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White Rose Estate

Owner(s) Greg Sanders
Web site www.whiterosewines.com
 
Link to this site
White Rose Estate

Owner and winemaker, Greg Sanders, took over the well-established 10-acre White Rose Vineyard in the Dundee Hills in 2001. The vineyard is well-placed with several prominent producers nearby including Archery Summit, Domaine Serene and Domaine Drouhin Oregon. He has spent considerable time upgrading the vineyard and built an unusual tasting room with a small, charming winery underneath that looks out on the Willamette Valley and Mt Hood in the far distance.

Greg is a Burgundian nut who uses some of Burgundy's top Grand Crus as his model in crafting his wines. He began experimenting with whole cluster fermentations in 2004 and by 2011 plans to use exclusively 100% whole clusters in his estate wines. In the past, he has sold grapes to other wineries including St. Innocent, but now keeps all the fruit for his own estate wines.

Greg has turned over the winemaking duties to Jesus Guillén, a young Latino who has a degree in computer systems engineering. He came to the United States to visit his father, also named Jesus, the vineyard manager at White Rose Estate. Two Oregon Pinot Noirs from the 1999 vintage - Adelsheim's Elizabeth's Reserve and Archery Summit's Arcus Estate - led him to join the wine industry and stay in Oregon. He found work as a vineyard laborer, took English classes at a nearby community college, and achieved fluency after just nine months of study.. He is currently the only Mexican winemaker in Oregon.

Guillén poured over books about winemaking and frequented local wineries. He soon joined his father at White Rose Estate, assisted Sanders in the cellar, and assisted winemaker Mark Vlossak at St. Innocent Winery. By 2004, Guillén was appointed cellarmaster at White Rose Estate, and the head winemaker in 2008. He has garnered some of the highest scores ever awarded to an Oregon Pinot Noir. He started his own tiny side label, Guillén Family Wines, in 2013.

Guillén's winemaking technique is unique. He uses a large percentage of whole cluster, macerates the fruit by pumping rather than punching down, and ages the wines in a low percentage of new French oak barrels.

Since the 2008 vintage, these have been among Oregon's finest wines and consistently won praise from me as well as the general wine press. The wines are sold through a mailing list, wine club and on the website, with very limited retail distribution.

Reviewed Wines

2011 White Rose Estate Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., pH 3.66, 583 cases, $40. A blend of 4 vineyards (White Rose Estate 32%, Vista Hills 32%, Marsh 24% and Luciole 12%) in three different Willamette Valley sub-appellations, both old and young vines, sedimentary and volcanic soils. Clones are Pommard and Dijon 777, 115, 114 and 667. 80% whole cluster on average. Aged 11 months in 10% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Pleasing aromas of cherry pie and exotic whole cluster spice. Elegant, yet flavorful, featuring cherry fruit, whole cluster spice and a tangy, citrusdriven brisk finish. The dry tannins are slightly foreboding, and the wine lacks finishing length, but it remains quite inviting and I would be happy to drink this every day. An excellent introduction to the White Rose Estate style. Score: 89. Reviewed October 27, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 White Rose Estate Durant Vineyard Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 167 cases, $60. Vineyard was planted in 1994 to Dijon clone 114 in Jory soil. Harvested November 2, 2011. 90% whole cluster, aged 16 months in 14% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Reserved aromas of dark red cherries and berries, wooded forest and spice. This wine has the most concentration and the darkest fruit of the 2011 wines tasted. The whole cluster influence is subtle and alluring. The dry tannins are evident, but are pure silk in texture producing a very round and smooth palate. A generous, long finish completes the picture. Score: 92. Reviewed October 27, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 White Rose Estate Guillen Vineyard Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 265 cases, $60. Vineyard planted in 2001 to Dijon clone 115 in Jory soil. Harvested November 6, 2011. 95% whole cluster. 6-day pre-fermentation maceration. Total skin contact 25 days. Aged 16 months in 18% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light ruby color in the glass. This wine shows the most whole cluster influence of any of the 2011 Pinot Noirs tasted on the nose and palate. The perfume is haunting with uplifting aromas of fresh cherry pie glaze, rose petals, leaf and exotic spices. Elegantly composed with a gentle core of cherry and cranberry fruits, a hint of oak, and plenty of whole cluster spice and forest floor. Broad-shouldered, dry tannins add structure and the juicy acidity lifts the tangy, cherry-themed finish. If you like whole cluster fermented Pinot Noir, you will flip over this wine. Score: 92. Reviewed October 27, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 White Rose Estate Anderson Family Vineyard Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 141 cases, $80. Self-rooted Dijon clone 115 planted in 1991 in Jory soil. Harvested October 28, 2011. Fermented 100% whole cluster. 3 days pre-fermentation maceration, total skin contact 23 days. Aged 16 months in 8% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose opens slowly to reveal brilliant aromas of black cherry, whole cluster spice, rose petal and wine cave. Clean and pure on the palate with generous flavors of earthy cherry and strawberry with complimentary whole cluster spice. This wine has the most bold and muscular tannins of the 2011 wines tasted. Flavor intensity picks up over time in the glass which is always a good sign of longevity. Score: 93. Reviewed October 27, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 White Rose Estate Winemaker’s Cuvee

