Laura Volkman Vineyards

Owner(s) Laura Volkman
Web site www.volkmanvineyards.com
 
Link to this site
Laura Volkman Vineyards

This is a new, small, family owned, boutique producer located in Newberg, Oregon. I have been impressed with the Pinot Noirs and Chardonnay since the 2006 vintage.

Laura makes all the winegrowing decisions herself, performs practically all of the physical work in the vineyard, and for the most part, won’t let anyone else touch the vines. In the winery, she is so intense in everything she does, her very tolerant husband (bless him!) kids “she takes every bottle personally.” She likens her passion and dedication to an author writing a great who can lock on and entirely focuses on the job at hand. “I have blinders on from April until the end of crush,” she said.

Of all the many grape varietals, Pinot Noir is the most temperamental, a fickle prodigy if you will, and the one that can be brought to perform brilliantly only through meticulous parenting in the vineyard and in the winery. This explains why some of the world’s greatest Pinot Noirs come from very small producers who can personally nurse the frivolous grape every step of the way. Laura Volkman personifies this ideal and her wines show the results.

The Laura Volkman Vineyard is located about a ¼ mile from August West Cellars (a cooperative facility in which several winemakers lease space) in Newberg. Together with her husband, she purchased a small farm several years ago, cleared the land and planted about 3 acres of Pinot Noir vines. Her first releases were from the 2004 vintage. The labels are quite striking and display artwork depicting Laura in her vineyard (from watercolor artist Terry Peasley).

Laura Volkman Vineyards address is 14725 NE Querry Rd, Newberg. Tasting by appointment. The wines are sold through a mailing list or by contacting Laura at 503-806-4047. Etched magnums are also available each vintage.

Sad note: Unfortunately, Laura developed some health issues that prevented her from farming her vineyard and making wine after the 2011 vintage. As of summer 2012, she is retiring and the estate will be sold.

Reviewed Wines

2009 Laura Volkman Celilo Vineyard Bella Washington Chardonnay

14.7% alc., pH 3.60, 220 cases, $25. Wente clone. Partial MLF. Fermented in 50% oak (25% new) and 50% stainless steel. · Light straw yellow color in the glass. Aromas of lychee, gooseberry, parchment and a slightly pungent aroma that defies my description. More traditional flavor profile in the mouth with the taste of apple, pear, and flint, finishing with a hint of citrus and lees. Decent. Reviewed November 30, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Laura Volkman St. James Estate Oregon Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.70, 320 cases, $25. · A blend of Rachel and Jacob blocks of the vineyard. No new oak. Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Very nicely composed perfume of black cherries, baking spice and subtle herbal oak. A solid wine with appealing flavors of dark red stone and berry fruits with underpinnings of herbs, tea and tobacco. Very bright acidity leaves a refreshing impression on the short finish. A perfect wine for enjoying now at the dinner table. Good (+). Reviewed November 30, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Laura Volkman Rachel Estate Oregon Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.70, 125 cases, $40. Pommard, 667 and 114 clones. Aged on the lees in 35% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. I had to look up some superlatives for this one. The perfume reminds me of the first crop of fresh berries in the early summer covered in vanilla pastry creme. Silky and elegant on the palate with well-mannered fine grain tannins and intensely flavorful core of black cherries, raspberries, sandalwood, vanillin, herbs and spice brought into focus with a good cut of acidity. The most appropriate superlative I could find was “heavenly.” Reviewed November 30, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Laura Volkman Jacob Estate Oregon Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.70, 125 cases, $50. Clones 777, 115 and 114. Aged on the lees in 35% new French oak barrels. · Moderately intense reddish-purple color in the glass. Reserved, but seductive aromas of dark plum reduction sauce, blackberries, shaved oak and truffle. More intense than the Rachel Estate, with a plethora of darker fruit flavors including plum, blackberry and cassis that hang around on the palate and keep on giving on the long, long finish. An underlying earthy quality adds interest and supple tannins make for easy drinking. A hunk with charm. Reviewed November 30, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Laura Volkman Jacob Estate Oregon Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.70, 125 cases, $50. Clones 777, 115 and 114. Aged in 35% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Brightly perfumed with aromas of black cherries, strawberries, spice and herbs. Delicious core of perfectly ripe black cherries with a hint of spice, truffle and sandalwood in the background. A magical wine that is soft on the palate, exhibiting impeccable balance, and finishing with a cherry-driven flourish that is dry, persistent and extremely satisfying. Drinking perfectly now. Reviewed May 11, 2012 ARTICLE »

