyards i upstate New York og Villa Pillo Estate i Toscana samt Mistral og Vista Verde Vineyards på den centrale californiske kyst. Han betalte i det væsentlige mange penge for Williams Selyem -navnet, da Williams Selyem ikke ejede vinmarker eller vingårde. Derudover mistede han nogle håndrysteaftaler såsom druerne fra Olivet Lane, Summa og Rochioli & rsquos West Block. Flere af vingårdskilderne blev bevaret.

Ed og Burt lukkede næsten vingården for godt, før de blev enige om at sælge Williams Selyem til Dyson, et mangeårigt medlem af mailinglisten. Ved køb af vingården hyrede Dyson den relativt ukendte Bob Cabral som sin vinmager. Cabral (kundenummer 576 på Williams Selyem -listen) var søn af druebønder, der fik en grad i enologi i Fresno State. Han lærte sin handel på De Loach Vineyards, Knude, Alderbrook og Hartford Court. Siden han påtog sig vinfremstillingsansvar, har Cabral forsøgt at følge Williams & rsquo -vinfremstillingsmetoder. Efter en uhensigtsmæssig start (det er altid svært at følge en legende) producerer han Pinot Noirs, der stadig er ivrigt efterspurgt af de nu 15.000 kunder på mailinglisten. Vinene er et strejf højere i alkohol, dybere i farven og tilbyder mere frugtdrevne smag. Da vingården nu fejrer sit 25-års jubilæum med udgivelsen af ​​årgangen 2005, bærer vinene flaget med respekt og de enkelte vingårdsudpegede er fortsat stjernerne.

Burt deler nu sin tid mellem sin ranch i Anderson Valley og sin fiskerbåd i Santa Barbara. Han dyrker Pinot Noir på sin Morning Dew Vineyard og sælger druerne til sin datter i Brogan Cellars og til Woodenhead og Whitcraft. Da jeg stillede ham det uundgåelige spørgsmål om at lave sin egen Pinot Noir igen, efter at konkurrencekonventionen slutter næste år, var han uforpligtende, men sagde: & ldquoHvis jeg beslutter mig for at gøre det, vil jeg bruge alle mine kræfter seriøst på opgaven. Jeg vil tjene små beløb, og det vil koste mange penge. & Rdquo Ed har tilbragt sine somre i Alaska og vintre i både Californien og Hawaii. Hans datter, Denise Selyem og hendes mand Kirk Hubbard, laver Pinot Noirs under WesMar -mærket og arbejder i en lille vingård i Sebastopol, der minder om størrelsen på den originale garage, som Ed og Burt startede med. I årenes løb blev Williams Selyem en træningsplads for mange andre vinproducenter, og en række etiketter bærer arven videre, herunder Papapapietro Perry, Woodenhead, george, Cobb og Anthill Cellars.


Spring direkte til en gave

EuroCave Double L Revelation vinkælder

ISommelier Smart Decanter & amp Professional Argon Wine Preserver

Tredelt isoleret Rose Gold-vinkaraffel og -tumbler-sæt

Vino Voyage

Coravin Model Two Elite vinsystem

Zalto Denk’Art 5 -delt karaffel og amp -brille sæt

Kode 38 P-Type Professionel proptrækker

Château d'Esclans 2016 Garrus Rosé (Côtes de Provence)

93 Points, Cellar Selection

Denne vin, der fortsætter med at strække grænserne for Provence rosé, er rig og imponerende fyldt med modne frugter og krydderier fra trælagring. Det bør tages alvorligt både for dets kompleksitet og for dets potentiale til at blive ældre. Drik nu - 2020. $100. Lær mere "

EuroCave Revelation Double L vinkælder

Den nye Revelation Wine Cellar fra EuroCave er anerkendt over hele verden som guldstandarden i vinkældre og er netop det ... en åbenbaring. Det lysende kælderdisplay UV -fri belysning vil smukt, men sikkert fremvise din værdsatte samling. Det revolutionerende selvlukkende reolsystem sikrer, at dine flasker støder på mindst mulig vibration, mens det ekstra mellemrum mellem hylderne holder de dyrebare etiketter intakte.

Marqués de Riscal Gran Reserva

For at lave deres Gran Reserva -vine bruger Riscal druer fra vinstokke over 30 år, fra deres egen ejendom vinmarker og købt ind fra tilknyttede lokale avlere. Når vinen, der er bestemt til at blive en Gran Reserva, er blevet valgt, efter at vinene i den nye årgang er gået i stykker, sættes den på amerikanske egetræsfade, hvor den ældes i mellem to og et halvt og tre år. Dette efterfølges af yderligere minimum tre års lagring af flasker før frigivelse til salg. $40. Lær mere "

ISommelier Smart Decanter

iSommelier er løsningen til at fjerne alle begrænsninger under konventionel dekantering. Det er den første smarte karaffel, der bruger en revolutionerende teknologi, der genopfinder dekanteringsoplevelsen for at forbedre vinens smag og aroma på få minutter.

Køb denne vare: iSommelier Smart Decanter, $499.

Professionel Argon Wine Preserver

Oplev friheden til at nyde et enkelt glas vin ad gangen med den unikke Wine Preserver. Med bare en hurtig frigivelse af 99,99% argongas kan du kontrollere og bevare vinen i op til 30 dage! Intet tab af aroma, farve eller smag af dine yndlingsvine.

Château d'Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé 2017 (Côtes de Provence)

Denne næsten hvidfarvede vin er den seneste udgave af en bestseller. Den er fuld af dristige røde frugter, sprøde med syrlighed og moden karakter. Balanceret og lækker, den er klar til at drikke. $23. Lær mere "

Tre-stykke isoleret Rose Gold-vinkaraffel og -tumbler-sæt

Omfavn rosé -trenden med denne stilfulde karaffel og tumblersæt i rosaguld. Vakuumisoleret, dobbeltvægs rustfrit stålteknologi er designet til at holde drikkevarer kølet længere og forhindre rodet kondens på ydersiden af ​​karafflen. Sikker karaffel skruetop forhindrer uønsket spild af vin, når du er på farten. Tumblers tilbyder et aftageligt spild, der minimerer gennemløbstoppen. Karaffel rummer en standardflaske vin på 750 ml. Gør det perfekte sæt til camping, vandreture eller bare slappe af udenfor.

