**Whew!. . Just found my notes from our 2nd day of tastings on Memorial day weekend. Thought I had lost them**
For Day 2 we decided to stick fairly close to home and see some previously unvisited venues in Yamhill county.
Domaine Drouhin was stop #1. First of all, what a beautiful facility. The views from their deck are breath-taking. And the wines are equally so.
I normally don’t favor wines from the Dundee Hills because of the predominance of minerality that typically inhabits wines from this AVA. I am very happy to say that these wines were absent that dominant characteristic. Which for my money, allows the fruit to be dominant rather than the location.
Rose of Pinot Noir – Pretty typical example of this wine. Good fruit, moderately acidic and refreshing.
Chardonnay – I’m typically not a big Chard fan, but this wine could sway me. It wasn’t buttery, like CA Chardonnay, but it had a very distinct smoothness about it. The fruit came through very well and the structure was robust and welcoming.
There were then 3 different Pinot Noirs to taste. The mineral flavor that is so common amongst Dundee Hills Pinots was not present in any of these offerings.
Dundee Hills ’13 – Moderate structure, good balanced acidity, fruit-forward
*Roserock ’13 – Also had very good structure, the tannins bolstered this wine nicely, the balance was superb and the acidity was right on point.
*Laurene ’12 – Creme de la creme of their offerings. Laurene is a great example of what makes most 2012 Oregon Pinots so sought after. The round mouthfeel, full structure of the tannins, the balanced acidity and the dark fruit flavors that dance across your tongue. Just excellent.
Colene Clemens was stop #2.
The adventure started with –
*Rose of Pinot Noir . The nose was robust with floral notes, the fruit on the palate was also very vibrant, light acidity and structure was quite good for such a subtle wine. Overall, one of the best roses I’ve ever tasted.
We next did a deep dive into Pinot Noir. I think all 4 of the Pinots we were offered were delicious, for various different reasons. All were either 2012 or 2013 vintages.
Margo ’13- Very soft and feminine structure, subtle flavors, smooth and balanced.
*Adriane ’13- PLUSH, GORGEOUS and ELEGANT! A superbly balanced wine of unsurpassed greatness.( Dijon clones: 115, 667, 777, Pommard and Wadenswil)
Adriane ’12 – Brambly on the nose, more vegetal and acidic than the ’13.
Victoria ’13 – Another soft, feminine and well-balanced offering.
Beacon Hill Winery has quite a storied past. The grounds and facility are truly gorgeous. I tasted several of their wines and found most to be quite nice, but no real standouts in the group.
Pinot Gris – Alsatian style, nice, crisp and creamy
Rose of Pinot – smooth and tart. Mid palate drops out and the finish is unremarkable
Dundee Pinot Noir ’11 – 100% 777 clone, nicely round, slightly tart with light mineral notes.
Chehalem Mtn Pinot ’13 – from Dick Erath’s original plantings – Very vegetal aroma, balanced and smooth, and yes. . slightly mineral
*La Colina Pinot ’14 – Soft and feminine, similar to my favorite Whole cluster fermentation. Easy and plush with no mineral quality
Natalie’s Estate was our last stop and one I was looking forward to trying.
Pinot Gris – Unusual nose, could quite pin down the aroma, seems an Alsatian style ferment.
*Tempranillo ’14 – Nicely round, smoky and smooth. Very nice
Stable 39 ’14 – A bled of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petite Verdot. A bit harsh, needs some time to mellow and meld together.
Merlot ’13 – Smooth with a touch of spice. And an added bonus was smoky nature from the fire in Southern Oregon that occurred while these grapes were maturing.
*Sangiovese ’13 – Nicely balanced with a dried fruit aroma on the nose. Very smooth.