2008 Laura Volkman St. James Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $25. Named after Laura’s husband, Jim. A blend of all blocks in the vineyard. · Scents of black cherries, allspice, pine pitch and the faintest oak. Moderately generous flavors of cherries, berries and red licorice. Soft in the mouth with supple tannins. A short-term easygoing wine at a fair price. Good. Reviewed June 22, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 Laura Volkman Rachel Estate Oregon Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 100 cases, pH 3.74. $40. A blend of Pommard, 667 and 114. Aged in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Demure but alluring perfume of perfectly ripe black cherries and black raspberries, cut flowers and a swirl of spice. The nose is flat-out great. Medium-weighted and lush mixed dark red berry fruit coats the palate, expands in the mouth and lingers on the long finish. The ripe tannins are noticeable, yet not imposing. More sap than the 2009 vintage, but less giving at this stage. This wine is very seductive now, but will ultimately be a bombshell. Reviewed November 30, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Laura Volkman Rachel Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $40. From the West Block of the estate vineyard including Pommard and Dijon clones 667 and 114. Aged on the lees in 50% new French oak. · Moderate reddish-purple hue in the glass. Very charming scents of plum sauce, mixed berry tart and spice box that led me to write, “You gotta be kidding me!” The attack of dark red cherries and berries is ripe, juicy and vivid augmented by flavors of cherry skins and savory herbs. Slightly more weight than the 2007 version of this wine but not weighty. Finely tuned tannins and impeccable balance. The cherry aromas linger on the finish for more than 30 seconds. This is the kind of Pinot Noir that drives normal people to do almost anything to get their hands on some. Very approachable now, but built to last another 7 to 10 years. Reviewed June 22, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 Laura Volkman Jacob Estate Oregon Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $50, 100 cases, pH 3.74, sold out at winery. Blend of clones 777, 115 and a small amount of Pommard. Aged in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Enticing aromas of spiced berry jam and crushed cherries with a loamy note in the background. Moderately intense and flavorful with noticeably ripe, dark mixed berry fruits framed by firm tannins, finishing with bright acidity, a riff of savory herbs, and some aromatic persistence. Needs more time to integrate the tannins, but this wine will always have a tannic presence. The fact that this wine is sold out indicates high consumer regard for this wine. Very good. Reviewed November 30, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Laura Volkman Jacob Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $50. From estate grown fruit in the East Block of the vineyard containing Dijon clones 777, 115 and 114. Barrel aged on the lees in 50% new French oak. · An alluring nose of exotic scents including dark red raspberries, rose petals, Asian spices and seasoned oak. A challenge to describe adequately. Very tasty essence of fresh fruits including plums, berries and pomegranates veering more to the purple spectrum. Ridiculously silky and almost ephemeral, like swallowing flavored air. A wonderful wine with mature dry tannins perfectly balanced by the ripe fruit and lively acidity. Will provide several years of drinking enjoyment. Reviewed June 22, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Laura Volkman Vineyards St. James Estate Oregon Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 160 cases, $20. Primarily neutral barrels used. Mainly press wine. A value-priced “stimulus” Pinot Noir. · Light in color and body but possessing appealing aromas and flavors of spice-marked red fruits. A very easy drinking wine with gossamer tannins that charmed me with its yeast-induced spiciness. This is a perfect every day aperitif or mealtime wine to buy by the case. Reviewed August 17, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Laura Volkman Vineyards Bella Chardonnay

13.8%, 120 cases, $25. Sourced from the Celilo Vineyard in Washington. Wente clone. Partial MLF. Fermented in 50% stainless steel and 50% oak (25% new). · A very vibrant Chardonnay that strikes a compromise between non-oaked and oaked vinification. Appealing scents of pears and butter with a rich mid palate of white stone fruits ending with a pleasing citrus lift. Reviewed August 17, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Laura Volkman Vineyards Rachel Estate Oregon Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., 95 cases, $38. Raised in 50% new French oak. This wine has been slow to open and was only released in May 2009. Composed of 114, 667 and Pommard clones. · Demure aromas of confected cherries and red raspberries, brioche, hay and spice. Packed with deep red fruit flavors augmented with subtle oak and some earthiness. Very silky and diaphanous. Ripe tannins enhance the structural integrity and the finish has a pleasing grip of acidity. Still not at its apogee, but a very promising feminine-styled Pinot. Reviewed August 17, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Laura Volkman Vineyards Rachel Estate Oregon Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., 95 cases, $38. · The nose will bring you to your knees. Merci! Lovely perfume of dark red berry melange, rose petals, cola and oak bark. Delicious well-spiced black cherry and deep red berry flavors with a hint of cherry cola and baking spices. Beautifully composed with soft ripe tannins and a caressing silkiness you can cozy up to. I loved this wine last year when I reviewed it and I am sticking to my guns. Reviewed June 22, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Laura Volkman Vineyards Jacob Estate Oregon Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 135 cases, $45. Sourced from fruit grown on the East Block of the estate vineyard. Clones are 114, 115 and 777. Barrel aged on the lees in 50% new French oak. · Wonderful aromatics with considerable interest. Red stone fruits and red berries, cinnamon spice, a hint of oak and a touch floral with some fresh mountain air marked by cedar and pine. An aromatic wine on the palate with lingering flavors of red fruits, oak and edible flowers. Very clean and silky with polished tannins and a good grip on the finish. Perfectly harmonious and a real treat. Reviewed March 26, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Laura Volkman Vineyards Jacob Estate Oregon Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 120 cases, $45. Clones 114, 115 and 777. Barrel aged on the lees in 50% new French oak. · Moderately light reddish-purple in color. More intensity and richness with more tannins than the Rachel Estate. Not as plush or big-boned as the 2006 vintage but plenty to like. Flamboyant scents of black cherries and black raspberries with hints of oak and cigar box. Packed with dark berry and stone fruit flavors augmented nicely with toasty oak. Hints of citrus peel, cola, root beer and spice add interest. Like all of Laura Volkman wines, the finish has remarkable persistence. A more masculine interpretation of the vineyard that is singing nicely now. Reviewed August 17, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Laura Volkman Vineyards Jacob Estate Oregon Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 120 cases, $45. · The aromas elevate with time in the glass revealing scents of blackberries, loganberries, bay leaf and oak. Layered flavors of spiced plum, dark berries, dried cranberries, pine sap, savory herbs and loamy earth. As the name implies, a little more masculine wine than the Rachel with firmer tannins. Very good. Reviewed June 22, 2010 ARTICLE »