Gekkeikan Horin Ultra Premium Sake Junmai Daiginjo

En kombination af fersk kildevand, Yamada Nishiki -ris (kendt som 'kongen af ​​skyldris'), Gohyakumangoku -ris formalet til 50%og skyldmesterens dygtighed resulterer i dette klassiske eksempel på en Fushimi -stil Junmai Daiginjo ... Horin har en delikat frugtagtig næse, dens subtile smag er velafbalanceret, og den er usædvanligt glat med en lang ren finish. $40. Lær mere "

Vino-Voyage TSA-godkendt vinkuffert

Rejs med tillid. Kvalitet, holdbarhed og alsidighed kombineres til at give den ultimative vinrejsende ledsager, udelukkende lavet til vinentusiast. Hver detalje i denne unikke TSA & FAA godkendte vinkuffert opfylder alle flyselskabers bagagestandarder for at sikre sikre vinrejser.

Frescobaldi CastelGiocondo Brunello 2013

Vilde bær, knust violet, pibetobak og hakkede krydderurter springer ud af glasset. Smagfuld og velsmagende, den fyldige gane viser tilbageholdenhed og elegance og leverer rødt kirsebær, granatæble, kværnet fed og sort peber sammen med stramme finkornede tanniner og lys syre. $80. Lær mere "

Coravin Model Two Elite vinsystem

Coravins nyeste og bedst effektive system lader dig få adgang til, hælde og nyde vin fra en flaske - uden at trække i proppen. Smag, del, sammenlign og udforsk vine uden at forpligte dig til hele flasken. Den forbedrede ikke-kernende, hurtigere hældnål giver adgang til vin uden korkskader. Den nye Coravin Model Two beskytter din vin mod oxidation, så du kan nyde din vin et afslappende glas ad gangen. Hver Coravin Model Two Plus -pakke indeholder to Coravin -argongaskapsler under tryk, Coravin beskyttende vinflaskehylster og værktøj til rengøring af nåle.

Vina San Pedro Cabo De Hornos 2015

I årevis har Cabo de Hornos været en reference for chilensk vin. Al karakter og styrke af en vin, der kun er forbeholdt ægte kendere. Det er et ikon for chilensk vinavl og vinavl. $60. Lær mere "

Zalto Denk’Art 5 -delt karaffel og glas sæt

Med en ny generation af mundblæste, blyfrie og opvaskemaskinssikre vinglas, præsenterer ZALTO DENK`ART Collection, luksuriøs stilk, der kan mærkes fra fingerspidserne til det øjeblik, du tager din første slurk. Fra den første berøring adskiller hvert Zalto -glas sig fra alle andre glas. Fra den perfekt udførte balance til det ekstraordinære design, opnåelsen af ​​Denk`Art -serien er briller, der virker næsten for sarte til at holde, og alligevel er de lavet til netop det. Dette er glasvarer, der står på det sjældne sted, hvor form møder funktion.

Masút 2015 Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir (Eagle Peak)

Smukke blåbæraromaer og fyldige sorte kirsebær- og blåbærsmage giver denne modne, frugtige og fyldige vin fra det indre Mendocino en unik karakter. Enhver eg -accenter tager bagsædet til den koncentrerede, lagdelte og luksuriøse bærkarakter, der fylder vinens brede, men bløde mundfølelse. $45. Lær mere "

Code38 P-Type Professionel proptrækker

Den nye P-Type vinkniv har en kompakt formfaktor med minimalistisk design, der giver dig en unik og sexet måde at åbne vin på. Når du holder dette nye design, vil du straks forstå, at det er et målrettet design. Dens vægt og balance giver en stor følelse af selvtillid, når du fjerner de mest udfordrende korkpropper, og bladets og spiralens silkeagtige handling vil være en konstant påmindelse om de krævende standarder, som dette professionelle værktøj er lavet til.


Pionerer fortsætter

Med så mange konkurrerende vine, bør køberne se mod dokumenterede ledere og kultive nybegyndere.

Mange af Oregons originale vingårde forsvandt for mange år siden. Men en håndfuld af pionererne går stadig stærkt, drevet af anden generation: Adam Campbell (Elk Cove Vineyards), Jason Lett (The Eyrie Vineyards), Luisa Ponzi (Ponzi Vineyards), Ben Casteel (Bethel Heights Vineyard) og Alex Sokol-Blosser (Sokol-Blosser Winery).

Flere mangeårige brancheledere producerer vine, der konsekvent imponerer, uanset hvilken hånd Mother Nature handler i en given årgang.

Josh Bergström indrømmer, at da han og hans far startede deres vingård for to årtier siden, "vidste vi intet om vin." Josh arbejdede nogle høster på Rex Hill og Ponzi og tilbragte tid i Beaune, inden han lancerede Bergström Wines i 1999. Nu med 84 biodynamisk opdrættede acres og kontrakter med Shea Vineyard og Temperance Hill Vineyard, tilbyder Bergström lineup enestående Chardonnays og Pinot Noirs.

Domaine Serene's ejere, Grace og Ken Evenstad, byggede en tidlig investering i 42 uplantede Dundee Hills hektar i Oregons mest prestigefyldte ejendoms vingård. Ejendommen omfatter nu seks vinmarker, en ny vinfremstillingsfacilitet og et iøjnefaldende klubhus, der er vært for sorte slipsforretninger.

I 2015 købte Evenstads også Château de la Crée i Bourgogne. De producerer single-vingård Pinots og Chardonnays plus mere usædvanlige aftapninger, såsom Coeur Blanc, en hvid Pinot Noir og nonvintage 'r' Rosé.

Ken Wright ankom til Willamette-dalen i midten af ​​1980'erne, fast besluttet på at fokusere på vingårdsudpegede, før sådanne vine var almindelige. Han grundlagde Ken Wright Cellars i 1994, og laver nu omkring et dusin enkelt-vingårde Pinots hvert år.

Han var medvirkende til både at definere dalens seks sub-AVA'er og udvikle byen Carlton som et vinfremstillingsnav. Hans vine er stærke, udtryksfulde og aldersværdige, gæret i små partier og designet specielt til at lade forbrugerne "smage stedet" frem for vinmagerens hånd. 2012 Ken Wright Abbott Claim Vineyard Pinot Noir var VinentusiastÅrets vin i 2014, men alle Ken Wright -vine forbliver prissat i de lave $ 60'er.

Patricia Green døde chokerende november 2017, kort før hendes 2016 Patricia Green Bonshaw Block Pinot Noir blev Vinentusiast'S første nogensinde 100-punkts vin helt fremstillet og produceret i Oregon.

Hun og hendes mangeårige forretningspartner Jim Anderson købte deres Ribbon Ridge -ejendom i 2000 efter at have arbejdet sammen på Torii Mor. "Vi kan godt lide den uslebne, tunge mineralitet og de jordfarvede vine, du får her," forklarer Anderson. "Det er dybt ekspressive vine, der viser både arten af ​​den frugt, planten bærer, og også den jord, planten lever i."