13.0% alc., 99 cases, $85. Sourced from White Rose Vineyard and Luciole Vineyard. Pommard, 115 and 777 clones in Jory soil. Harvested November 4 (White Rose Vineyard) and November 1 (Luciole Vineyard). Fermented 75% whole cluster on average. 8 day pre-fermentation maceration, total skin contact 23.5 days. Aged 16 months in 25% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose draws you into the glass with aromas of dark cherries, dried rose petal, exotic spice and a hint of smoke. Delicious from the get-go with a rush of spiced cherry and strawberry fruits on entry, penetrating every nook and cranny in the mouth, and finishing with uncommon grace and generosity. The spice is particularly evident on the finish. Despite the flavor onslaught, this wine remains elegant and refined. The healthy tannic structure predicts a long life ahead. A very special wine. Score: 94. Reviewed October 27, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 White Rose White Rose Vineyard Estate Whole Cluster Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., 97 cases. · Moderately light reddishrose color in the glass. Lovely nose with scents of fresh cherries, sandalwood, vanilla, exotic spices and floral highlights. The aromatics leap out of the glass. Delicious red cherry core with tamed, fine-grain tannins, and a long spiced cherry finish. Bravo! Knowing a Dujac wine was in this flight, everyone thought this was the Dujac wine since the aromatics reminded of Dujac. Extraordinary and one of the clear favorite wines of this tasting. Reviewed July 21, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 White Rose Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., pH 3.61, 500 cases, $30. A blend from 3 sub-appellations of the Willamette Valley, 4 different vineyards (White Rose Vineyard, Durant Vineyard, Luciole Vineyard and Kason Vineyard), 9 different vineyard blocks and 6 different clones. 28% whole cluster. Total skin contact 19-31 days. All wine basket pressed. Aged 15 months in 14% French oak. · Light red rose color in the glass. Effusive aromas of dark red cherries, spice, sawdust and stem. A step up in body and intensity featuring bright red cherry essence with gregarious spice including clove, carrying over to the long and refreshing finish fueled by bright acidity. Perhaps a touch under ripe, but I find it irresistible: it’s what the vintage gave. Very good. Reviewed November 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 White Rose Estate Dundee Hills AVA Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., pH 3.71, 239 cases, $50. Part of the winery’s appellation series of wines. 80% White Rose Vineyard (115) and 20% Vista Hills Vineyard (667). 44% whole cluster. 19-20 days of skin contact. Pressed off in an old world, half-ton, wooden basket press. Aged 15 months in French oak. Racked once after malolactic fermentation and then again before blending. · Very light ruby red in color. Delicate but pleasing aromas of red cherries, baking spices, pine resin and sandalwood. A ballet dancer of a Pinot, light on its feet, feminine and very charming. Flavors of slightly confected iced cherries are crisped by bright acidity and supple tannins make for easy drinking. Exotic spices add intrigue. A signature Dundee Hills Pinot Noir. Tasted twice. Very good. Reviewed November 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 White Rose Estate White Rose Vineyard Whole Cluster Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., pH 3.57, 97 cases, $95. Yields 0.5 tons per acre from blocks 1 and 3 planted from 1978 to 1982 with self-rooted Pommard clone. 100% whole cluster. 5-day cold soak, 10 day fermentation, 9 day post-maceration skin contact. Pressed off in an old world, half-ton, wooden basket press. Aged 15 months in French oak. Racked once after malolactic fermentation and then again just before blending. · Moderately light red rose color in the glass. Intoxicating aromas of fresh baked cherry pie and sandalwood. A cherry bombast that is soft and smooth on the palate with mouth-filling presence, tamed and focused tannins, crisp, well-integrated acidity, and an intense, cherry-driven and spicy finish that won’t quit. The whole-cluster driven spice is very enticing to me. A beguiling wine that was still remarkable the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Reviewed November 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 White Rose Estate Winemaker’s Cuvée Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.70, 48 cases, $N/A. Jesus Guillen’s two favorite barrels in the cellar (Block 1 of White Rose Vineyard in Dundee Hills AVA and 1 barrel of Bell Road Vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains AVA). 