Luminous Hills

Owner(s) Byron Dooley, Dana Dooley
Web site www.luminoushills.com
 
Link to this site
Luminous Hills

Luminous Hills Vineyard is located in the southwestern corner of the Yamhill-Carlton District. The vineyard is a unique high elevation site with both sedimentary and Jory volcanic soils. The planted clones have been carefully matched to the different soil types, creating six different blocks containing Dijon clones 115, 667, 777 and Pommard clone.

The vineyard is dry farmed with irrigation available as a safety net for difficult vintages. Farmed sustainably, Luminous Hills Vineyard is part of the Low Input Viticulture & Enology (L.I.V.E.) program.

Three wines are produced from this site: a Luminous Hills Vineyard Estate Grown Pinot Noir, a LUX Pinot Noir representing a special selection of barrels representing a combination of Pommard clone planted on sedimentary soil and Dijon 777 clone planted on Jory volcanic soil, and ASTRA, primarily from whole cluster fermented 667. The inaugural vintage from this vineyard was 2008.

The Dooleys recently revealed that their property was part of 30 acres owned from 1978 to 1985 by Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple. Both Dooleys attended the same high school as Jobs, Homestead High School in Sunnyvale, California.

Luminous Hills wines are poured at the Seven of Hearts Wine center at 217 West Main Street in Carlton. The Luminous Hills Winery companion label, Seven of Hearts Wine, features wines sourced from several appellations within the Willamette Valley and neighboring regions. Both labels are the work of Byron Dooley and his wife Dana, escapees from Silicon Valley, who sold their house then the internet bubble burst in 2000 and moved to Napa’s Howell Mountain. Dooley earned his viticulture and winemaking degree at Napa Valley College, interned at Williams Selyem and made his own Bordeaux-style wine from Napa fruit. In 2004, after Dooley graduated from college, the couple located a property in the Yamhill-Carlton District and developed a 12-acre vineyard planted to Pinot Noir named Luminous Hills. Dana opened Honest Chocolates in McMinnville, selling traditional-style chocolates and later another branch in Carlton which shares space with the Seven of Hearts tasting room.

Seven of Hearts wines (www.sevenofheartswine) and Luminous Hills (www.luminoushills.com) wines are sold on the respective websites.

Reviewed Wines

2013 Luminous Hills Aura, Estate Grown, Yamhill-Carlton District Rosé of Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.43, TA 0.73, RS 0.134%. 49 cases, $28. 70% Pommard and 30% 667 clones. Produced from blocks that are farmed for Rosé. Aged 6 months in neutral French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish pink color in the glass. A more substantial wine with additional complexity and lift on the finish. The aromas and flavors of wild cherry and strawberry are sprinkled with savory herbs and a hint of spice. Score: 89. Reviewed June 26, 2014 ARTICLE »

2012 Luminous Hills Estate Grown Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., pH 3.67, TA 0.65, 427 cases, $35. The “silver label” Luminous Hills blend includes clones 115, 667, 777 and Pommard. 33% whole cluster fermented. This blend is the big picture view of Luminous Hills Vineyard. 33% whole cluster fermented. · Intensely aromatic with effusive aromas of darker cherries and blueberries with a hint of spice. Juicy attack of anise-laced raspberry and blueberry fruit caressed by suave tannins. The intensity of fruit flavor is striking. Score: 92. Reviewed June 26, 2014 ARTICLE »

2012 Luminous Hill LUX Estate Grown Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., pH 3.64, TA 0.63, 147 cases, $42. Select lots of Pommard (two-thirds) and 777 (one-third). 33% whole cluster fermented. Medium reddish purple hue in the glass. · Aromas of fresh Bing cherry, dried rose and peppery spice. Mid weight flavors of black raspberry, black cherry and baking spice with a hint of dark chocolate. Slightly earthy, with a healthy tannic backbone and bright citric acidity. More structured than the regular Luminous Hills bottling, with a somewhat longer and more generous finish. Score: 93. Reviewed June 26, 2014 ARTICLE »

2011 Luminous Hills Aura Rosé of Pinot Noir Estate Grown Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.8% alc., residual sugar 0.18%, $21. Released April 6, 2012. Pommard and 777 clones. Aged in 67% neutral French oak barrels. A combination of direct press and saignée off the lots from the same sections of the vineyard. · Very pretty pink-orange color in the glass. Aromatically pleasing with scents of fresh strawberries and raspberries with a hint of pink grapefruit. Delicate but flavorful, with a mild refreshing tartness. The core of strawberry, raspberry, and blood orange flavors is framed by discreetly firm tannins and the dry finish has surprising length. A serious rosè that has some perseverance. Very good. Reviewed May 11, 2012 ARTICLE »