Dick Shea har det bedste fra begge verdener - sin egen vingård og en kundeliste til Shea -druer, der læser som en hvem er hvem af Oregon Pinot Noir. Mange kunder har også lavet vinfremstilling for Shea -mærket: Ken Wright i 1999 og 2000, Patricia Green i 2001, Sam Tannahill (nu på Rex Hill) fra 2002 til 2004, Drew Voit til 2011 og New Zealander Blair Trathen fra 2012 og frem.

Med sådan en parade af unikke talenter kan du forvente, at vinene varierer, men i sandhed skinner vingårdens storhed konsekvent igennem. Homer er reserven, men alle Sheas blok- og klonvalg er usædvanlige.

En Pinot Noir fra Kelly Fox Wines / Foto af Meg Baggott


Clocktower Pinot Noir

En overdådig fyldig Pinot Noir med forførende aroma af vilde bær og kirsebær over en glat, kompleks gane.

Om denne flaske: Fra Wairau -dalen blev denne klassiske Kiwi Pinot Noir lavet af den lokale ekspert Matthew Large og blandet af M & ampS vinproducent Jeneve Williams. Druerne stammer fra vinmarker af høj kvalitet og blandes for at skabe en fint afbalanceret vin, der er modnet i fransk eg for at integrere smagene og tilføje subtile krydrede dybder. Drikker godt nu og i de næste to år.


Fin og let: Californien Pinot Noirs med et manifest

Da regnen faldt ned på vingården omkring Copain vinkældre, lige uden for denne by i det nordlige Sonoma County, hældte indehaveren Wells Guthrie et glas af en af ​​sine pinot noirs fra 2006.

Vinen var frisk og let med aromaer af blomster og rød frugt. Selv i den grå mørke i hans smagestue kunne jeg se mine fingre på den anden side af glasset gennem den blege rubinvin.

Det var levende og forfriskende, intet ligner de mørke, overdådige, overdådige vine, der har gjort Californien pinot noir så populær. Mr. Guthrie plejede at lave vine mere i de tungere linjer, men ikke længere. Efter den vinøse ækvivalent af en konverteringsoplevelse gav han med sin årgang 2006 afkald på frugtbombestilen til fordel for vine, der understreger friskhed og delikatesse.

"Det kom til det punkt, hvor jeg ikke ville have vinen til at være federe end maden," sagde han. "Vin burde få dig til at tænke på, hvad du vil spise."

Fra Mendocino og Sonoma gennem Santa Cruz -bjergene og Arroyo Grande syd til de rullende bakker i Santa Barbara County, er der et oprør under opsejling. Den dominerende stil i Californien pinot noir forbliver rund, moden og ekstravagant, med søde smag af mørk frugt og alkoholindhold nærmer sig og undertiden overstiger 15 procent.

Men på en nylig tur gennem disse førende pinot noir -områder var jeg begejstret for at finde et lille, men voksende antal producenter, der trak i den modsatte retning.

I stedet for magt stræber de efter finesse. I stedet for et rigt, mundbeklædende indtryk af sødme søger de en tør vitalitet beregnet til at vække appetitten frem for at presse den. I stedet for vægt prissætter de lethed og en næsten gennemsigtig intensitet.

Nogle af disse producenter er ret nye inden for pinot noir -spillet, som Anthill Farms i Healdsburg, et partnerskab mellem tre unge mænd, der deler smag for afbalancerede, elegante vine eller Peay Vineyards på den nordlige Sonoma -kyst, der laver krydret, men poleret pinot noirs eller Rhys Vineyards i Santa Cruz -bjergene, der efter bare fem årgange allerede producerer strålende særprægede vine.

Andre, som Ted Lemon fra Littorai Wines, Josh Jensen fra Calera Wine Company og Jim Clendenen fra Au Bon Climat, har forkyndt finesserens dyder i mere end et par år nu.

"Jeg ville ønske, at nogen kunne forklare mig, hvordan det var umoderne at plukke druer, når de netop var i balance og lave en vin i balance," sagde hr. Clendenen, da vi stod midt i hans utilitaristiske vingård midt i Bien Nacido Vingård i Santa Maria -dalen. På en stor industriel komfur forberedte hr. Clendenen frokost, som han ofte gør, til vingårdspersonale og lejlighedsvis besøgende. Når det er klar, stopper arbejdet på Au Bon Climat, mens alle sidder ved et langt indendørs picnicbord for at spise og drikke et glas vin eller to, en påmindelse om hele stedet og hensigten med deres drikkevarer.

"Den ultimative brug til vin er parring med mad," sagde Rick Longoria, der laver intense, men afbalancerede pinot noirs i Santa Barbara County. "Der er ingen større oplevelse end den smukke synergi mellem vin og mad, der hæver begge dele."

Mad og vins rolle ved bordet er tilsyneladende det, der adskiller disse stilistiske lejre. Er vin en understøttende spiller til et måltid, beregnet til at harmonisere med mad? Eller er det meningen, at det i overført betydning skal være et måltid i sig selv, der bedst indtages alene?

Svarene kan nogle gange virke paradoksale. Leslie Mead fra Talley Vineyards i Arroyo Grande, nord for Santa Barbara County, laver friske, jordiske pinot noirs, der ville klare sig godt på ethvert bord. Men for sig selv værdsætter hun den anden tilgang.

"Jeg tror, ​​der er et sted til enhver stil," sagde hun. “Sometimes I like water with dinner and wine on its own.”

I can respect that point of view, but I can’t understand it. For me, wine’s place is with food, and that’s why I had begun to despair of so many California pinot noirs. Their power and sense of sweetness were overwhelming at the table. But it turns out that more than a few California producers share my feeling, like Ehren Jordan of Failla and Thomas Brown of Rivers-Marie, Joe Davis of Arcadian and Alex Davis of Porter Creek. Almost to a person, they make no secret of being inspired by the wines of Burgundy.

“It’s not that we’re trying to make Burgundy in California,” said Adam Tolmach of the Ojai Vineyard, which makes lively, savory Central Coast pinot noirs. “But the world loves Burgundy because of its sense of style, that’s a style that we’d like to emulate, and it’s hard to do that at 17 percent alcohol.”

It’s fashionable among the makers of bigger, heavier pinot noirs to reject any comparison with Burgundy. We don’t make Gevrey-Chambertin, they will say. We make wines representative of the Russian River Valley, Santa Rita Hills or Santa Lucia Highlands — take your pick. This stance implies that California conditions dictate wines of extravagance and power. In fact, this style of wine is more often determined by winemakers’ decision-making. And no decision is more important to the ultimate style of a wine than when to harvest the grapes.

