VOLUME 10, ISSUE 18
September 29, 2015
ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE:
Willamette Valley’s 50th Anniversary: A New Look at the Old Guard Pinot Briefs
The Four Graces
Steve and Paula Blackl began the pursuit of a dream when in 2003 they purchased the 110-acre vineyard located in the Red Hills of Dundee and created The Four Graces. The Four Graces is aptly named after their four daughters – Alexis, Vanessa, Christiana, and Jillian. Brother Nicholas is recognized on the Reserve as "Keeper of The Four Graces."
The Blacks wanted to make consistently outstanding Pinot Noirs representative of this unique terroir. They are committed to making rich, complex wines where the fruit may be elegantly expressed in the Four Graces wines. The wines are luxuriously produced in small lots using traditional techniques coupled with the most modern technology available.
In addition to his love for wine, Steve is the founder and managing member of Cisterra Partners, an international commercial development company. Cisterra Partners has been recognized by the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties as "Developer of the Year" and also by Ernst & Young in its Entrepreneur of the Year program. Prior to his involvement in the real estate industry, Steve was a Certified Public Accountant with Deloitte. Paula Black's background began in television production where her creative talents were put to use, especially in the area of video editing.
Current Pinot Noirs are a Willamette Valley blend, a Dundee Hills Reserve blend and a Black Family Estate Pinot Noir. The Four Graces tasting room is open daily in Dundee on Highway 99W. The wines are sold on the website, through a mailing list and through retail channels. The Pinot Gris is also outstanding
Articles About The Four Graces
2007 The Four Graces Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., $18.50 (winery retail is $29). A popular choice in restaurants and a wine I recently drank at Wild Fish Restaurant in Newport Beach, California. From the owners of Black Family Vineyard in the Dundee Hills AVA. Pommard and Dijon clones. Sustainable farming and yields of no more than 2 tons per acre. · Deeply colored for a 2007 vintage Pinot Noir. Black cherry is the driving force in this wine on the nose and among the flavors with some accents of roses, oak toast and spice. A cozy wine with a respectable tannic structure and a dry finish. Reviewed March 26, 2009 ARTICLE »
2007 The Four Graces Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 11,000 cases, $29. A popular restaurant wine. This is the winery’s value-play bottling sourced primarily from the Black Family Estate in the Dundee Hills AVA and Doe Ridge Estate in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA. Aged 10 months in French oak. The winemaker is Laurent Montalieu. · Not nearly as charming as the 2006 bottling. Silky and light in weight, the earthy fruit seems dilute and is dominated by oak throughout. I have been impressed with the wines from this producer and this may represent a bad bottle. This wine is widely distributed and sold on the website at www.thefourgraces.com. Reviewed September 19, 2009 ARTICLE »
2006 The Four Graces Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.9% alc., 7,400 cases, $27. Aged 10 months in 30% new French oak. · Aromas of oak char, grass and forest floor dominant the ripe dark red fruits present. Cherry and berry flavors are quite juicy and accented by toast and a hint of spice. The wine is very smooth on the palate with silky tannins and a pristine finish. A warm and fuzzy wine. Reviewed September 15, 2008 ARTICLE »
2006 The Four Graces Estate Reserve Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
14.2% alc., 2,755 cases, $42. Aged 13 months in 46% new French oak and an additional 7 months in bottle before release. · The aromas of Bing cherry, cedar and vanilla draw you to the glass. There is the slightest hint of alcohol on the nose. Succulent hi-tone red fruits, especially raspberry, set off by brown sugar and dark chocolate notes, are soft, seamless and comforting. Definitely worthy of a “Reserve” designation. Pinot Geek wanted to drink the whole bottle. Reviewed September 15, 2008 ARTICLE »
2005 The Four Graces Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.9% alc., $21. · Cherry, oak and barnyard scents with the oak carrying through to the finish. Very light in body, even shallow in fruit with a clean but stem-infused finish. Reviewed January 30, 2008 ARTICLE »
2005 The Four Graces Black Family Estate Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., 400 cases, $75. Blended from the best barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. Primarily clone 115 grapes were fermented with proprietary yeast. Aged in 46% new oak barrels for 9 months and an additional 2 years in bottle before release. · This wine is quite dark in color, veering toward dark violet and brimming with scents of crushed black cherries and vanilla. High-collared dark stone fruit flavors are discreetly concentrated so that the wine is plush but still light on its feet. An appealing earthiness and smoke add to the intrigue with a silky smooth texture and a tangy, dry finish completing the package. Reviewed September 15, 2008 ARTICLE »
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