Follow The Prince
twitter icon rss icon

Willful Wine Co.

Owner(s) Pam Walden
Web site w14.wineweb.com
 
Link to this site
Willful Wine Co.

Aron Hess and his spouse Pam Walden launched Daedalus Cellars in 2000 and released wines from purchased grapes for ten years. They split up in 2009. Originally, he was to keep the Daedalus label and she was going to keep the Jezebel label, but just before harvest 2010, she bought him out of both labels. At about the same time, a 7-acre vineyard that they had planted to Pinot Noir was starting to bear fruit, so she opted to create a new label to replace Daedalus that would center around the estate vineyard rather than purchased fruit. Willful Wine Co. was formed in 2012.

Pam manages the vineyard herself with the assistance of talented vineyardists. She is one of the few female winemakers in Oregon who also own their own vines. Aron helped out with the first harvest in 2011, her first fully taking over the winemaking, but the fifth harvest she has worked in the cellar. Since then, she has turned to advice from friends and colleagues in the wine industry and taken classes to flesh out some of what was less familiar to her. She had a harvest assistant help with some of the Jezebel lots, but she did all the work herself for her estate wine. As the name of the label implies, she is determined and pertinacious.

375 cases of the 2011 Willful Pinot Noir were produced and is sold at the Dundee tasting room (Wednesday through Sunday, 990 Highway 99W), and online. The Jezebel brand offers fruit forward, value priced Pinot Noir and white wine. Cabernet Franc and a Brut Rosé will be released in late 2012. Pinot Noir production is expected to increase to 1,500 cases within three or four years.

Reviewed Wines

2011 Jezebel Oregon Blanc

12.5% alc., 595 cases, $14, screwcap. Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer are co-fermented in stainless steel with periodic lees manipulation. 7% Pinot Blanc and 3% Muscat are included. · This is a wine fashioned in the style of California’s Caymus Conundrum and equally appealing. Nearly clear in color, this wine offers an array of scents including muscat grape, white peach, banana and guava. A crowd pleaser with flavors of white peach and tropical fruits with modest richness and length. The flavors are most akin to Pinot Gris of all the varieties included. At 12.5% alcohol, one can enjoyed a few chilled glasses of this wine with no repercussions. A great apperitif. Good. Reviewed November 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2011 Jezebel Oregon Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., 1,900 cases, $18, screwcap. A blend of fruit from Willamette Valley vineyards and vineyards in the Applegate Valley of southern Oregon. Cropped at 2 to 3 tons per acre. Mostly aged in neutral French oak with a small portion in stainless tanks. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Oak-dominated nose with delicate aromas of darker red cherries and berries. Shallow, but pleasing flavors of deep red cherries finishing with a dry, tart cherry skin flavor. Very light and delicate with bright acidity, showing a topcoat of oak. Decent. Reviewed November 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2011 Willful Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 370 cases, $35. Released September 2012. First vintage from a 7-acre estate, densely planted, vineyard of 12 clones. 100% de-stemmed. 2-week cold soak. Native fermentations and minimal use of new French oak. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Perfectly ripe black cherries and cranberries are the theme here. Aromatically fresh and well-perceived on the palate, with a generous fruit core and a refreshing spark of lemon peel acidity on the finish. This wine grows on you over time in the glass. The firm tannins are supportive rather than dominating, but will benefit from some time in the cellar. Still solid the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Very good. Reviewed November 24, 2012 ARTICLE »