In Burgundy, a cooler climate prevails. Grapes historically struggle to ripen, and the dilemma is whether to play it safe and harvest before the autumn rains arrive or take a chance and wait a little bit longer to achieve proper ripeness. In California, with ample sun and warmth and little chance of autumn rains, growers can allow the grapes to hang for as long as they want.

As a result of this option, and with the help of improved vineyard techniques and new vine clones unburdened by viruses and other plant diseases, California growers in the last 10 or 15 years gained the ability to ripen grapes almost to the point of shriveling, well past what was once considered desirable. Where grapes 20 years ago were considered ripe if they achieved 23 or 24 on the Brix scale for measuring sugar content, producers of ripe pinot noirs today aim for a minimum of 28, 29 or even 30 Brix.

In fact, Mr. Guthrie of Copain doesn’t even use the grapes from the 13-acre vineyard around his Healdsburg winery because he feels the weather gets too warm and the fruit too ripe.

Instead he gets grapes from cooler sites, largely in the Anderson Valley of Mendocino County. He sells the Healdsburg fruit to producers like Kosta Browne, who have won widespread plaudits for their dark, plush, opulent Russian River Valley wines.

Such extravagantly ripe — some would say overripe — grapes have their own set of problems. Sugar in fruit accumulates at the cost of acidity, which balances out sweetness with a zingy liveliness. This is especially true of the pinot noir grape. When all that sugar ferments into alcohol, little zing is left.

“With pinot noir, at a higher alcohol level, you don’t get the acidity that you do with, say, zinfandel,” said Mr. Jordan of Failla, who, in his day job as winemaker at Turley Wine Cellars, has ample experience making big zinfandels.

To compensate, many producers of big pinot noirs will add tartaric acid to their wine, which is permitted, and also add water to cut down on the alcohol, which is a murkier legal area that producers rationalize as simply adding back water lost as the grapes began to dehydrate in the final stage of ripening on the vine.

Yet when the pieces are assembled, what results is not necessarily a seamlessly integrated wine. “To me, pinot noir is a house of cards, and each manipulation adds more cards,” said Joe Davis of Arcadian, a steadfast believer in early picking. His wines are slow to develop but are meant to age. While many producers are about to release their 2007s, his graceful, fresh 2005s have only recently hit the market.

Before Mr. Guthrie saw the light, he said, he, too, was adding water and acid to his wines. When he sampled those wines after several years, all he could taste was the water and acid.

“In 2006, I made the decision to pick earlier to retain freshness and vibrancy rather than play the game of picking ripe and adding water and acidity later on,” he said. “It was the first year I made pinot where I didn’t have to add acid or water, and it felt good.”

The differences in well-made examples of early picked and late picked pinot noirs are striking. The earlier picked wines smell of flowers and red fruits rather than black fruits and jam. They are vivacious rather than dense and concentrated. They are dry, not cloying, and offer nuance rather than impact.

“I do not like pruney wines,” said Kathleen Inman of Inman Family Wines, which makes small amounts of lively yet delicate pinot noirs in the Russian River Valley. “I’m kind of the bellwether. People say, ‘Kathleen’s picking — that means harvest is in two weeks.’ ”

Well, honestly, nobody is going to ’fess up to liking pruney wines. Nonetheless, these ultra-ripe pinot noirs are highly popular. Partly that’s because they’ve received such critical acclaim. In the current issue of Wine Spectator, the highest-scoring pinot noir from California is described as “superrich, bordering on syrupy.” Those are apparently compliments.

Now, I haven’t tried that wine, but I can’t say those qualities are what I desire in a pinot noir. I prefer words like elegant and energetic, which I used to describe Anthill Farms’ 2007 pinot noir from the Comptche Ridge Vineyard in Mendocino County, or restrained and mineral, as in the 2007 Rivers-Marie Summa Vineyard pinot noir from the Sonoma Coast.

Clearly, not everybody agrees with me. Of course, wines that soar for one person thud to the ground for the next. Accounting for divergences in taste can be a thorny subject, especially for those who on some level may feel they haven’t received proper respect for their achievements.

“I think it’s been whacked into a naïve public’s head that these big wines are the wines that people are supposed to like,” said Lane Tanner, who has been issuing pinot noirs under her own name from Santa Barbara County since 1989. Her wines are light-bodied, fragrant and floral — “feminine,” she calls them, in contrast to the hulking masculine wines that some critics favor.

It takes determination to stick to a style that is less popular.

“There is a lot of pressure in California to make wines in that other style, and you can understand why,” said Alex Davis, whose 2006 Porter Creek Fiona Hill pinot noir from the Russian River Valley has a freshness that will wake up the most tired palate. “People have a lot of bills to pay.”

Still, none of these producers is suffering, and many are encouraged by the growing demand for their wines.

“The palate in Europe, like the wines, has had a thousand years to develop,” said Ted Lemon of Littorai, whose wines beautifully combine structure and intensity with restraint. “We’re only starting.”

On the Lighter Side

The following are among the California pinot noirs made in a lighter style, emphasizing finesse over power. Some wines are widely available others are sold by mailing list. Prices can range from around $20 for entry-level bottles up to about $75 for some single-vineyard wines.

ANTHILL FARMS Sonoma/Mendocino lovely, fresh and floral.

ARCADIAN South Central Coast lively, pure and age-worthy.

AU BON CLIMAT Santa Barbara well-balanced and complex.

CALERA WINE COMPANY Mount Harlan intense single-vineyard wines.

COPAIN Mendocino delicate and nuanced.

FAILLA Sonoma Coast elegant and focused.

INMAN FAMILY WINES Russian River Valley bright and pretty.

JOSEPH SWAN VINEYARDS Russian River Valley restrained and delicate.

LANE TANNER Santa Barbara light-bodied and fragrant.

LITTORAI Mendocino/Sonoma Coast structured and energetic.

LONGORIA Santa Barbara earthy and intense.

THE OJAI VINEYARD Santa Barbara light and savory.

PEAY VINEYARDS Sonoma Coast spicy and polished.

PORTER CREEK VINEYARDS Russian River Valley fresh and elegant.

RHYS VINEYARDS Santa Cruz Mountains graceful and complex.

RIVERS-MARIE Sonoma Coast intense, lively and balanced.


