browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

2013 Trip to Willamette Valley, Parts 2 and 3

Posted by on September 29, 2016

June 2

The third day of tasting led us to these fine places and wines:


White Rose

2010 Chehalem Mountains pinot noir                                     $50white rose 1 Willamette Valley, installment 3

  • (2) vineyard blend; medium dark garnet, clear
  • Medium nose, blueberries
  • Whole-mouth feel with medium body, fairly long finish
  • Acidic and somewhat grippy, 3 – 5 years out

2011 Guillen Vineyard pinot noir                                                        $60

  • Guillen is the estate name, named for winemaker and vineyard manager
  • Classic Burgundy odor of minerals and “stink”
  • Very young feeling, acidic, fruit under the acidity and tannins
  • Wait 5 years or more, will mature nicely

2011 Anderson Family Vineyard                                                         $80**

  • Located in north Dundee Hills; made with 100% whole cluster press
  • Burgundy nose with classic odor and red fruit
  • Well balanced acid and tannin, medium body and finish
  • Well planned and executed, hold 5 years, very good!


This is where we started the barrel room tour.


  • The grapes are all pressed by hand.  Barrels are sanded and sterilized after each vintage.


2004 Vista Vineyard (now Guillen Vineyard)                                       Unavailable

  • Tobacco, cherry cola, explosive fruitiness
  • Still has life left in it, 2 more years at least


Barrel tastings:

  • 2012 Lia’s Vineyard pinot noir
  • 2012 Luciole pinot noirwhite rose 2 Willamette Valley, installment 3
  • 2012 White Rose pinot noir


Bought without tasting:


2011 Winemaker Cuvee                                                                       $75


Joined White Rose, opting for the “Collector’s Wine Club” – this is the only wine club we joined on this trip.  White Rose pays more attention to detail than many of the other wineries.  This is a true family venture with the oldest brother making the wine and managing the estate vineyard.  Certainly one of my favorite wineries in Oregon!



2011 Estate Pinot Gris                                                                        sold out

  • Peachy taste with full mouth feel

2011 Estate Viognier                                                                           $25

  • Lighter on nose than most, not as floral
  • Amber color, somewhat acidic profile, not as ripe as most

2011 Sommers Reserve pinot noir                                                       $41

  • A selection from estate barrels, some clouds, dark garnet
  • Fruity and spicy, white pepper, feels a bit tight – decant or cellar it

2010 Mt. Jefferson pinot noir                                                              $30

  • Blend of Louise, Marjorie, Eileen, and Jessie vineyards
  • Light and fruity, hints of blueberry and cherry swizzle stick

2010 Louise pinot noir                                                                        $50

  • Medium garnet color
  • Best so far, more fruit and light tannins, good structure

2010 Marjorie pinot noir                                                                     $65

  • Phylloxera is infesting the vineyard, vines are self-rooted and being replanted
  • Bigger nose of blue fruit, leather, and cola
  • Fruity, lower tannin profile, will drink sooner – best of the bunch here


St. Innocent

2011 Oeil de Predrix Temperance Hill rose of pinot noir                   $18

  • Very sweet and a bit of acidity

2011 Pinot Gris Vitae Springs                                                 $20

  • Alsace style, piercingly dry with nose of apricot
  • Dry with long finish – a good “deck wine”

2011 Pinot Blanc Freedom Hill                                                           $20

  • Dry with sharp medium finish
  • A good pair with spicy foods like Thai or curry

2011 Chardonnay Freedom Hill                                                          $24

  • Bright nose, reflects the neutral oak aging
  • Light flavor, acidic profile

2010 Villages Cuvee pinot noir                                                           $24

  • Light style, red fruit nose
  • Introductory level pinot, fair price

2011 Vitae Springs pinot noir                                                              $32

  • Nose of apple peel and candied citrus fruit
  • Red apples and tangerines on palette – different style, a bit of residual acid

