WildAire Cellars

Owner(s) Jean Driscoll, Matt Driscoll
Web site www.wildairecellars.com
 
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WildAire Cellars

This winery was founded in 2005 by Matt and Jean Driscoll after years of immersing themselves in the Willamette Valley wine scene. They started the journey in the mid 1990s by a chance visit to Oregon to attend a friend’s wedding. After getting married in 2000, they moved from Virginia to learn all aspects of the wine business in Oregon. Matt embarked on multiple vintages of winemaking experience and now oversees the production for WildAire, while Jean focuses on sales, marketing and the business side of the winery.

Matt crafts his wines at Illahe Vineyards in the Polk County Hills between Dallas and Monmouth. Grapes are sourced from several Willamette Valley appellations and the Rogue Valley. Besides their single vineyard, Reserve and Timothy Pinot Noirs, they produce Chardonnay, Riesling, Tempranillo and Syrah.

Matt and his wife Jean have a tasting room in Carlton. The name, WildAire, is from a family estate in Roanoke, Virginia. The name was found while hiking the Appalachian Trail carved into a granite fireplace mantle in a Ranger Station.

Reviewed Wines

2014 WildAire Open Claim Vineyard Willamette Valley Chardonnay

14.1% alc., 137 cases, $35. Whole cluster pressed, fermented and aged on the lees in French oak barrels, 16% new. · Light golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Extremely shy nose that resists exposing itself despite vigorous swirling over time. Much more expressive on the palate with tastes of Golden Delicious apple and toasty brioche. Satiny smooth in the mouth with juicy acidity and a clean finish. Score: 88. Reviewed July 9, 2016 ARTICLE »

2014 WildAire Timothy Yamhill-Carlton Oregon Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.71, 293 cases, $35. Released April 2016. Named to honor Matt Driscoll’s father. The wine is composed of the cellar’s best barrels and varies from year to year. Sourced from Yates Conwill Vineyard (Pommard and 777) and Beacon Hill Vineyard (Pommard). Harvest Brix 25.0º. 100% de-stemmed, 10-day cold soak, both native and inoculated yeasts, 25 days on the skins, aged 14 months in 33% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Very shy aromas of cherry, woodland and spice. Much more expressive in the mouth, with an explosion of blueberry, pomegranate and marionberry fruit flavors that invade and saturate the palate. Accents of oak-driven spice and vanilla add interest. Toned tannins and spot-on acidity hold the fruit in check, creating a seamless impression. The finish is immense in this joyful wine. Score: 92. Reviewed July 9, 2016 ARTICLE »

2014 WildAire Beacon Hill Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Oregon Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.71, 97 cases, $45. Released April 2016. The Beacon Hill Vineyard is located southeast of Gaston and certified LIVE. 29- acres are planted to multiple clones of Pinot Noir in marine sedimentary soils. This wine comes from an ownrooted block of Pommard clone that was planted in 1988. Harvest Brix 25º. 100% de-stemmed, 10-day cold soak, more than 22 days on the skins, aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Moderately light cherry red color in the glass. Outstanding nose with bright aromas of cherry, strawberry and herb field. This mid weight wine is primarily red fruited, offering seductive flavors of cherry and strawberry accented with savory herbs, baking spice and smoky, toasty oak. Impeccable balanced, with fine-grain tannins, juicy acidity and a persistent finish. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the oak overlay had lessened and one can expect this to occur with more time in the bottle as this is a young wine. Score: 92. Reviewed July 9, 2016 ARTICLE »

2014 WildAire Yates Conwill Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Oregon Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.79, 99 cases, $45. Released April 2016. This LIVE certified vineyard is located just west of Carlton and shares a fence line with the famed Resonance Vineyard. 13 acres of high density plantings of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Willakenzie soils. Pommard and 777 clones. 100% de-stemmed, 10-day cold soak, inoculated with several types of yeasts, more than 28 days on the skins, and aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. This wine is blessed with plenty of luscious black raspberry, blackberry and purple grape aromas and flavors with just the right compliment of oak-driven vanilla and spice. Haunting and fruit-laden, with a velveteen mouthfeel, and supportive tannins, all adding up to one seductive Pinot Noir. Score: 93. Reviewed July 9, 2016 ARTICLE »