Stories of Passion and Pinot: Le Cadeau Vineyard

Tom and Deb Mortimer. Source: Le Cadeau Vineyard

I’m going to ask you for something very valuable – your time. About 20 minutes of it, as this is how long it should take you to read this post, one of the longest posts I ever published. But I’m not asking for your time for free – in return, I’m offering you one of the very best interviews ever published in the Stories of Passion and Pinot series, as well as the overarching One on One With Winemaker conversations.

Winemaking usually starts with passion, courage, and conviction – a belief that “you can”. Virkelig. It is not always a degree in oenology (don’t get me wrong – of course that helps!), but the resolve to get going, as you have a burning desire to make world-class wine no matter what – this might be your main ingredient of success.

Tom and Deb Mortimer had such a resolve to make great Oregon Pinot Noir. After searching for a year, they found an uncultivated parcel of land on the south slope of Parrett Mountain in the Chehalem Mountains AVA, and the hard work began. Planting grapes, understanding your land, learning the soils and microclimates. All with the resolve to produce the best possible Pinot Noir. This is how the story of Le Cadeau Vineyard started (wonder if “Le Cadeau” means something? Keep on reading).

After tasting the wines of Le Cadeau, I was convinced that I want to learn more – which turned into a very enjoyable [virtual] conversation with Tom Mortimer, who generously offered his time to answer all of my questions. And this is what I want to share with you with a full conviction that it is well worth your time.

[TaV]: The story of Le Cadeau Vineyard started in 1996, when you purchased the 28 acres parcel in Chehalem Mountains AVA. When did you come up with the name Le Cadeau? What is the meaning behind this name?

[TM]: Le Cadeau (is French for “the gift”): We like to say that “the wine is not ‘the gift’ rather, “the wine is the excuse”—the true gift is the land and friendships.” When we first saw the Le Cadeau / BHV site, there was no view it was obscured by scrub-oaks, blackberry bushes, and a lot of brush. Clearing the land was a bit like unwrapping a present, and ultimately a gorgeous view emerged. More significantly, rocky soils are coveted for top-tier vineyard sites. As we cleared the site, the broken volcanic basalt cobbles were revealed rock in Oregon is rare, so we were very fortunate to find a rocky site. Lastly, wine is inherently relational. Enthusiasts get-into wine for the product, but ultimately, they stay in wine for the people when the glass is empty, the relationships remain. So “the gift” has multiple manifestations.

[TaV]: When you found the parcel which became the future home for Le Cadeau, you said “For some reason, the property “felt right”. I don’t really know why”. So this was the love at first sight, right? Now, 23 years later, can you maybe better explain that feeling?

[TM]: Part of it was the location—the vineyard is only 35-minutes from downtown Portland, yet it was very serene countryside. We came from suburban Minneapolis to start this project 22-years ago the Willamette Valley was much less developed, so this location was perfect for us. My wife (and I) didn’t want an isolated, rustic, farm experience. But other than the location, it was a beautiful site—south slope, about the right grade, I was fairly certain the view existed. It just had a different / better feeling than many of the other places we looked at.

At another level, I think I Iiked the fact that it was never-before-cultivated land. There was something about “starting a vineyard from scratch” that was appealing… of course, at the time, I had no idea what I was getting us into… which is actually a good thing. There are plenty of reasons to not take on a project like this. Sometimes it is better to not know what lies ahead.

Source: Le Cadeau Vineyard

[TaV]: I really like the name “Black Hole Vineyard”, even though it has not necessarily a positive connotation about it. Have you ever bottled any wine which says “Black Hole Vineyard” on the label? What happened to that name? Is the Black Hole Vineyard simply became Le Cadeau Vineyard, or is it still exists under its own name?

[TM]: There was one “Black Hole” wine made by a fruit client. It was small production, and was only released to his wine club.

Our business is corporately divided into two companies: A farming company (the vineyard), and the wine biz. Most of the fruit from the vineyard is sold to the wine biz, but some is sold to notable clients. The farming company is named Black Hole Vineyard, LLC (or BHV, LLC), while the wine company is Le Cadeau. So in that regard, the name lives on. We also continue to personally refer to it as Black Hole among ourselves, and generally the winemakers like to call it Black Hole, vs. Le Cadeau. But at some point you need to make a brand decision, and focus your time and energy on that brand. We chose Le Cadeau vs. Black Hole. Obviously, it is a much more positive message, though perhaps not as amusing.

[TaV]: What made you believe that you can conquer the rocky soil? What was the drive behind your passion, developing your vineyard against the difficult terrain and the cash flow?

[TM]: As noted above, a good part of my confidence was rooted in ignorance. But as a wine collector I knew that many of the great wines of the world were grown in rocky soils. I figured, “if they can do it, so can I”.

Over the years I have come to discover that there is one tool that is central and more important than any other in developing and farming a rocky site. You might think that the tool is a chisel plow, or a big tractor, or whatever. But the reality is that the single-most-important tool is a checkbook. Unfortunately, unlike many of the folks that get into this business, my checkbook was about the size of a hand-held garden tool. With a vineyard that is raw ground and solid rock, it is better to start with a checkbook that is the size of a bulldozer… and a D8 at that. Fortunately, I kept my day-job.

[TaV]: How many Pinot Noir clones have you planted so far? Why so many?

[TM]: We’re up to about 16-Pinot Noir clones and 6-Chardonnay clones (the first Chardonnay, 2017, to be released in a couple months). Why so many?—there are a handful of reasons:

  1. a) I cannot recall ever having a single clone wine that I felt was as complete and interesting as a multi-clone wine. We don’t put them all in a single wine our cuvees result from different combinations of clones, soils, and aspect (climate). Most of the cuvees have 3 to 5 clones, Diversité has the most with 7 that make up the majority of the wine, and another 2 or 3 that are there in small quantities.
  2. b) Curiosity and experimentation. Quite simply, clones are exciting. You wait for 3-years wondering what the fruit will look like and taste like. Often it takes several more years before you learn about the flavors, texture, physical characteristics of the fruit and how it affects the wine. So there is always a sense of anticipation. I liken clones to colors on an artist’s palette they add “color” to wine—not in a literal sense, but in terms of variance, nuance, and complexity.
  3. c) Differentiation. I don’t want to make wine that is like everyone else’s.
  4. d) Optimization. Folks (i.e., typically winemakers) have varying views of how important clones are in the overall mix of variables. Most agree that the dirt / site are the most important elements, and I’d agree with that. But for many, “clones” would be further down the list. For me, the plant material is very central to extraordinary wine. Great wines only happen when there is great dirt, perfect climate, excellent farming / viticulture, the very best and site-matched plant material, and of course great winemaking. Like many things in life, something can only be as good as its weakest link.

[TaV]: Is there an Oregon (or maybe Burgundian) winery(ies) which were instrumental in the development of your own winemaking style?