2011 Temperance Hill pinot noir                                                         $32

  • True garnet red color, medium hue, clear
  • Medium nose of apple peel and light earth
  • Fairly big structure, some acid, but drinkable now
  • Could pair with foods normally outside of pinot spectrum (BBQ and spicy foods)

2011 Zenith pinot noir                                                             $36

  • A bit of heat and blue fruits on nose
  • Some “back of mouth” flavors, lingering, unusual – good

2011 Justice pinot noir                                                                        $50

  • More purplish color, medium hue
  • Red fruit on nose
  • Lingering grip, long-term cellar potential with tannin and tartness

2011 Shea pinot noir                                                                          $45

  • Bigger mouth feel, better wine sooner than the others

2010 Momtazi pinot noir                                                                    $32

  • McMinnville – Coastal Range foothills vineyard
  • Light nose, very red fruit palette, acidic with green tannin
  • Hold 1 -3 years, allow unresolved tannins and acid to settle

2010 Freedom Hill pinot noir                                                 $42

  • Noticeable feet, medium garnet color
  • Rhubarb and red apple nose
  • Full mouth feel, good balance of acid and tannin – best of the lot here

2009 Zenith pinot noir (bonus pour)                                                   $40

  • Slightly bricked, clear
  • Red and blue fruits with leather on nose
  • Feels somewhat sweet, drinkable now


Bethel Heights

2010 Riesling                                                                                      $18bethel Willamette Valley, installment 3

  • Dry style with hint of sweetness
  • Good blend of acidity and residual sugar

2010 Gewürztraminer                                                                         $18

  • 12.8% alco, lightly floral nose
  • Very light, velvety, still somewhat long on finish
  • Light lemon and tangerines, some hint of effervescence

2011 Chardonnay                                                                                $25

  • Medium body, no oak detected

2010 Southeast Block pinot noir                                                         $50** (bought 2)

  • “Ah, now we’re talking..” – Jack Cole, Sideways
  • Very nice, old vines, one of the older vineyards in Eola Hills (1977)
  • Deep color, flavor, more oak – drinking now but can hold 5+ years

2010 West Block pinot noir                                                                $50

  • Not quite as good as S.E. Block, but no slouch
  • Sweet oak and rhubarb stalk on tongue
  • Hold longer – 5+ years

2010 Casteel Reserve pinot noir                                                         $60

  • True red garnet color
  • Blue fruit, sweet oak, and baked strawberry rhubarb tart on nose
  • Barrel-selected from the other blocks, but I still prefer the S.E. Block, but very good


Note:  Food is prepared and served on site.  They sell wine by the glass or bottle as well.  The view is outstanding and there are tables on the deck overlooking the Eola Hills.  The winemaker’s notes are available with online and wi-fi is available.



Willamette Valley, second installment

** Denotes a wine purchased.

I’ve added a few extra notes in this installment to help with visiting and purchasing from these wineries.  A few have special requirements and oddities.


June 1



2011 Pinot Blanc Estate                                                          $21

  • Mineral and floral notes with a slight green tint
  • Dry with some lemon/lime fruit and acidity
  • Cool feel

2012 Pinot Gris                                                                          $21

  • Light citrus nose, feels warmer and creamier than pinot blanc

2010 Clos Marco chardonnay                                                    $28

  • 400 cases, 6 months of aging in small stainless tanks
  • Light color, citrus nose, no oak
  • Citrus and lemon peel, medium body with some acidity

2011 Pinot Meunier                                                                    $26

  • Similar color and nose to pinot noir, slightly lighter
  • Very light body, no similarity to pinot noir, low tannin, low flavor profile, feels like a white

2010 Pinot Noir Estate Cuvee                                                    $30

  • Familiar pinot nose, medium body, brick-red color
  • 25% new oak, 75% neutral
  • Acidic with green tannin, will need 3 -5 years before trying again, light style

