This Week’s Wine Tasting


American Wine from Oregon and California

Four Graces of the Willamette Valley, Oregon and Joseph Carr of the Napa Valley, California


The Four Graces Winery– “The Black family purchased an existing vineyard in the Dundee Hills of the Willamette Valley in 2003 as a family retreat. They immediately began turning the estate into a sustainably farmed, well-tended vineyard with the goal of producing rich, elegant, delicious and complex wines.

That same year The Four Graces was founded. The winery is named in honor of the Black’s four daughters: Alexis, Juliana, Vanessa, and Christiana. In 2005 the Blacks purchased the Doe Ridge property in Yamhill Carlton to continue the growth of the brand. They chose a site in a differing appellation to add complexity and variety. This vineyard has been turned into one of the largest experiments of its kind with twenty acres farmed biodynamically and twenty acres farmed sustainably through the L.I.V.E (low impact viticulture and enology) program.

Today The Four Graces produces pinot noir, pinot gris, and pinot blanc renowned nationally and internationally for their balance, elegance, complexity, and richness. The wines are crafted under the guidance of French born Laurent Montalieu one of Oregon’s most respected winemakers.

More recently the historical farmhouse on the now named Black Family Estate was carefully renovated and opened as a quaint tasting room that welcomes visitors to the famed Willamette Valley. Guests are encouraged to stroll through the demonstration vineyard and to bring a picnic to enjoy with memorable wines served in this thriving wine country destination.”

Laurent Montalieu, winemaker– “Laurent Montalieu took his first steps in a vineyard in Medoc owned by his great grandfather, Pierre Joseph Montalieu. Laurent spent his summers in his family’s homeland of Bordeaux, France where he learned to grow grapes and appreciate wine. In 1980, Laurent moved to Bordeaux to attend school. With a special interest for wine, he immersed himself in studies of vineyard management and winemaking.

Upon his graduation in 1987 from the Institute of Oenology of Bordeaux, he worked for Chateau La Tour Blanche near Sauternes, France and Domaine Mumm in California before moving to Oregon.

After seven successful vintages at Bridgeview Vineyards in Cave Junction, Oregon, Laurent joined WillaKenzie Estates as a partner and winemaker, where he directed all operations of this well-known Oregon winery. In 2003, Laurent started his own winemaking business, the NW Wine Company, which is a state-of-the-art facility located in the heart of the Willamette Valley. All wines are created in a temperature-controlled facility under pristine conditions with technologically advanced equipment. The wines can then be bottled and stored under optimal conditions until ready to be released.”

Four Graces Pinot Gris 2013– Willamette Valley, Oregon. “The Four Graces Pinot Gris are sourced from our original Black Family Estate vineyard. The vines were planted in 1995. At The Four Graces we ferment our Pinot Gris in stainless steel exclusively to enhance the true varietal character of this cool climate variety. The 2013 Willamette Valley Pinot Gris is brimming with aromas of tropical fruit, guava, and the stone fruit essence of peach. Flavors mimic the aromas with the addition of orange blossom and warm roasted nuts. A creamy texture is beautifully balanced with a lingering finish of juicy, bright acidity.” $15.99

Four Graces Pinot Blanc 2013– Willamette Valley, Oregon. “The grapes for The Four Graces Pinot Blanc are sourced from our original Black Family Estate. The vines were planted in 1995. This is one of the older blocks of Pinot Blanc in the Willamette Valley and it continues to produce fruit of exceptional quality. The Four Graces Pinot Blanc is fermented in stainless steel to enhance the subtle and charming varietal characteristics of this cool climate grape. The warmer weather of 2012 contributed to aromas of ripe papaya, Bosc pear, pie spices and a hint of the traditional lychee nut. Flavors are similar to the aromas but with a creamy texture reminiscent of the traditional crème Anglaise.” $15.99

Four Graces Pinot Noir 2012– Willamette Valley, Oregon. “The 2012 vintage has been heralded all along the west coast of North America. The wet and cool spring pushed bud break forward and interrupted flowering. The result was a low crop set. July through October was one of the driest on record with September free of rain. Temperatures were in the 70’s and low 80’s throughout the month warming all fruit in the Willamette Valley to optimal ripeness. Grapes for this cuvee are sourced from the Black Family Estate in the Dundee Hills, our Doe Ridge Estate in the Yamhill Carlton AVA and hand selected fruit from other quality vineyards in the Willamette Valley. This spectacular vintage allowed winemakers to truly make wine in the vineyard. Full maturity yielded a wine of intensity and depth without sacrificing structure. Aromas of black pepper, cardamom and lilac follow onto the palate with the added fruit flavors of wild strawberry and red currant. The fine tannins and piquant acids finish with the earthy, chocolate notes that are true year in and year out in our Willamette Valley bottling.” $21.99