[TM]: We have always wanted to make wines that are true to the estate site. In this regard, Le Cadeau is more of a European model, in that the “rock star” is the vineyard, not the winemaker. The wide range of cuvees exist to showcase the range of “faces” of the vineyard. But more recently we’ve been searching for more freshness and aromatic excitement. This is why I engaged our French consultant, Pierre Millemann several years ago. Not surprisingly, this has led us to produce higher acid / lower alcohol wines.

It would be difficult to pick a particular winery to reference against again, our dirt / site is very unique. There are many wineries, both in Oregon, Europe, (and California) that we respect, but I think it would wrong to say that we try to emulate any of them.

[TaV]: Do you still have any bottles from the 2002 vintage? If you do, how do they hold?

[TM]: I have a few bottles of 2002. The last one I had was about 2-years ago. It was doing well, but I think it was past its prime. Keep in mind that the vines from that vintage were only 4-years old. I recently had an ’05 Diversité from magnum it is going strong and will continue to last for a long time.

[TaV]: According to what I see on your website, you produce [at least] 7 Pinot Noir wines. Is there an idea behind such a range of Pinot wines? What are you trying to showcase?

[TM]: As noted above, the majority of the cuvees showcase various attributes of the vineyard: Rocky soils (Rocheux) the cooler East-side (Cote Est) clonal diversity (Diversité) heritage clones (Merci Reserve). More recently, we’ve added two cuvees that are more inclusive of winemaking technique—Trajet Reserve is 100% whole cluster and “Pierre” has considerable input from our consultant, Pierre. It is about “freshness” and higher acidity.

[TaV]: Going back to the Pinot Noir clones – considering the sheer number of them, you must be blending your wines. What is your approach to blending? Do you have any Estate Pinot Noir wines where you trying to maintain consistency throughout the different vintages?

[TM]: Generally we favor co-fermentation of multiple clones in a single tank. Most of the cuvees are made of two separate tank fermentations that go to barrel separately, and are then combined to make the final cuvee. But for the most part, all of the wine from each ferment ultimately goes into the cuvee.

I like to say that the Le Cadeau wines are “made in the vineyard”… I don’t mean that literally, but rather that the specific “Cote Est” fruit is picked separately, and it is made into the Cote Est cuvee. Same for Rocheux, Diversité, and Merci. In this regard, there is clonal consistency from year to year, because the wine for each cuvee is consistently made from the same section of the vineyard. For example, Rocheux is always roughly 45% Dijon 777 45% Pommard and 10 % Wadenswil… that is what is planted in the sections where the Rocheux fruit is grown. … and fortunately, the vines don’t move around at night when we’re not looking… that would be a mess.

Aerial view over Le Cadeau Vineyard, Chehalem Mountain AVA, Willamette Valley, Oregon. Source: Le Cadeau Vineyard

[TaV]: How did you come to the idea of the Sparkling wines? You offer 2011 vintage sparkling wine, so clearly you started making sparkling wines before they became “the thing” in Oregon, so how did you get there?

[TM]: 2011 was a very cool, late, year, and the clusters were uneven. Some of them were quite large (a fairly rare event, given our rocky soils). On October 15 th , the bigger clusters had only gotten to about 19-Brix—not good for still PN. I know we wouldn’t/couldn’t pull them all out on the sorting table, so we did a sort in the vineyard. I told the crew to harvest the three biggest clusters off of each plant in certain sections of the vineyard. Since these were at a perfect stage for sparkling, and we had them hanging on the vine for a full season at that point, it seems silly to drop that fruit on the ground. So we took a shot at sparkling—it worked out very well, so now we make it generally every other year.

[TaV]: I’m sure you knew this question is coming J – it seems that you only work with Pinot Noir grapes. Do you grow any other varieties? Do you have any plans for the white wines? If yes, what grapes would you plant?

[TM]: As noted above, we have 6-clones of Chardonnay that are now in production. The first Chardonnay will be 2017, released in a few months. We’ll only do Chardonnay at Le Cadeau (other than Pinot Noir). But under our other brand, Aubichon, we’ve made some wonderful “Alsatian Style” Pinot Gris, as well as a Pinot Gris-based Rosé, and a wine we call “Sur Peaux”, which is an “orange wine” from Pinot Gris. All the Pinot Gris is sourced from old vine vineyards, about 25-years old. So it’s nice fruit, and the wines are quite special.

Le Cadeau, Chehalem Mountains AVA, Willamette Valley, Oregon. Source: Le Cadeau Vineyard

[TaV]: And one more common question I like to ask – when you are not drinking your own wines, what are your favorite wines and/or wineries, in Oregon or anywhere in the world?

[TM]: I have a diverse range of preferences:

I’m a huge fan of Weinbach in Alsace Chave Hermitage is often special, Guigal Condrieu (the good version, not so much the standard one), Huet and Chidane Chenin Blanc Fevre Chablis Robert Weil German Reisling (and many others—Keller dry from their rocky vineyard is nice) any good Bonne Mares love white Bordeaux—Chevalier, Smith H-L, and of course the “big guys”, but they’re too expensive. Barberescos from Italy—Gaja (also like Gaja Chardonnay), and I think Produtorri does an amazing job for the price, along with Albino Rocca. I’ve had a Foradori wine that I thought was special, certain Brunellos, but many have become Parker-ized, that’s unfortunate. I like Ciacci wines though. … the list goes on…

In Oregon, there are many that I respect, and a small group that I like, but I’d prefer to leave those thoughts anonymous.

[TaV]: What is ahead? Where do you see Le Cadeau in 10-15 years?

[TM]: I think we’re just beginning to make our best wines, and really beginning to understand the vineyard’s nuances. Some of our more exciting clones are still quite young, so it will be interesting to see what sort of wines we make from the more exciting clones when the vines are older. The 2018 wines that we have in the barrel are possibly our finest to date. Very excited about getting them into the bottle and out on the market.

I’m hopeful that our Chardonnay program will be noteworthy. Pierre’s guidance on Chardonnay has been very helpful. 2018 in barrel looks to be very promising, and I’m excited about the first 2019 fruit from a rocky grafted section of the vineyard. We have a couple interesting Larry Hyde clones of Chardonnay planted in that area as well. The fruit looks to be quite different. I’ll have a better sense of the Chardonnay potential in another year, but I’m hopeful that we can produce “the real deal”.