2011 Luminous Hills Estate Grown Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., 322 cases, $35. Yields 1 ton per acre in this cool vintage. Clones are Pommard, 777, 115 and 667 planted on both volcanic and sedimentary soils. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of dark cherries, berries and cassis echoed in the flavors with an underlying tarry note and a tart, citrus-laden cherry finish. Light in weight and easy to drink, this delicately flavored wine will work nicely with food. Good. Reviewed June 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Luminous Hills Estate Grown Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 329 cases, $28. Released February 15, 2012. 115, 667, 777 and Pommard clones. Low yielding vintage. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of perfectly ripe black cherries, tea leaf and stem waif from the glass. Delicious essence of black cherries with riffs of black raspberries and spice. Full-flavored and sensuous, with pinpoint balance and a special finish in which hauntingly aromatic cherries return for what seems like an eternity. Kissed by an angel. Reviewed May 11, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Luminous Hills Lux Estate Grown Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 112 cases, $35. Released February 15, 2012. Exclusively Pommard and 777 that combines dark fruited notes from the Pommard on lower elevation sedimentary soil coupled with the intense redder fruits of the 777 on the upper elevation Jory soil. The two clones were co-fermented. Aged in 23% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Hi-tone and pure aromas of black cherries and black raspberries. Delicious mid palate fruit offering a mélange of dark red and black berries, stone fruits and black grapes. Supple tannins make for easy drinking now. Impeccable balance and very polished. Hard to top the Estate Grown bottling, but this one does with slightly more flavor and length. Crazy good at a modest price. Will be one of my 2012 All-Americans. Reviewed May 11, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Luminous Hills ASTRA Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

15.0% alc., 98 cases. Released February, 2011. 60% 667, 40% 115. 60% whole cluster fermented. 6 week pre-maceration. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. This wine has aged nicely with plenty of primary fruit character on board. Aromas of cherry and rose lead to a full-bodied wine with layers of flavor including black cherry, anise and tobacco. Nicely balanced with endless fruit on the finish. Score: 92. Reviewed June 26, 2014 ARTICLE »

2009 Luminous Hills Estate Grown Yamhill-Carlton District Pinot Noir

15.0% alc., 357 cases, $28. Released February 24, 2011. Clones 667 from higher elevation volcanic Jory soils on the site and 115 and Pommard clones from the lower elevation sedimentary sites. 20% whole cluster fermentation (including 100% whole cluster Pommard), native yeast fermentation, aged in 23% new French oak barrels, unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of summer red fruits with hints of cedar and rose bouquet. Light on its feet, with tasty red berry and cherry flavors, complimentary oak highlights, and an aromatically floral finish. A discreetly composed and charming wine. Very Good. Reviewed August 13, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Luminous Hills Estate Grown Yamhill-Carlton District ASTRA Pinot Noir

15.0% alc., 98 cases, $35. Released May 1, 2011. Released February 24,, 2011. 60% clone 667 from higher elevation volcanic soils and 40% 115 from lower elevation sedimentary soils. 60% whole cluster, native yeast fermentation, aged in 23% new French oak barrels, unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple hue in the glass. Very shy nose with demure aromas of red stone fruits and spice. A carnival of charming black cherry and black raspberry fruit floods the palate and brings it to attention. This is one of those wines that you taste and then just look at the glass, astonished that such flavor could originate from the liquid in the glass. Clean and polished with an ephemeral presence, ending with a generously fruity finish that leaves a touch of heat in its wake. Reviewed August 13, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Luminous Hills Estate Grown Yamhill-Carlton District LUX Pinot Noir

15.0% alc., 147cases, $35. Released February 24, 2011. Primarily Pommard clone from the lower elevation sedimentary soils (66%) with 777 from the higher elevation volcanic soils in a supporting role (33%). 50% whole cluster fermentation, aged in 23% new French oak barrels, unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Flamboyant aromas of fresh red berries with Asian 5-spice. Well-endowed flavors of dark red cherries and berries with a firm tannic backbone. Similar to the ASTRA but more darkly fruited. Impressive persistence on the memorable finish. Despite the high alcohol, the fruit is neither over ripe or roasted in character. Very Good (+). Reviewed August 13, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Luminous Hills Yamhill-Carlton District Estate Grown Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., 142 cases, $30. · Plenty of oak character in the nose augmenting the cherry and rose petal aromas. Tasty essence of raspberry coulis with some oak-derived mocha and cherry Life Saver flavor. Soft in the mouth with the fruit displaying a persistent grip and brightness from lively acidity. Good. Reviewed December 14, 2010 ARTICLE »