2006 Laura Volkman Vineyards Bella Oregon Chardonnay

13.8% alc., $25. · Clear bright yellow in color. Yeasty aromatics followed by poised citrus, herb and oak flavors nicely composed. Brisk acidity leads to a clean and refreshing finish. I like this a lot. Now that proper clones of Chardonnay are planted in Oregon and winemakers used to crafting Pinot Noir have got the hang of it, there are many impressive examples of Chardonnay now being offered throughout the state. Reviewed January 30, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 Laura Volkman Vineyards St. James Estate Private Reserve

14.4% alc., $30. She says this “cute little cuvee was made for my husband but it’s too good to drink all by himself.” Several Dijon clones with a small amount of Pommard blended in. · On the nose there are dark red fruits, a little good funk, and a hint of oak. Brisk and lively in the mouth with spiced cherries and berries and a complimentary citrus note. Very clean mouth feel. Perfectly fine. Reviewed January 30, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 Laura Volkman Vineyards Rachel Estate Oregon Pinot Noir

14.2% alc.,100 cases, $38 (sold out). Clones 114, 667 and Pommard. One yeast is used to create a fruity profile and a second Burgundian yeast is used to produced a drier finish. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color. Lovely aromas of black cherry jam and spice. Very tasty and perfectly ripe black cherry and raspberry fruit with a faint citrus underbelly. Hints of sandalwood, spice and earth add interest. A beautiful wine that is rich, yet lively, with supple tannins, a velvety texture and bright acidity on a lengthy finish. Still my favorite Laura Volkman wine. Reviewed August 17, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Laura Volkman Vineyards Rachel Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 100 cases, $38. From the west block of the Volkman Vineyard, clones 114, 667 and Pommard. The 114 provides the aromatic floral component and the 667 imparts a certain femininity. One type of yeast is used to create a more fruity profile and a Burgundian yeast to create a drier finish. · Everything is perfectly in order here. Black cherries, truffle and barnyard in the aromas, soft black cherry fruits delicately spiced on the palate. Very elegant and demure with the kind of plush and velveteen texture that only great Pinot Noir can offer. All I could do was shake my head and smile after tasting this one. Reviewed April 7, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 Laura Volkman Vineyards Jacob Estate Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., $42. · A highly perfumed nose of dark cherry and berry fruits with a toast and coffee accent. Earthy black cherry with a seamless texture and supple tannins. I have tasted this wine on multiple occasions and it never fails to make the hair on my neck stand erect. Reviewed December 17, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 Laura Volkman Vineyards Jacob Estate Oregon Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 200 cases, $42 (a few cases remain). Clones 114, 115 and 777 from the East block of the Volkman Vineyard. Yeasts were manipulated to produce a richer wine. · The nose is quite subdued today featuring dark fruits and damp earth. Deliciously rich berry fruit that is supported by a fine tannin structure. Impeccable balance with a cherry and berry charged finish that leaves a lasting impression. Reviewed August 17, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Laura Volkman Vineyards Jacob Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 200 cases, $42. This is the Volkman “flagship” wine sourced from the east block of the Volkman Vineyard. The clones are 114, 115 and 777. Yeasts were manipulated to produce a more edgy wine. · The aromas are very enticing and include fresh-baked cookies, Bing cherries, and chocolate. I went ga-ga over the aromatics and would have been perfectly happy just to smell this wine. But when you taste it, you are led on a journey of pleasure featuring red Pinot fruits with terrific grip and edginess and a lavish black cherry finish that comes and goes in waves. This is the kind of wine that makes you wonder how mere grapes could ever have made such nectar. Reviewed April 7, 2008 ARTICLE »