This Week’s Wine Tasting
Oregon and California
“Established in 1982, Montinore Estate is a 210-acre Demeter Certified Biodynamic and Stellar Certified Organic estate that lies at the northern end of the Willamette Valley appellation and along the east-facing slope of the Coastal Range foothills in Oregon. Our vineyards are planted on ideal sites for the seven grape varieties we grow, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Müller-Thurgau, Teroldego and Lagrein.
Our close attention to each step of the grape-growing and winemaking process is rooted in the belief that exceptional wine is born of a sustained marriage of soil, climate and artful stewardship. Biodynamic® farming, controlled fruit yields, carefully fermented wine and estate bottling help our family-run winery offer full-flavored vintages of distinctive character and quality.”
Montinore Estate Pinot Gris 2014– Willamette Valley, Oregon. 100% Stainless Steel. “Our 2014 Pinot Gris is a lovely example of the great balance that we can achieve in the Northern Willamette Valley with this grape. 2014 was an excellent year for making lively whites with dynamic aromatics and lingering crispness. Our Pinot Gris responded gave us stone and citrus fruits with a lingering, haunting tropical note. As people have come to expect from of Pinot Gris, the 2014 is an excellent food wine, pairing well with anything from salads to grilled chicken.” $13.99
Montinore Estate Pinot Noir 2013– Willamette Valley, Oregon. Aged 10 months in 12% new oak, 50% Hungarian, 50% French. “The nose is complex with aromas of cherry, blackberry, dried fruit, dried flowers, cedar, lilac, clove, anise and caramel. The bold palate is ripe with black cherries, black plums, vanilla, tar, smoke, bittersweet chocolate and pie spice which is balanced beautifully by bright acid, all within well-structured tannins. Pair this Pinot Noir with rich foods like grilled lamb, mushroom risotto, cassoulet, smoked gouda or Delice de Bourgogne.” $19.99
“Bill Stoller was born here on the property and raised on the family farm outside of Dayton, Oregon. When Bill acquired the family property from his cousin in 1993, many considered it to be marginal farmland at best. But Bill recognized that the rocky, well-drained Jory soil, the elevation between 300 and 650 feet, and the land’s south facing slope were all ideal for growing wine grapes.
Bill, already a veteran of the wine world thanks to his co-ownership of Chehalem Winery, planted his first ten acres each of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in 1995. He leveraged the experience of consulting viticulturists, but also adapted many newer vineyard techniques in order to maximize the fruit quality. As an ardent preservationist, Bill built from the ground up a business he could one day entrust to his great-grandchildren. This drive for sustainability earned the vineyard the first-ever LEED Gold certification in the world.”
Stoller Estate Vineyards Pinot Noir Rose 2014– Willamette Valley, Oregon. “Our Dundee Hills Pinot Noir Rosé, entirely of estate fruit, exhibits aromatic, delicate and balanced fruit. It has aromas of guava, watermelon and rose petals. The palate is focused as it unfolds into ripe red fruit flavors with a refreshing, seamless finish. This Pinot Noir Rosé was whole cluster pressed and fermented in stainless steel. A temperate spring and perfect weather around fruit set coupled with a terrific summer of warm temperatures and dry days led to a beautiful vintage of perfectly sized, lusciously ripe fruit. We had our earliest harvest on record, starting with our younger Pinot Noir sections on September 8th. The wines from this vintage are concentrated and fruit driven.” $18.99
Willamette Valley Vineyards– “Founder, Jim Bernau, purchased the Estate site in 1983 and cleared away the old pioneer plum orchard hidden in scotch broom and blackberry vines. He planted Pinot Noir (Pommard and Wadenswil clones), Chardonnay (Dijon and Espiguette) and Pinot Gris.
Our approach is to grow, by hand, the highest quality fruit using carefulcanopy management, and to achieve wines that are truly expressive of the varietal and the place where they are grown. Since we ferment and barrel each vineyard lot separately (sometimes as small as two barrels) we can save the best barrels for single vineyard bottlings and Signature Cuvée. Our stylistic emphasis is on pure varietal fruit characters, with attention to depth, richness of mouthfeel, and balance. The wines are truly a collaborative effort of the entire vineyard and winemaking staff.”
Willamette Valley Vineyards Riesling 2013– Willamette Valley, Oregon. “This semi-sweet wine opens with striking citrus aromatics of lemon and lime that flow into notes of green apple and pear. The citrus remains on the palate and is accented by tropical pineapple and honey. The mouthfeel is lean and racy with bright acidity that activates all sides of the tongue. The finish is wonderfully persistent with sweet to sour movement and exceptional crispness. This wine is a lovely example of varietal character.” $13.99
Hindsight Wines “is the result of a small team of people, with over 75 years of cumulative experience, who have a passion for wine, Napa Valley wine in particular, coming together to make high quality, yet reasonably priced wines. Over our many years in the wine business, we’ve heard two questions repeatedly asked; first, “Why are wines from the Napa Valley so good?” As most people know, the Napa Valley is blessed with perfect grape-growing conditions. It is the epicenter of winemaking in the United States with an abundance of talent and expertise, in addition to arguably the best grapes. All of us who make wine in the Napa Valley benefit from that perfect combination. The second question often asked is: “Why are wines from the Napa Valley so expensive?” There are many reasons. The most significant factor is because Napa Valley grapes are the most expensive grapes grown in the United States. Nevertheless, it is still possible to produce high quality wines made with Napa Valley grapes, and get these wines to wine lovers at a reasonable price.”
Hindsight Wines Cabernet Sauvignon 2013– Napa Valley, California. “Our 2013 Napa Valley Cabernet is dense, lush, and full-bodied. This wine shows ripe blackberry and currant flavors and aromas with hints of vanilla, oak, coffee and cocoa. Luscious fruit flavors combine with soft elegant tannins to create a wine with great weight, mouth-feel and a long lingering finish. 76% Cabernet, 8% Cabernet Franc, 8% Merlot, 6% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot aged in new and neutral French oak.” $22.99
“Richard Steltzner established his first Stags Leap District Vineyards in 1965 while concurrently engaging in vineyards management. Steltzner Vineyards’ first commercial release was in 1977, and the Steltzner Family established their own modest facility in 1983, with a 3,000 case capacity here in the Stags Leap District. Today at Steltzner Vineyards you will find Dick’s children working with him to carry on his legacy here in the Napa Valley. Allison Steltzner began working with her father full-time in 2002 after completing her Bachelor of Sciences Degree at Chico State, majoring in business administration, with a minor in marketing. Allison is uniquely suited for her post as General Manager and National Sales Director for Steltzner Vineyards. Today, she is joined by Justin, as the second generation Steltzner family to work full time in the winery. Justin carries on his father’s farming traditions and works side by side with Dick to manage the ranch and produce optimal fruit from our estate.”
Steltzner Vineyards Claret 2013– Napa Valley, California. Aged for 16 months in mixed French oak. Blend: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot. “A classic Bordeaux blend with just enough Merlot and Petit Verdot to give the underlying Cabernet Sauvignon finesse and grace. Aromas of rich ripe fruit and raspberry jam, with hints of cedar box on the finish.” “Steltzner Vineyards is located in the Stags Leap District where we farm 30 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, along with small amounts of Sangiovese, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Our family has owned this property since 1965. We currently make our wine at Folio Custom Crush and source only grapes from throughout Napa Valley to create our Claret blend.” $19.99