Yamhill-Carlton AVA Spring Tasting – 2017

One of those events I’ve been wanting to attend for a few years, but there seemed to always be a conflict of schedule.  This year, however, I made certain that we could go.  And I’m very happy we did attend.

The event has been hosted for several years at Anne Amie Vineyards, just outside of Lafayette Oregon.  A gorgeous location situated atop rolling hills of green.  And to top off the location and the fantastic abundance of wine offerings . . . the sun was out and gave us respite from the seeming endless winter weather.

Attending this year were 39 wineries that represent the length and breadth of the Yamhill-Carlton AVA.  Most wineries had 3 tastes to offer, some had only 2.  I did my best to taste those that I had, as yet, not had opportunity to try.  I successfully tasted 19 different wines ranging from crisp and tangy Sauvignon Blanc to some rich and deep Pinot Noir.  All in all an enchanting experience.  I highly recommend that this event find itself on your schedule next Spring.  I’ll mark those (**) that I discovered that really impressed.

Ken Wright Cellars – A preeminent recipient of wine awards.  I understand why.

2014 Chardonnay – Creamy texture, bright acidity and truly amazing.  And I don’t care for Chardonnay

** 2014 Savoya Pinot Noir – Bright fresh fruit on the nose as well as on the palate.  Very well balanced with a soft but long finish.  A very nice choice.

2014 McCrone Pinot Noir – Good fruit on the nose, not as bright as the Savoya.  Solid and well balanced, but a bit dry on the finish.

La Randonnee– A very small production winery.

2016 Sauvignon Blanc – Crisp and fruity, good solid texture.  A very nice refresher.

Gran Moraine Winery

NV Pinot Noir Rose’ – (I neglected to get the vintage) Bright nose, ample acid on the mid palate without going to long, mouth-watering, with a good balance

2014 Pinot Noir – Great nose.  Very fruit forward.  A 5-clone Pinot blend.  Well balanced with great fruit.

2013 Pinot Noir – Earthy nose, mushroom and earth on the palate.  Well balanced texture and a long finish.  Classic cool vintage pinot.

Ghost Hill Cellars– One of those that I’ve been wanting to visit for quite some time.

2013 Bayliss-Bower Pinot Noir – Excellent nose, loads of fruit.  On the palate it is a bit lighter, more subdued, but good fruit notes throughout.

2013 Pinot Blanc – Nice bright fruit, tart but solid mid palate with balanced acidity.

** 2015 The Spirit of Pinot Noir Rose’ – unmistakable strawberry on the nose, solid mid palate, very balanced.  Great choice for a summer patio wine.

Elk Cove Vineyards – They have a new entry-level wine label that I’ve been wanting to try.  Pike Road Wines.

2015 Pike Road Pinot Noir – Made from fruit from 6 estate vineyards, this wine is the epitome of Cuvee’.  A blend of some of the best fruit from some of the best vineyards around the AVA.  Deep dark fruit and cola flavors.  Great texture, smooth tannins and excellent finish.  What I call a Solid Drinker.

Boedecker Cellars

** 2014 Pinot Noir Shea Vineyards –Made form 100% Wadenswil clone.  A BIG, DARK plum and dark cherry front.  The “biggest” pinot noir I think I’ve ever tasted.  Almost Cab Sauv.  Excellent balance.  My oh my.

Big Table Farm

2014 Pinot Noir – Mild nose, not a lot there . . . The Mid is good, good balance.  Solid finish

2015 Pinot Noir – A bit vegetal on the nose, brambly and mushroom, brighter mid though.  Preferable for me.  Also solid finish.

Anne Amie Vineyards

2014 Estate Pinot Blanc –  Unusual nose, mixture of floral and citrus, Decent mid palate, through line of Lemon.  Very nice.

2013 Pinot Noir – Good nose, dry mid, and very short.  But, it is a cool vintage . . . so take that with a grain.

Angela Estate –

2013 Angela Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir – Mild but good fruit on nose, pepper through the mid and finishes dry.

**2013 Abbot’s Claim Vineyard Pinot Noir – My wife strongly approved of this one.  Bright nose, very good fruit in the mid and a long smooth finish.

ADEA Wines

2011 Fischer Family Pinot Noir – Mild nose, fruity candy flavor in the mid, very smooth finish.  Quality library wine.

2014 Fischer Family Pinot Noir – Good nose, Solid fruit in the mid, finish was short and abrupt.

LENNE’ Estate –

2014 LENEZ Pinot Noir – Pommard and Clone 114 – Strong fruit on the nose, not so much on the mid.  OK

2014 Kill Hill Pinot Noir – Great nose, loads of dark fruit on the nose and the palate.  Solid balance thru the finish.

Marshall Davis Wines

2014 Marshall Davis Vineyard Pinot Noir – Fruity nose, bright red fruit on the mid palate, a bit of pepper on the finish.

Panther Creek Cellars

2014 Kalita Vineyard Pinot Noir – Good fruit on the nose, as well as in the mid but goes dry at the finish.  No silk.

2014 Lazy River Pinot Noir – Similar profile to the first, but doesn’t go dry and has a nice long finish.

Penner Ash Wine Cellars

2014 Yamhill Carlton blend Pinot Noir –  Great nose, very floral . .Solid mid palate.  A bit high in alcohol

2014 Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir – Good nose, Similar profile to above, not nearly as much alcohol bite on the finish. . .better.

R. Stuart & Co

2014 Menefee Vineyard Pinot Noir –  Floral nose and a bit vegetal on the mid.  Good balance

2014 Lazy River Vineyard Pinot Noir – Fruity nose, good solid mid palate, good balance.

Saffron Fields Vineyard

2016 Pinot Noir Rose’ – strong aroma of clover and wild flowers, floral flavors in the mid.  refreshing. .

2013 Heritage Clones Pinot Noir – Good nose, dark fruit and quite smooth in the mid, medium finish, not silky but not harsh edged either.

Tendril Wine Cellars

2016 Child’s Play Pinot Noir Rose’– Very typical PN Rose’  nothing terribly great or different.

2014 Extrovert Pinot Noir – Nice nose, good fruit and mid palate. . pretty standard

Willakenzie Estate

2014 Gamay Noir – Really good fruit on the nose, smooth mid, solid drinker.  unlike a few other Gamays . .no weird vegetal flavors.  Good all around.

** 2014 Kiana Pinot Noir – great nose, smooth mid, very fruit forward.  Always a favorite.

Soter Vineyards

2014 North Valley YC Pinot Noir– Very mild nose but a good mid palate.

2014 Mineral Springs Ranch Pinot Noir –  Mild nose, good solid mid and a bit of pepper on the finish.

JL Kiff Vineyard –

2012 Pinot Noir Kiff Vineyard – Great nose, solid fruit in mid and well-balanced.

2014 Pinot Noir Kiff Vineyard– Gret nose, a bit vegetal in the mid, good finish.


All in all a really great education in the producers and growers in the Yamhill Carlton AVA.  And I did find a few that I may have to investigate further in the future.

A great way to start OREGON WINE MONTH.  Go  . . . Find your Adventure.



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