2010 Aliette pinot noir                                                                $48

  • 510 cases made, grown on south-facing slopes
  • Garnet brick color, medium hue, clear
  • Sweet vanilla with baked cherry pie on the nose
  • Oak brings a nice full feel of ripeness, will drink sooner

2010 Jory Hills Vineyard pinot noir                                           $48

  • Garnet brick color, darker than others, lighter nose than Aliette
  • Tart, young feel – acidic red apple peel taste

2010 Pierre Leon pinot noir                                                       $42

  • Some color, medium nose or baked cherries and vanilla
  • Medium body with good mouth feel, rounder than Jory Hills
  • Revisit 3 -5 yrs, should mature nicely

2010 Gamay Noir                                                                      $26

  • Reddish-purple color, candy grape nose
  • Grape-ish and dry, much like Beaujolais

2010 Emery pinot noir                                                               $48

  • Highest elevation grapes, shows in lighter color
  • Good mouth feel, green tannin, will need some time

2010 Terres Basses                                                                    $65

  • Deeper clear garnet color
  • Open 2 days, nose is fruiter than others, not as green
  • Fruit not as forward, could use time to come around

2007 Reserve pinot noir (served in mystery “shiner” bottle)                $150

  • Bonus rare treat of house reserve from cellar!
  • Leather and Dr. Pepper nose with dark garnet color
  • Green tannin typical for this vintage, fruitier with some white pepper
  • Still unresolved tannin and acid, has been open for 1 week!  Will sit another 10 years.



*Tendril is a small production house with no signage.  Reservation must be made with winemaker in advance.  They produce wine for several other labels including Sitar.  The visit included several barrel tastings of future releases.


2011 Tendril Chardonnay                                                         $40

  • Blend of grapes from Carabella (Chehalem Mtns.), Elvinglade (Yamhill/Carlton), Durant (Dundee Hills)
  • 50 cases made
  • Soft sweet oak on nose with peach and slight hint of lime
  • Slight tint of green color, young feeling, time will be good for this one, good+tendril Willamette Valley, second installment

2011 Tendril “White Label” pinot noir                                    $48

  • Blend of Yahmill/Carlton, McMinnville, Chehalem Mtn, Eola, Dundee Hills, and Ribbon Ridge grapes
  • Needs air to open it up, fruit lies beneath the initial acidity
  • Green tannin and medium acidity, good structure, decant it and drink now or cellar 3 -5 yrs.

2011 Tendril Tightrope                                                              $64**

  • 95 cases made, blend of Richmond and Saffron Fields grapes
  • Darker in appearance with deeper nose, large mouth feel, round
  • White pepper and minerality with red fruit
  • Good potential, will be ready soon, well done!


Elk Cove

2012 Pinot Gris                                                                       $19

  • Starfruit and peach nose
  • Fresh and crisp

2012 Riesling Estate

  • Nose of freshly painted interior walls, no foolin’
  • Ginger ale, crisp taste

2011 Willamette Valley pinot noir                                             $27

  • True red garnet color, slightly dark
  • Dusty and leathery nose
  • Young, acidic profile

2011 Five Mountain pinot noir                                     $48

  • Red garnet color
  • Bigger nose, fruit, hint of slight heat
  • Medium acidity, fruit present underneath acid

2011 Late Harvest Riesling                                                       $20

  • Some acidity, low alcohol, some residual sugar



2011 Chardonnay                                                                    $38winderlea-374x400

  • Hints of pears and cream
  • Acidic profile, not ripe, will need time

2010 Dundee Hills pinot noir                                                   $38

  • Slightly bricked, leather and wet forest nose, hints of green vegetation
  • Tart with slight coffee taste, deep green feel with sharp acidity
  • Will need time, but has much promise 3 -5 years maybe more

2011 Murto pinot noir                                                               $48

  • 89 cases made
  • Slight purple tint, no green on the nose
  • Acids and red fruit

2011 Shea pinot noir                                                                 $38

  • Very round nose, not green at all, unlike Bergstrom Shea
  • Black  and green tea, light rhubarb, lighter style but balanced

2010 Meredith Mitchell pinot noir                                            $48**

  • 130 cases, 13.5% alco, garnet with slight purple tint
  • Black and green pepper nose, pine forest and black tea – complex
  • Black tea, long finish, well structured
  • 1 – 3 yrs will bring it forward, if you can wait.  Well done!