Tørstig? Here are my tasting notes for the wines:

2017 Le Cadeau Côte Est Pinot Noir Willamette Valley (13.9% ABV, $50, 145 cases made)
Dark Ruby
Smoke, plum, iodine, medium-plus intensity
Wow. Touch of smoke, Sage, medicinal notes (cough syrup), good acidity, excellent balance
8

2017 Le Cadeau Rocheux Pinot Noir Willamette Valley (13.2% ABV, $50, 174 cases made)
Dark Ruby
Plums, cherries, violets, intense, inviting
Bright, clean, succulent ripe cherries, licorice, great minerality, excellent balance, superb
8+

2017 Le Cadeau Diversité Estate Pinot Noir Willamette Valley (13.9% ABV, $50, 245 cases made)
Rubin
Delicate, lavender, a touch of smoke, perfect
Beautiful, plums, ripe strawberries, great acidity, baking spices, delicious overall
8+/9-

2016 Le Cadeau Merci Pinot Noir Reserve Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley (14.1% ABV, $80, 143 cases made)
Granat
Intense, ripe cherries and plums, candied fruit
Wow, great intensity, cherries, cherry compote, ripe plums, minerally notes, good acidity, good balance
8+

As you can tell, I really liked the wines – they were literally one better than another.

Here you go, my friends – yet another story of Passion and Pinot. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it, and I thank you for your time and attention.

Will there be more Passion and Pinot stories? Well, do you think the passion ran out of the Pinot winemakers and aficionados? I will bet my virtual DRC bottle that it did not. So we will continue our conversations as soon as the next opportunity will present itself.

P.S. Here are the links to the posts profiling wineries in this Passion and Pinot series, in alphabetical order:

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Red Car Wine Company: Grab The Red Car to the Sonoma Coast

Red Car harkens back to memories of the now defunct Los Angeles Red Car Trolley Line. Two Los Angelinos, Mark Estrin and Carrol Kemp released their first wine in 2000. The distinctive Red Car labels and the continuing novella on the Amour Fou bottlings which told of a tragic love affair taking place in 1940s Los Angeles, caught the public&rsquos eye, and wine critics were fond of the wines from the beginning. Unfortunately, Mark Estrin passed away in May, 2005. Carroll Kemp has carried the flag since and has pushed the label to greater heights of notoriety. The partners were not &ldquoterroir-istes&rdquo at the beginning, believing in making the best wines they could from more than one vineyard source. Their initial 2000 vintage was sourced entirely from Central Coast fruit. In 2004, Red Car Wine Company raised enough capital to buy 120 acres along the Sonoma Coast close to neighbors Marcassin, Hirsch and Blue Slide Ridge vineyards. Over the past five years, preparation and planting of the Red Car Vineyard has progressed and the vineyard will soon bear both Pinot Noir and Syrah for the first time.

The partner&rsquos early experience with making Pinot Noir led them to prefer vineyard sites located on the cool climatic edge and focus on vineyard-designate wines. By 2006, Carroll had a definite palate preference for Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and by 2008, all of the fruit in Red Car wines will be from Sonoma County. Carroll is so committed to the true Sonoma Coast that he is moving the Red Car winery from its current Central Coast Wine Services location in Santa Maria to Graton in Sonoma County which is close to the Red Car Vineyard.

Paul Sequeira, a Sonoma County native, joined Red Car in 2009 as Director of Sales and Viticulture, and will be intimately involved in all facets of the winery. Photo below shows Carroll (left) and Paul at this year&rsquos World of Pinot Noir.

The Red Car style has evolved to date. The initial vintage of Pinot Noir in 2002 was made like their Syrah and was quite popular with Parker who prefers bigger, fruitier Pinot Noirs. The focus now is just the reverse with the Syrahs being made more like Pinot Noirs and the Pinot Noirs taking on less extraction and emphasizing tension. The goal now is to fuse the contrasting forces of tension in wine encompassing alcohol, acid, tannin and fruit so they coexist in harmony. As Carroll notes, &ldquoWines devoid of tension lack a center - that point at which contrasting elements meet. This is often perceived as a lack of complexity. Though many elements may be present, their sum tastes &ldquoflat,&rdquo like a painting without a focal point. A wine without tension is neither interesting nor balanced, which may indeed by true of life itself.&rdquo Red Car is committed to quality and is shifting over to all 4-year air-dried French oak in their barrel program. The wines are neither fined nor filtered.

On my way to the 2009 World of Pinot Noir, I stopped at Central Coast Wine Services to taste the 2007 Red Car Pinot Noirs and the 2008 Pinot Noir components from barrel with Carroll and Paul. I also tasted the 2007 Heaven and Earth and 2007 Aphorist several weeks later at home. The wines are still concentrated by Pinot Noir standards, but they are now more interesting, more focused, less extracted and better balanced compared to previous vintages. The 2007 Pinot Noirs were picked at an average 24º brix, the 2008 grapes even lower at 23.5º to 23.8º brix. There is no watering back of alcohol levels. Since I tasted in March, 2009, the Red Car Aphorist and Heaven and Earth Pinot Noirs have receiving very high scores from the wine press and have been lauded in multiple publications. As good as the 2007 wines are, the 2008 vintage wines may be even better, in part due to increasing familiarity with the vineyard sources and ongoing changes in the winemaking regimen.

14.5% alc., 733 cases, $45. Sourced from three Sonoma Coast vineyards: Zio Tony (60%), La Boheme (25%) in Occidental and Bartolomei (15%) in Forestville. Aged in 57% new French oak barrels. & middot A darkly fruited wine with aromas of black grapes and berries with a touch of smoke, and deep flavors of black raspberries with an underpinning of oak. Silky mouth feel, complimentary lift of acidity, and a pleasing finish.

14.5% alc., 350 cases, $54. Second single vineyard designated Pinot Noir and first from the La Boheme Vineyard which lies just outside Occidental. It is a Red Car monopole that is farmed with Ulises Valdez. The Calera clone dominates the blend. & middot Weighty scents of blackberries, plums, anise, barnyard and a whiff of alcohol. Slightly confected black raspberry fruit flavor with a wisp of earth, black tea and oak. Luxurious and comforting in the mouth, wrapping the tongue in fruit, and ending in a bright and lingering finish that leaves a touch of heat in its wake. A bear of a wine that is a hedonist&rsquos delight.

14.5% alc., 350 cases, $54. Second single vineyard designated Pinot Noir and first from the La Boheme Vineyard which lies just outside Occidental. It is a Red Car monopole that is farmed with Ulises Valdez. The Calera clone dominates the blend. & middot Weighty scents of blackberries, plums, anise, barnyard and a whiff of alcohol. Slightly confected black raspberry fruit flavor with a wisp of earth, black tea and oak. Luxurious and comforting in the mouth, wrapping the tongue in fruit, and ending in a bright and lingering finish that leaves a touch of heat in its wake. A bear of a wine that is a hedonist&rsquos delight.

