Recently Tasted Willamette Valley Wines
Alloro Vineyard, Sherwood, OR www.princeofpinot.com/winery/714/
Alloro Vineyard is 110 acres of Laurelwood soil located on a southwest-facing slope in Oregon’s Chehalem
Mountains. This special place is the heart and soul of Alloro wines and is personally cared for by founder David
Nemarnik. The vineyard is LIVE certified, certified Salmon Safe, and IOBC Certified Sustainable, and hosts a
diverse mixture of many other crops, plants and animals. Pinot Noir blocks are comprised of clones 777, 667,
114, 115, Wädenswil and Pommard grafted to Riiparia Gloire and 3309 rootstocks. All wines are 100% estate
from a single vineyard site. Winemaker and General Manager Tom Fitzpatrick was educated at UC Davis and
trained in Burgundy.
2016 Alloro Vineyard Estate Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
pH 3.70, TA 0.53, RS 0.00 g/L, 1,700 cases, $40. Released November 1, 2018. 33% Pommard,
33% 777, 29% 114, 5% Wädenswil. Grapes were 100% de-stemmed, 5 to 7-day cold soak, native
inoculum, warm fermentation, native ML, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 27% new.
Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. Gracious aromas of purple berry, black cherry, savory
herbs and nutty oak. Light to mid weight in concentration, with tasty red and black cherry and
purple berry fruit flavors. A little spice and complimentary oak add support. Suave on the palate
and easy to cozy up to, with a juicy, quenching finish.
2016 Alloro Vineyard Estate Riservata Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
14.3% alc., pH
3.70, TA 0.61, RS 0.00 g/L, 300 cases, $50. Released
November 1, 2018. 23% Pommard, 36% 777, 29% 114, and
12% Wädenswil. Grapes 100% de-stemmed, 5 to 7-day
cold soak, native inoculum, warm fermentation, native ML,
aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 49% new.
garnet color in the glass. A step up in seduction, with hi-tone aromas of
cherry and savory oak. Quite elegant but flavor packed, offering cherry
and Marionberry fruit flavors with a gregarious spice compliment that
wakes up every taste bud. Sleek and seamless, while underscored with
an ever-so-subtle savory component. Very fine tannins coat the teeth
with grace and the barrel treatment is dazzling. Even better when
tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle when the wine was just about perfect in
every way. Dollar for dollar, the best Oregon Pinot Noir I have tasted from the stellar 2016 vintage.
2016 Alloro Vineyard Estate Justina Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
14.3% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.54, RS 0.00 g/L, 300 cases, $95, wax closure. Released November 1,
2018. 100% Dijon 777. Grapes 100% de-stemmed, 5 to 7-day cold soak, native inoculum, warm
fermentation, native ML, aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 78% new.
This wine is completely
different from the Riservata, yet admirable in its own way. Moderate garnet color in the glass.
Reserved aromas of brooding black fruits. Nearly full bodied in a dense, black-fruited style with
somewhat lower acidity and a seductive, velvety mouthfeel. Loads of fruit march with style and
grace through the mid palate, culminating in an intense and riveting finish. There is plenty of new oak on this
wine but one never thinks oak when drinking it because the fruit load ameliorates it. More enjoyable when
tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle.
2016 Alloro Vineyard Estate Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Chardonnay
alc., pH 3.55, TA 0.60, RS 0.00 g/L, 275 cases, $34. Released September 1, 2018. 50% Dijon 76
and 50% Dijon 96. Whole cluster gently pressed, barrel fermented, full ML, lees stirring, aged 11
months in French oak barrels, 20% new.
Moderate golden yellow color in the glass. The aromas
of lemon oil, pineapple and warm biscuit build in intensity over time in the glass. Joyous flavors of
citrus, white peach, and tropical melon are presented in a bright style with a slightly viscous
texture and some finishing verve. Recent Oregon Chardonnays continue to impress me.
Bell’s Up Winery, Newberg, OR www.princeofpinot.com/winery/2602/
2016 Bells Up Titan Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.1% alc., pH 3.72, TA 0.58, 131 cases, $40. Released
September 1, 2018. Clones 115 and 77 from a vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA and Pommard clone from a
Chehalem Mountains Vineyard. Harvest Brix 24.2º. Aged 12 months in French oak barrels, 39% new.
Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. Leading off are aromas of red cherry, strawberry and sandalwood.
A lighter, gentle and elegant wine featuring red fruits with an ancillary botanical note. Forward drinking, with
gossamer tannins, good acidity, and a slightly tart and short red cherry finish. The wine gives the impression of
under ripe fruit and displays somewhat shallow extraction on the mid palate and finish.
Broadley Vineyards, Monroe, OR www.princeofpinot.com/winery/139/
2017 Broadley Vineyards Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.7% alc., $35. Estate grown,
produced and bottled. Composed of a variety of blocks containing newer and older vines, this wine
represents a cross section of the flavors produced by this more southern and warmer Willamette
Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. Aromas of cherry pie and woodshed lead to
a light to mid weight styled wine featuring red fruits and a botanical thread. A bit dilute, yet
satisfying, with fine-grain tannins and a crunchy texture reflecting bright acidity.