2012 WildAire Timothy Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.64, TA 0.55, 260 cases, $25, screwcap. This wine is dedicated to Matt Driscoll’s father, who loved to hike in the Appalachian Mountains and return to the homestead to share a glass of wine with family and friends. Sourced from Shea, Kiff, Illahe and Zenith vineyards. 100% de-stemmed, proprietary yeast. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Very fragrant initially with aromas of raspberry, cherry, rose petal and dried herbs, losing interest over time in the glass as the fruit aromas faded. Middleweight flavors of cherry and raspberry with a hint of spice and noticeable oak presence. A forward drinking, back porch wine. Score: 87. Reviewed December 11, 2014 ARTICLE »

2012 WildAire Reserve Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 250 cases, $35 (sold out). Crafted from select barrels from several legendary Oregon vineyards (Kiff clone 777, Shea Wädenswill clone, Zenith clone 115 and Wädenswil, and Illahe Pommard clone). 100% destemmed, Native and proprietary yeast fermentations. 23 days on the skins. Aged 10 months in 33% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish purple color in the glass. Appealing aromas of black cherries, loganberries and loamy earth. Relatively approachable for a reserve wine, with tasteful notes of black cherry, boysenberry, plum and spice. The tannins are balanced and the wine finishes with a moderately intense charge of cherry fruit. The wine improves over time in the glass indicate age worthiness. Score: 91. Reviewed December 11, 2014 ARTICLE »

2012 WildAire Shea Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.72, TA 0.55, 72 cases, $45. Harvest Brix 24.5º. 100% Wädenswil clone from Block 25. 100% de-stemmed, 7-day cold soak, inoculated fermentation. Aged 10 months in 33% new French Oak barrels. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. Very engaging aromas of dark cherry pie glaze, spice, violets and smoky oak. Delicious core of nicely ripened black cherry fruit with a hint of mocha and spice. The fruit really attracts attention as it is vivid and juicy. There is a good amount of fine-grain tannins for structural integrity and noticeably intense finishing presence. I am not usually a fan of single clone Wädenswil Pinot Noir, but this beauty bursts my bubble. A standout. Score: 94. Reviewed December 11, 2014 ARTICLE »

2012 WildAire Zenith Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.68, TA 0.55, 72 cases, $45. Harvest Brix 24º. 66% Wädenswil, 34% Dijon clone 115. 100% de-stemmed, 7-day cold soak, inoculated with yeast. Aged 10 months in 33% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of cherry, sarsaparilla, and forest floor are inviting. Juicy and easy to like mid weight core of fresh cherry goodness with a hint of boysenberry. Nicely integrated oak, mild tannins and good finishing power. Score: 92. Reviewed December 11, 2014 ARTICLE »

2008 WildAire Cellars Timothy Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $20. Proprietor and winemaker Matt Driscoll crafts his wines at Illahe Vineyards in the Polk County Hills between Dallas and Monmouth. He sources grapes from several AVAs including Chehalem Mountains, McMinnville and the Rogue Valley. Matt and his wife Jean have a tasting room in Carlton. The name, WildAire, is from a family estate in Roanoke, Virginia. The name was found while hiking the Appalachian Trail carved into a granite fireplace mantle in a Ranger Station. The wine is dedicated to Matt’s father who loved to hike. · Vivid and nuanced nose sporting aromas of spiced dark stone fruits, pine pitch, exotic woods and menthol. Generous core of plum, dried cherry and cranberry fruit with notes of pine sap and grass. Grainy dry tannins lend a velvety texture to the wine. Picks up aromatic and flavor intensity and interest in the glass over time. Good (+). Reviewed June 22, 2010 ARTICLE »



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