2018 Spring Equinox
2018 Spring Equinox Mailing List Offerings
"The Heritage" case selections:
$300/ mixed case 6-pack ($20 shipping or free local delivery)
2015 Heritage #4, Whistling Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge AVA
One of the "top five Oregon Pinots of the vintage" per Avalon Wines. Whistling Ridge sits ridge-top in the Western edge of the Ribbon Ridge AVA, directly above the Beaux Freres vineyard. The vines catch the daily winds that blow in, slowing ripening, evaporating moisture, and thickening skins. Soils are formed from uplifted sedimentary rock and dry out quickly in the drought summers, forcing vines to grow deep roots in search of water. Richard and Patricia Alvord planted the vineyard in 1990, and have farmed it the past two and a half decades. Patricia does all of her own grafting, and the Pinot Noir is made up of close to a dozen clones in a massale planting. 75% whole cluster, 35% new French oak puncheon(500L). The wine is beautifully red-fruited, structured, elegant, and complex. Decant to drink now, or drink 2020-2040.
2015 Heritage #5, Durant Vineyard Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills AVA
170 cases produced, from the original planting in 1973, 65% whole cluster. Durant vineyard spans from 250-700 feet of gentle east facing slope in the Dundee Hills AVA. The volcanic soils provide an elegant red fruit and lushness to the wines. This bottling shows the robustness of the vintage combined with the elegance and nuance that only old vines can offer.
2015 Heritage #6, Fir Crest Vineyard Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton AVA
102 cases produced, 75% whole cluster, 50% new French oak puncheon(500L). Fir Crest was first planted in 1985, and is set into Oregon's coastal foothills, in the far SW corner of the Yamhill-Carlton AVA. Soils are based in uplifted marine sediments, with little moisture holding capacity and vines must have deep roots to find the water they need to survive. The wine is dark fruited and floral with a high natural acidity, and responds particularly well to our whole cluster preferences in the cellar. Deeply hued with notes of blue and black fruit, violets and floral perfumes abound. The wine is dense and intensely fruited, but with equal parts elegance and rustic structure. Reminds me of an Oregon version of Clos de la Roche.
"Terroir: Wines of Place" case selections:
$400/ mixed case 12-pack ($20 shipping or free local delivery)
2015 Durant Vineyard Chardonnay, Dundee Hills AVA
Mineral driven, layered, with excellent weight and length this Chardonnay is showing beautifully right now. Find a better Chardonnay than this for the money (seriously, we just poured it blind with 2015 Dauvissat La Forest Chablis, 2015 PYCM Chassagne Montrachet Las Ancieres 1er Cru, 2015 Caroline Morey Chassagne Montrachet, Les Encieres 1er Cru , and Meursault-Blagny, La piece Sous la Bois, Chapelle de Blagny 1er Cru, and it was nearly a consensus wine of the flight among 18 tasters).
2015 "Richard's Cuvée", Whistling Ridge Chardonnay, Ribbon Ridge AVA
Don't cheat yourself, the Willamette Valley is producing world class Chardonnay (check the CT notes on this wine). Whistling Ridge Vineyard consistently produces a Chardonnay that is mineral and deep, with lemon curd and almond flowers. This is a mixed clonal planting, dry farmed, ridge top exposure, and sedimentary soils. Farmed by Dick Alvord and Patricia Gustafson like Charlie Parker played the saxophone.
2015 Durant Vineyard Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills AVA
Intensely flavored with layers of stem spice, dried strawberries, boysenberries, and notes of coffee and citrus. This wine is from an east facing slope in one of the oldest vineyards in the Willamette Valley. As with all of our Pinot Noir: harvested by hand, fermented with native yeasts, and high percentages of stems (50-100%). Elevage in neutral barrique and used puncheon for 19 months... robustly beautiful.
