Locations OR Pinot Noir
Naturally, Dave Phinney's first endeavor in Oregon had to be Pinot Noir. With a climate and soil profile ideally suited to the notoriously fussy varietal, they sought out the best region – the Willamette Valley. Graceful hillside slopes, ruddy volcanic dirt, and optimal diurnal swings provided spectacular fruit come harvest. Vivid red with a deep purple core, the nose is generous with ripe cherry, black raspberry, acacia flowers, and hint of forest floor. Immediately, the palate is treated to a textural mélange of sweet cherry, pomegranate, rose petal, and sappy strawberry. A lively mid-palate reveals a mineral twist and exotic spice notes juxtaposed with fine tannins and superb clarity on the finish.
Saxon Brown Pinot Noir 2013, Rosella’s Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands$52.00
Saxon Brown’s winemaker, Jeff Gaffner, began his career at Chateau St. Jean, under the tutelage of renowned vintner Richard Arrowood, who Jeff credits with teaching him the importance of being as passionate about growing the grapes as making the wine. While at Chateau St. Jean, Jeff was part of the winemaking team responsible for the winery’s celebrated 1996 Cinq Cepages, which was named Wine of the Year by Wine Spectator Magazine. Jeff launched Saxon Brown to focus on small single vineyard bottlings reflecting his preference for elegantly structured, well balanced and age worthy wines. In addition to Saxon Brown, Jeff enjoys critical acclaim as consulting winemaker for artisan labels including Xtant (Napa Valley), Stephanie by Hestan (Napa Valley), Black Kite Cellars (Anderson Valley) and Ram’s Gate Winery (Carneros).
Sustainably farmed, the Saxon Brown PInot Noir 2013, Rosella’sVineyard, Santa Lucia Hioghlands is “deep and detailed with very pure, ripe cherry fruit, neatly placed oak and hints of dried flowers in the nose. Inviting flavors build on its aromas, very well-constructed, at once succulent and sleek with the balance and fruity stamina of a wine destined to age famously. Tasty now. A carefully made Pinot Noir.” Connoisserur’s Guide 91 Points. “Another terrifric wine. A beautifully textured and forward style.” Wine Advocate 91 Points. Blended 50% of the infamous Pisoni Clone for the wild, exotic and slow-revealing elements, and 50% of the baked cherry 777 clone. It shows flowers, spice, tobacco and a dark, brooding palate. Only 226 cases made.
Malm Cellars Pinot Noir 2014, Sonoma Coast, CA USA$27.00
Malm Cellars has become one of Sonoma County's best kept secrets! Nearly every activity here including vineyard management, crafting, production, and product distribution, revolves around one man, ex-Sonoma State soccer star turned winemaker, Brendan Malm. Malm's wines quickly exploded onto the oenophile stage, when a bottle drawn from his first barrel captured gold medal honors at the prestigious Orange County Fair. Fifteen years later, Malm Cellars wines are sought after by collectors and connoisseurs alike. The 2014 Sonoma County Pinot Noir is primarily from a vineyard high up on Sonoma Mountain. A mix of clones 115, 667 and 777 only add layers to this bottling making it one of my best values to date. Hand sorted in the vineyard at the winery allowed them to bring in only the best fruit. The wine was aged on the lees for 6 months. During barrel aging, the lees were stirred every two weeks to enhance the rich, round character of the wine. After 2 1/2 years on French Oak this wine was gently bottled. Inky and intense, positively bursting with the flavor of blueberries and blackberries in a tightly knit package. Enjoy the exotic spices in the aroma that carry through on the palate. Ripe, but not overripe, this is a luscious Pinot for anyone who appreciates something with more acidity and grace than the typical fruit bomb. Only 625 cases made.
Domaine Roy 2015 Maison Roy “Petite Incline” Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley$38.00
The winery began in 2012 with Marc-André Roy and Jared Etzel who continue in their fathers’ footsteps who partnered to establish Beaux Freres Winery in 1991. The winery focuses on wine from two estate vineyards in the Dundee Hills and Carlton under the Domaine Roy et Fils label, and wines from non-estate fruit is labeled Maison Roy et Fils. The 2015 Maison Roy & fils Petite Incline is comprised of a blend of vineyards from the Dundee Hills & Yamhill Carlton. The Domaine Roy Petite Incline 2015, Willamette Valley is a selection of barrels that show the earliest accessibility and allow for prime drinking on release. The color is lighter, the tannins are soft and the wine is quite floral. The aromatics present red berries, mint and dried herbs while the palate shows ripe red fruit and a round lighthearted profile that will provide optimal drinking for the next 5-6 years. 90 Points Wine Enthusiast. Enjoy with Roasted Salmon – another great coming from the northwest!