Four Graces Reserve Pinot Noir 2012– Willamette Valley, Oregon. “Grapes for this cuvée are sourced from the Black Family Estate in the Dundee Hills. Our estate vineyards are Salmon Safe and L.I.V.E. certified. Aromas of black cherry and lilacs mingle with rose petals. On the palate, a dusting of chocolate and hints of vanilla are followed by spice and black pepper. Silky tannins lead to a lovely full mouth finish for this well balanced wine.” $36.99


Joseph Carr Winery– “In 2009, New York Times writer Eric Asimov proclaimed Joseph Carr a “producer to watch,” ranking his wines alongside the likes of Far Niente, Clos du Val, Heitz, Grgich Hills and Rubicon. Mr. Asimov continued his praise of Joseph Carr wines, calling them “wines of balance and restraint.”

After 10 years serving as a world-class sommelier followed by ten years as an international industry executive, Joseph Carr set out on his own in 2005 to form his family-owned wine company. It was, as Joseph Carr says, “a chance to follow a dream.” Joseph continues to work with many of the associates he has met throughout his long career, all with a shared passion and desire to produce world class wines. Influenced by the wines of Bordeaux and Burgundy, Joseph Carr’s winemaking philosophy is balance, sophistication and approachability; an old-world style producer, but distinctly Californian, sourcing Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from select vineyards in Rutherford, Oakville and the Stags Leap District.

In 2010 Mr. Carr began working with Aaron Pott, Food and Wine Magazine Winemaker of the year. Together they have produced wines that offer a district level of sophistication and value, and reflect Potts philosophy of winemaking with little intervention.”

Joseph Carr ‘Josh Cellars’ Legacy Red 2012– North Coast, California. “A blend of Merlot, Zinfandel, Syrah and Petite Sirah. Aged in new French oak for 10 months. Created by California Negociant & Vintner Joseph Carr, Josh Cellars is Joseph Carr’s ‘Vin de Garage’ project, named in honor of his father. Crafted in Carneros, Josh Cellars wines are made with the same appreciation for Old World winemaking as the Joseph Carr collection of wines. Josh Cellars sources fruit from the finest vineyards within the North Coast AVA – Napa, Sonoma, Marin, Mendocino, and Lake counties. Josh Cellars Legacy has aromas of blueberry pie, fresh raspberries, sage, rosemary and cigar box. The wine is dense and lush with flavors of plum, black currant and dark chocolate, offering a luxuriously smooth texture and a long, juicy Bing cherry and cocoa powder finish.” $13.99

Joseph Carr Merlot 2011– Napa County, California. “96% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc. Carr Merlot is sourced from Oak Knoll and Yountville sub AVAs within Napa Valley. Both sub AVAs are ideal for the production of Merlot. The Oak Knoll District’s close proximity to San Pablo Bay results in a climate that is cooler and more moderate and humid than almost any region in Napa Longer growing seasons, enable fruit to develop concentrated flavors at moderate sugar levels. So Merlot ripens with the perfect balance of sugar and acid, yielding bright aromas and flavors. The Yountville AVA is one of the coolest wine regions in Napa Valley, which helps contribute to a long growing season. Additionally, the soil here is a light clay loam, filled with river rocks. Yountville enjoys a very special balance of climate conditions which yields Merlots with aromatic complexity, a bright natural acidity and distinctive elegance. The wine went through 100% malolactic fermentation and was barrel-aged for 18 months in French Oak; 50% new. Cocoa, mint, shitake mushroom, forest floor, cherry cola and plum fills the mouth. Balanced finish of cherry, blackberry and dark chocolate.” $15.99

Joseph Carr Cabernet Sauvignon 2012– Napa County, California. “96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot. In Napa, the hillside vineyards have thinner, less fertile soils which produces smaller berries with more intense flavors. The yields are also much lower. Wines produced from mountainside vineyards tend to be characterized by deep inky colors and strong berry aromas. Cabernets produced here are also savory, peppery and smoky. Handpicked at the peak of flavor development, then crushed and cold soaked for 24 hours. We punched the cap down three times a day to maximize flavor extraction, followed by a 10-15 day maceration period and barrel aging for 16-18 months. The final blend included 75% French and 25% American oak. Toffee, cherry, mint, fig, violets and chocolate in the nose, medium bodied attack with raspberry, cherry and roasted meats finishes with great length with roasted meats, chocolate and candied violets.” $15.99

Wine & Spirits Follow us on instagram
This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

Error: No feed found.

Please go to the Instagram Feed settings page to create a feed.

Made with love by Qode Interactive