I love Gamay Noir, and especially the “Villages” style of Beaujolais, with more depth, complexity, and structural balance than any version of “Nouveau” on the market. The 2013 Gamay Noir is OUR version of the best Oregon “Villages” we can imagine, sourced from some of the oldest Gamay vines in the USA. This wine has such perfectly refreshing acidity and spice, which Gamay is known for, showing summer berry pudding and cranberry sauce, with bright chewy raspberry, cinnamon bark, and a healthy shake of both white and black pepper. This wine also has a richer side (showing both sides of the coin, much like the vintage itself), exemplified by plum skin, milk chocolate, earth, black currant, and coriander. Overall, great balance, fruit, and depth – enough to make you think about the wine, but not too hard.
This Three Vineyard Pinot noir has struck a fantastic balance between the warm ripening season of 2013 and the cooler picking season right before harvest, giving us the best of both worlds in one wine. There is beautiful ripe black cherry and brambly cassis on the nose, with fresh wet earth and a tea leaf component. White pepper, dusty cocoa, tobacco, sweet loam, and raspberry accentuate the nose, providing a fresh, full, complex package. The palate is lithe and playful, with especially round, pliable acid, and an overarching flavor of rich cranberry sauce and rose hips. The finish is lengthy yet elegant, some silk-nap tannins throughout the wine, with what we all noted in one way or another as ‘fresh yet supple,’ and showing amazing clarity and beautiful balance.
The depth and concentration of the Corral Creek fruit in 2012 was not typical for the delicacy of the vineyard, but we can’t help but love this wine right off the bat. It’s more lush and big than normal, but already opening up to beautiful vanilla and clove, black raspberry, and warm baking spices. The palate has aspects of baking cocoa, lavender, tobacco, and bing cherries, with weighty structure leading into a more delicate, long finish.
Stoller has always been a fleshy and beautiful site for Pinot Noir, but this is one of our favorites in recent memory. 2012 opened itself fully to great ripeness, with restraint, and showing perfect amounts of acid and fresh fruit. The deep garnet color speaks levels about the intensity of the vintage, aided by chewy tannins, cassis, leather, and rich mocha flavors. This one can age for eons, and may need a fat Ribeye steak for dinner. Move over Cabernet, here’s Stoller 2012 Pinot!
Ridgecrest, as typically seen in a ripe vintage, shows deep black-purple garnet color, with a characteristic dusty blackberry, earth and tea leaf, black pepper, cocoa powder and baking spices on the nose. The palate has moderate tannin, and is very approachable now but will continue to develop and fill-out with additional time. Some more subtle aspects appearing in the glass include slight tar, plum, black currant, and sweet wood. There’s abundant acid for aging, and ripe, firm tannins that will mellow with a bit of age.
This Pinot shows typicity for Ridgecrest’s younger plantings on Wind Ridge, with lots of vibrant fruit and density. Visually it is a deep garnet color with a red-purple hue, the nose shows blackberry to red-currant, chocolate cherry, red licorice, and freshness. The palate is rich and fleshy, with moderate tannin, a slight presence of alcohol, bittersweet chocolate, a smooth finish, and a wild, bright aspect that assures a long life ahead.
This tasting panel cuvée gives us a preview of what a lovely vintage 2013 is for Pinot Noir. There is more elegance than we would have expected from the warm summer, with a delicacy on the nose showing rose hips, red raspberry, hints of smoke and spice, and youthful tart cherry. The balance is lovely, light on its feet, with a finely-balanced, sweet fruit finish. Some highlights we noted include strawberry preserves, cassis, forest floor, and a young, lively, playful tannin profile. Well done Tasting Panel, well done.
It’s no surprise the 2012 vintage has been highly touted by critics and consumers alike, and it’s no surprise we chose this wine as our top-of-the-line wine from a top-of-the-line vintage. This wine will blow your socks off. Not only was it a fabulous vintage to begin with, a bit of hail in the Spring on Ribbon Ridge clipped this crop short and helped to concentrate this wine even more. Red-to-black velour in color, so deep you can barely see through it, with a bounty of dark fruit (think huckleberries and tiny soft blackberries), so concentrated and filled with sweet fruit you can hardly stand it. The flavors and aromas keep changing in the glass, but the complexity reaches out with vanilla, crème de cassis, rose hips, tamarind, tobacco, blackberry seed, warm oak, and bing cherry. Tremendous depth and density, serious tannin, juiciness, a big, lingering finish, but it’s still lively and vibrant, and it’s got ageability for the ages. Phew.
This wine is only made in very special vintages—and 2011 is definitely special. The wine is dense, three-dimensional, well-structured in acid and tannin, spherically balanced and the epitome of Ribbon Ridge’s red-black Pinot Noir capabilities. Alcohol is perfect, pH likewise, phenolics are round and beautiful, and acids focused. Expect to be wowed today, but also expect a classic scenario of pulling this wine from cellar in 30 years and wondering how a wine could be this good. Classic is a good summary word.