2011 Winderlea Vineyard pinot noir                                        $??

  • Bonus pour!  700 cases, wine club only release
  • More brick color, clear
  • Lighter style, quite Burgundian

2007 Winderlea Estate                                                             $48**

  • Bonus pour from library!  Last few bottles remaining, we tried, we bought.
  • Brick red, nose of saffron and cloves
  • Tannins and acids have faded into fruity goodness, might be peaking now, VG++!!

2007 Chardonnay (yet another bonus)                                    $??

  • Golding in color, shows signs of nice aging on color and nose
  • Granny smith apple, acidity faded but still has plenty of life
  • Will hold for another year or two, might peak in two or less


Scott Paul

2009 Aligoté, Raisins Dorés                                                    $19

  • Michael LaFarge, Burgundy – alternative white grape to chardonnay
  • Peach yogurt nose
  • Creamy white peaches with some citrus

2011 Beaujolais Villages – Domaine des Nugues                    $19

  • Typical Beaujolais in every way

2010 La Paulée Pinot Noir                                                     $36

  • Brick red, clear – 91 WA, 90 WE
  • Round nose, low green feel with red fruits
  • Good balance of fruits and low acidity coupled with green tannin
  • Lighter style with good finish – blend of Nysa, Meresh, and Ribbon Ridge grapes

2011 Long Run pinot noir                                                         $45

  • Nysa Vineyard, owned by Scott Paul
  • Greener and younger nose
  • Green taste with white pepper, some tannin, will go another 3 -5 years


Ken Wright

2008 Viognier Del Rio, Tyrus Evan                                        $18ken wright Willamette Valley, second installment

  • Super floral, floral notes carry over to tongue
  • Fruity and dry, large palette

2011 Pinot Blanc                                                                      $24

  • Some residual acid, evident on nose
  • Good “deck wine” with cooling palette for hot weather

2008 Chardonnay Del Rio                                                        $18

  • Unusual nose of some forest floor or barnyard (might be off), cheese
  • Big chard, unusual, good

2010 Chardonnay Ciello                                                          $32

  • Medium body, bright and citric, lively, could cellar


**Note: Ken Wright does NOT sell individual bottles of his pinot noir.  One must purchase futures from the tasting room in quantities of six or more.  I can’t quote a bottle price.


2009 Nysa pinot noir

  • Jory soil, Dundee Hills, Nysa Vineyard
  • hot nose, juicy, flavorful – C’s pick

2009 Freedom Hill pinot noir

  • Coastal range, oceanic influence obvious on nose and palette
  • Green, but big style – “Parker-ish” feel

2009 Canary Hill pinot noir

  • Very large pinot for this area, a “bomb” if you choose to open in now
  • Give it time for something more interesting, seems to mellow with air exposure
  • My pick, very good

2009 Guadalupe pinot noir

  • Also a big one but not quite a “bomb”
  • Very round and darker, not as juicy but fuller mouth feel, well done!


2007 Tyrus Evan Ciel du Cheval Claret                                              $37

  • 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 20% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc
  • A bit doughy but juicy with star fruit
  • A bit of a bomb, much unresolved tannin and fruit, but a good blend, let it rest a bit

2009 Tyrus Evan Walla Walla syrah                                                    $38

  • A true fruit “bomb”, huge!  No nose, all heat
  • Heat everywhere, it’s a big one, but seems to chill out a bit with some air

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.