2008 Red Car Bartolomei Vineyard Blocks 1 & 2 Pinot Noir (barrel sample). Clones are 113 and Jackson 16. Very tasty red and black berries and plum with a cola accent. Smoothly textured with a solid acid spine.

2008 Red Car Bartolomei Vineyard Blocks 2 & 3 Pinot Noir (barrel sample). Clones are 777 and Jackson 16. Darkly fruited with more roundness and softness than blocks 1 & 2. Very smooth, aromatic with a refreshing finish. Love this.

2008 Red Car La Boheme Vineyard Calera Clone Pinot Noir (no stems, barrel sample). Aromas of fresh plums, dark chocolate, smoke and a hint of leaves. Bright and fresh dark stone fruits in the mouth.

2008 Red Car La Boheme Vineyard Calera Clone Pinot Noir (20% stems, barrel sample). Slightly darker in color. More purity of fruit in the nose and in the mouth with more spice. Rounder with slightly more tannin and a longer finish. Definitely prefer this over the stem-free sample. Very educational comparison.

Platt Vineyard is a new source of Pinot Noir for Red Car and no Red Car wine has been released from this vineyard. The vineyard consists of 20 acres that will be sourced by Red Car, Scherrer and Littorai. All the planted Chardonnay goes to Ramey. A very cold site between Freestone and Bodega, west of the new Kistler vineyards at the extreme climatic edge of viticulture. Unfortunately, the owner who farmed this vineyard, Lew Platt, passed away before any wine was released from this vineyard.

2008 Red Car Platt Vineyard Calera Clone (no stems, barrel sample). 13.48% alc.. Really attractive flavors of juicy dark Pinot fruits with an appealing earthiness, restrained tannins and a very silky texture.

2008 Red Car Platt Vineyard 828 Clone (30% new oak, barrel sample). 14.03% alc.. Somewhat awkward now. Very fruity - &ldquograpey.&rdquo Minimal tannins. Difficult to evaluate presently.

Campbell Ranch Vineyard is located in Annapolis on the true Sonoma Coast. Kemp showed me the results of an experiment with 2008 fruit from this vineyard. The grapes were fermented together using free run juice, then the wine was put into two different barrel regimens: 3-year air-dried French oak and 4-year air-dried French oak (100% new). The wine raised in 3-year air-dried barrels had more char in the aromas and flavors. The wine raised in 4-year air-dried French oak had some char but the dark fruit showed through much better with a sweeter mid-palate. Carroll finds that the smoke and char influences from the 4-year air-dried barrels tend to evolve to an attractive spice quality over time. The findings have led Carroll to shift the barrel aging program to 4-year air-dried barrels.

The point to be gleamed from tasting the 2008 barrel samples is that winemakers like Kemp are continually trying to perfect their craft and improve their wines. The ongoing experimentation in wineries is necessary to refine the style of Pinot Noir that embodies the winemaker&rsquos goals. In this regard, Kemp has acknowledged the continuing evolution of the Red Car style and the resulting wines have improved through trial and error with each succeeding vintage.

To get on the Red Car, join the mailing list at www.redcarwine.com. The wines are highly allocated. Box Car Pinot Noir ($28), Rosé, Syrah and Roussanne complete the portfolio. 213-229-2800.


Pinot Noir Exploration. Let’s Taste a Bunch

Until recently, I wasn’t a Pinot Noir guy. It’s not that I didn’t like it. It’s just that I liked other varieties more. Pinot Noir is my wife’s favorite red. That should be reason enough to make it the theme for the month, right? Well as I’ve tasted more and more, I’m kind of – you know – liking this stuff. And because she likes them, she’s joined me in tasting these which makes it a little more fun.

As much as I like tasting these Pinot Noir wines, I really would like to hear from you. Grab yourself a bottle and you do some of your own exploration and don’t keep it to yourself. Share with the rest of us what you have found. This won’t be costing you a lot. None of the wines I’ll be tasting are over $20 and most of them are between $10 and $15. They are definitely affordable.

So let’s have at it with us tasting a good number of these. I have already tasted and recorded three for this coming week and I’ve got another eight in my wine cooler.

If you read my articles a month back on Pinot Noir, you’ll remember I referenced the movie Sidelæns that talked so much about Pinot Noirs. The main character love Pinot Noir and hated Merlots. The movie actually spiked Pinot Noir wine sales.

There are plenty of issues around growing Pinot Noir. It’s a difficult grape to grow so it’s primarily grown in specific areas that have the right sort of cool, dry weather.

Burgundy, France is the standard for Pinot Noir. Red wines grown in this region, except in the southern Beaujolais area of Burgundy, are 100% Pinot Noir by law. The weather there is well suited for it. They are the worlds top Pinot Noir producer.

If you look at the images I’ve included with this article, you’ll see the USA is the second largest.

Several areas in northern California are perfect for it. You have Sonoma’s Russian River Valley. The river serves as a funnel allowing Pacific Ocean breezes and fog in keeping temperatures low.

Monterrey gets winds right off of Monterrey Bay. That keeps the area cold. Santa Barbara and Carneros are similar with either the Ocean or the bay near by that serve as natural air conditioners keeping these the vineyards consistently at the right cool climate.

Oregon Willamete Valley is another one. It’s 30 miles inland from the Pacific. Finally we have New Zealand. It’s an island with maritime weather controlled by the cool ocean water that surrounds it.

In preparing for this theme, I discovered Germany is the number 3 producer. The first Pinot Noir in the month’s tasting is from there. You learn something every day, right?

As I’ve continued to explore Pinot Noir wines, I’ve discovered they are also grown in New Zealand, Argentina, Italy and other areas. I’ve worked a few of these Pinot Noir wines into the line up.

Again, talk to me. Keep me company as we do this theme and let’s explore this together.


Product Details control arrow

Meyer Pinot Noir

A complex Pinot Noir with tart black cherry, plum and vanilla aromas and a richly elegant freshness with violets and red fruit depth.

About this bottle: Nestled amongst beautiful orchards, rolling hills, crystal clear lakes and unique micro climates, the semi-arid Okanagan Valley is ideal for growing wine grapes, especially Pinot Noir. The Meyer Family focuses on selecting the best vineyards and crafting truly distinctive wines. M&S winemaker Belinda Kleinig worked with Jak Meyer to select this fine Pinot Noir for its purity and layered complexity.


Se videoen: Grape Powdery Mildew in Pinot Noir Vines (Januar 2022).