This wine makes us want to sing in French. The palate is delicate and bold, all at once, marrying the texture, acid, and balance of various components of a Ruby Red grapefruit with the beautiful aromatics of hibiscus and strawberries and cream. Wonderfully dry, textural, and fruity. We are ready to pair this one with food, or simply chilled on a porch on a hot summer day…get it while you can. Vivé le pink and bleu!
Rich, white and yellow fruit is in the forefront, with peaks of citrus zest, light spice and mineral, honey, and white blossoms. On the palate we see slightly bruised apple with the tartness of Granny Smiths, dried mango, finishing out to a long, broad, rich finish. This is INOX at the pinnacle of balance, profiting from the ripe summer and the cooler harvest period to give us both richness and acid, as well as great purity of fruit.
Beautiful fresh aromatic notes of hang-dried linens, white blossom, Asian pear, and lemon curd greet us on the entry, with lingering hints of candied ginger and butterscotch on the finish of the nose. The palate is especially balanced, showing warmth and spice from a warmer summer in the form of dried apricot, peach pit, and rose petal. The summer fruits are followed by pleasantly lithe acidity and the balancing fruit sweetness of salmon berries, tart cherry, and mandarin, all brought on by a cooler finish to the harvest season.
Appearance-wise, the 2013 3 Vineyard Riesling has a beautifully crystalline, deep platinum color, with bright spiciness and great balance on the nose and palate, showing breadth, slight salinity, and acid all at once. Green apple, white peach, and flinty brightness punctuate a fleshier structure, composed of lychee, candied ginger, rosewater, and Turkish Delights. This Riesling has the texture and acid on that palate to allow plenty of time to age, but is very agreeable straight out of the chute.
Oh, Corral Creek; where the Riesling is always bright and clean, even if the critics don’t understand the vintage! This is one of CHEHALEM’s many argument for good wines from good producers in every single vintage. I guess it’s not your thing, if you don’t like pineapple and gladiolas, or lemon pie, cotton candy, and sunshine, or if you have an adverse reaction to richness, balanced acid, and a twinge of residual sugar singing sweetly, all at the same time. But, then again, who wouldn’t want to taste a fresh apple married to a melon, smell some jasmine and honeysuckle, and have their palate caressed with silky, golden, mouthwatering, flinty nectar? Nobody, that’s who.
Wow. 2012 was a luscious year, and this Riesling is just beginning to open to its real potential. A smaller-crop year on Ribbon ridge lends extra concentration and focus to this wine, showing white spice and brightness on the nose, chamomile, honey, peach, and the inkling stages of those slatey-Riesling characteristics we love! The palate is as fresh and lovely as one would expect from the nose, with loads of juicy, mouthwatering fruit (think pineapple, kiwi, lime peel, and stone fruit), and texture abides on the finish. Stunning.
Playful aromatics of orange blossom and white flowers show-off up front, while lime peel, cold cream and green apple candy are persistent until the wine hits your tongue. The palate is light to moderately weighty despite the fine tickling bubbles, with fresh ripe pear and high-toned spice notes. It has impeccable balance overall, the succulent sweetness of a liquid popsicle, with bright, juicy acid; a mouthwatering, refreshing Riesling. This 2013 may truly be the best SEXT we’ve ever had.
This is the epitome of full-bodied, savory, food-friendly Grüner Veltliner. Sage and thyme, dusty white fruit, lemon rind, and white pepper accent the nose. The palate has textural aspects from the neutral barrel fermented portion of the blend, and there is a touch of RS that makes food even more inviting. The finish shows Granny Smith apples, lemon curd, wet stone, a focused amount of acid, and length for ages.
This Pinot Blanc is a beautifully-ripe example of what Pinot Blanc should be. The color shows a light and bright yellow hue, and the nose has a wonderful diversity of pure white fruit, subtle waxiness, and warm melon/fig/honey to sweet daffodil and lavender. The palate is broad and rich, with enough acid to be reminiscent of red grapefruit, and enough weight and texture to be interesting but not rough. Each aspect is nicely integrated, and shows amazing potential with some additional time in bottle.
Our barrel-fermented Pinot Gris from 2012 is a classic example of why we love this vintage. The wine shows power and fullness gained from deliciously ripe fruit, yet there is plenty of elegance found in the balanced acidity and feathery palate weight, which intertwine seamlessly. The essence of warmth is prevalent on the nose and palate, highlighted by notes of browned-butter, passion fruit, Turkish Delights, olive oil, yellow corn tortillas, and slate. The palate has depth and richness, a small amount of pleasant barrel-influenced texture, and finishes with a hint of acid and silky, smooth length.
The 2012 Ian’s Reserve Chardonnay is gorgeous, as much like a Corton Chardonnay as any we can remember making. Essence of baking spices, brown sugar, brioche, and butterscotch complement the lemon curd, baked apple, and white flower notes seen throughout. The acidity needed structurally for a truly ageable Chardonnay is present, but it doesn’t interfere with its custard-like, rich, round, supple palate. Everyone tasting this wine was amazed by its seductivity; the balance is outstanding, the length and flavor persistence excellent for this age, a touch of warm wood was present (like being enveloped by a gentle sauna), and a silky, full, creamy texture promises one of the best Chardonnays we’ve made. Just, wow.
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