2016 Broadley Vineyards Marcile Lorraine Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.8% alc., $55. Estate grown,
produced and bottled. Named for founder Craig Broadley’s mother. Produced from a distinctive block of old
vines. In production, cooler fermentation, tighter-grained wood and low toast barrels are used.
garnet color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with scents of black cherry, fertile earth and marzipan. Well-ripened
fruit profile in a mid weight plus style offering fruit flavors of black cherry and black raspberry. Plenty of lush fruit
to satisfy, with oak checking in with a marzipan note. Good overall balance and a full tannic backbone predict
2016 Broadley Vineyards Claudia’s Choice Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.8% alc., $70. Estate grown, produced and bottled. Named for
Broadley Vineyard’s co-founder Claudia Broadley. This wine is made
from a section of the estate vineyard that produces a distinctive big,
dark and complex character.
Moderate garnet color in the glass.
Pleasant aromas of cherry, strawberry, syrupy waffle and nutty oak. The
delicious cherry core caresses the palate. An accompanying hint of
raspberry and nutty oak adds nuance Silky and seamless, with gracious
tannins and a noble finish.
Empyrean Wines, McMinnville, OR www.princeofpinot.com/winery/3021/
2017 Empyrean LYRA Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.3% alc., $50. Named for heavenly
constellation Lyra. Clones 115, 777 and Mt. Eden.
Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of black
cherry, fertile soil, oak and apple core. Mid weight, earthbound black cherry, black raspberry and spice flavors
with toasted oak plying the background. A straightforward wine with modest tannins and an unpretentious
Knudsen Vineyards, Newberg, OR www.princeofpinot.com/winery/2479/
2017 Knudsen Vineyards Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Chardonnay
13.5% alc., pH 3.35, TA 0.65, 250
cases, $45, screw cap. A blend from Block 9 planted in 1995 to Dijon 95 and 76 clones and Block 10 planted in
1995 to Dijon clone 76. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 23% new.
Light golden yellow color in the glass.
Invigorating aromas of fresh lemon and petrichor. Crisp, clean and rousing like a cold shower on a hot day.
Flavors of lemon, white peach and pear carry through to a quenching finish. Impeccable harmony. More
austere in this vintage but still classy and highly satisfying.
Lenné Estate, Yamhill, OR www.princeofpinot.com/winery/779/
2017 Lenné Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Chardonnay
13.5% alc., $48. Estate grown. Barrel
fermented in one new and one once-used oak puncheons from Damy.
Comfy aromas of lemon curd, buttery
biscuit, warm pear and vanillin. A spirited wine with a welcoming fresh citrus core and delightful harmony. The
added flavor of yellow pound cake adds appeal. Soothing in texture with only the faintest oak input and some
Youngberg Hill Vineyards & Inn, McMinnville, OR www.princeofpinot.com/winery/890/
2016 Youngberg Hill Natasha McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
14.3% alc., 859 cases, RS 0.00 g/L, $60, screw cap. The Natasha
Block at Youngberg Hill Vineyard consists of 6.6 acres at 600 feet
elevation planted in 1989. Marine sedimentary Willakenzie soil. 40%
Wädenswil and 60% Pommard. Harvest Brix 24.2º. Aged 14 months in
French oak barrels, 37% new.
Moderate garnet color in the glass.
Sensual aromas of blueberry and black raspberry fruits. Soft and
polished in the mouth, with a discreet core of dark fruits backed by
agreeable tannins, finishing with aplomb.
2016 Youngberg Hill Bailey McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
14.1% alc., 197 cases, RS 0.00 g/L,
$75, screw cap. Released September 2018.The Bailey Block at Youngberg Hill Vineyard was planted in 2008.
Named for the last name of the winemaker, it is planted to clone 777 at 660-700 feet elevation. Soils are
primarily volcanic. Harvest Brix 23.6º. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 36% new.
Moderately dark garnet
color in the glass. Lovely aromas of black cherry, rose petal and milk chocolate. Light to mid weight in style with
expansive array of purple and black fruit flavors. A slight smoky thread pervades. Easily approachable with
mild, dry tannins and a very lengthy finish.
2016 Youngberg Hill J-Block McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
14.1% alc., 620 cases, RS 0.00 g/
L, $60, screw cap. The J-Block, also known as the Jordan Block, sits on 4 acres facing south and was planted
in 1989. This steep, high slope is more exposed to the coastal breezes each afternoon. 40% Wädenswil and
60% Pommard. Harvest Brix 23.9º. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 37% new.
Moderate garnet color in
the glass. Inviting aromas of black cherry, fig paste and wood bin. Exhilarating mid weight flavors of black
cherry and black berry that saturate the mid palate and hold court through an impressively long and intense
sweet cherry finish. Beautifully balanced, with suave tannins and commendable energy.