2015 Fir Crest Vineyard Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton AVA
Dark yet floral, violets in the prettiest, way but dark enough to be dangerous too. This vineyard is tucked into the coastal foothills, in the far south west corner of Yamhill-Carlton, and is a perfect example of the work Oregon has to do in exploring the potential of it's vineyard sites. This is our first year offering a single vineyard cuvée from here, and it is turning heads every time we pour it. Elegant in the way Howie Long or Donavan McNabb is. Grilled meats, and full flavored dishes.
2015 Whistling Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge AVA
Don't miss this. 2015 is a tremendous vintage for Whistling Ridge, all of the savory nuances of the vineyard fold in under very pure red and black fruits, loamy earth, and exotic sweet spice. Drink this in the next 5-6 months, or hold until 2020.
2013 Whistling Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge AVA (Cellar Release)
Katherine Hepburn. Austere intertwined with beautiful. This was a "difficult" vintage. Based upon what I saw in the wine, we held back a considerable number of cases and look forward to releasing, and drinking, this wine periodically over the next 15 years. Averages 50% whole cluster, fermented with native yeasts, aged in puncheon for 20 months.
2013 Bishop Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton AVA (Cellar Release)
This wine is 3 barrels, 74 cases, of old vine (planted in 1989) Wadensville clone fruit, that was supposed to be a part of a larger lot. It was so beautiful in 2015 that I held it out to make a single vineyard wine. When first bottled it was light bodied and tight enough that we only sent out bottles to wine club and 2 cases for Paley's Place. After 5 years, it's ready for release but with so little produced, we wanted to offer it here first. In a recent tasting against 2013 Premier Cru Burgundy, only Chandon de Briailles classic Ille de Vergelesses bottling was finer. Drink now or cellar it for any special occasion in the future.
"The al Fresco" case selections
$220/ mixed-case 12 pack (shipping not included)
2016 Willamette Valley Pinot Gris
Crisp with yellow flowers, peach, pear, and then saline with stony, savory notes. Like George Clooney, you think it's just "pretty" but then Oh Brother Where Art Thou comes along...and you realize it may not be profound, but it's really good.
2015 Willamette Valley Chardonnay
From Whistling Ridge and Durant vineyards, this is a baby Puligny-Montrachet. Exquisitely precise, nervy and electric, with the cut and minerality of the aforementioned Burgundian bottles. Our Chardonnay spends 21 months on the lees in neutral and new French oak puncheons, and foudres, creating an extra layer of texture, savory notes from the lees, and a more harmonious mouthfeel. (Limited availability).
2015 Whistling Ridge Blanc, Ribbon Ridge AVA
Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Gewurtztraminer planted together, harvested together, and fermented together in decade old neutral oak barrels. This wine is effortlessly versatile with rich stone fruit and balanced acid offering the perfect pairing for everything from cured meats to oysters on the half shell. (Winemaker's recommendation: buy a few bottles to drink this summer, but "lose" at least one until 2020... it's really not that long, and you will be so, so happy you did).
2015 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
92+ from Wine Advocate last year. This is all old vine fruit from Whistling Ridge, Durant, Bishop Creek, and Fir Crest Vineyards. It showcases the fruit, power, and structure of the 2015 vintage.
2014 Ribbon Ridge Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge AVA
Declassified 500L puncheons from Whistling Ridge, this wine is showing so well right now. At some of Portland's finer restaurants (Aviary in particular) I have had 4-5 people in the last month let me know how much they enjoyed it. The 2014 smells of flowers laying on red silk draped over a spice cabinet.
2014 Deux Vert Vineyard Syrah, Yamhill-Carlton AVA
Grown in Yamhill-Carlton, fermented with whole cluster, native yeast, a 10% Viognier co-ferment, and raised in neutral 300L hogsheads for 27 months. Cool climate Syrah at it's most elegant... think Jasmin Cote-Rotie meets Marcel LaPierre Morgon. Mulberry with hints of blue fruits, cinnamon and sweet spice, light bodied but with silky texture. This is unlike any other Syrah I have seen, a perfect red wine for outdoor drinking. Pretty, lithe, and refreshing (yes, Syrah can be refreshing) and puts on weight over 2-3 days after opening.