60% whole cluster. 4-day cold soak, 7 days of post-maceration skin contact. Total 17 days of skin contact. Aged 15 months in 100% neutral French oak. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely perfume of fresh black cherries, black raspberries, gingerbread and stunning spice. Moderately rich core of perfectly ripe black cherry flavor with hints of spice, vanilla cola and new oak. Veers slightly to the ripe side which is understandable in this warm vintage. Silky with enough well-honed tannin to age well but not so much that you can’t enjoy the wine now. Very good. Reviewed November 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 White Rose Vineyard Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $24. · Very appealing nose displaying aromas of fresh cherries, black raspberries, spice and subtle oak. A lighter-weighted style with charming cherry fruit, picking up intensity over time in the glass. Still a bit tight, with tannins mildly secluding the fruit flavors and the nose currently trumping the palate. Needs another 6 to 12 months in bottle. Good (+). Reviewed November 2, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 White Rose Estate White Rose Vineyard “Guillen” Dundee Hills Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $60. Produced from Block 5 of White Rose Vineyard, Dijon 115 clone planted in 2001. · Light reddish-purple color in the glass. Shy aromatics with delicate aromas of black and blue berries, spice and briar. Mid weight flavors of red and black raspberries with an earthy undertone and a finishing kick of spice and toasty oak. Well-mannered with fine tannins and juicy acidity. Good. Reviewed September 12, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 White Rose Estate White Rose Vineyard Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.78, 308 cases, $70. 60% whole cluster fermentation. Sourced from the four oldest blocks of the vineyard. Aged 15 months in 8% new Rousseau oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Glorious nose offering aromas of cherry pie just out of the oven, baking spice, and potpourri. The palate is long and elegant, featuring waves of dark cherries and magic spice with well-mannered dusty tannins and perfectly matched acidity. Spectacular the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. A very classy wine that speaks of low yields and old vine fruit. Reviewed November 29, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 White Rose Estate White Rose Vineyard Dundee Hills Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $70. Select barrels of the four oldest blocks in the estate vineyard. 60% whole cluster. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Shy, but pleasing aromas of dark raspberries, spice and clove. Middle weight flavors of juicy raspberries and cherries with a note of seasoned oak, spice and a hint of good stem. Supportive, ripe tannins and impressive persistence and intensity on the generous finish. A delicious wine that is very outgoing now, but will stay the course for many years. Very good (+). Reviewed September 12, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 White Rose Estate Winemaker’s Cuvée Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.70, 48 cases, $70. 60% whole cluster fermentation. Winemaker Jesus Guillen’s favorite barrels: 1 barrel from Block 1 of White Rose Vineyard and 1 barrel of Bell Road Vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains. Aged 15 months in 100% neutral oak. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Pleasing aromas of dark stone and berry fruits including marionberry, sassafras and a hint of herbal oak. The intense plum and dark red berry flavors arrive with conviction on the mid palate and persist on the finish. Silky smooth in texture with impeccable balance, this wine is still unevolved and linear, and will benefit from a couple years in the cellar. Very good. Reviewed November 29, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 White Rose Estate White Rose Vineyard Whole Cluster Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.72, 124 cases, $90. White Rose Vineyard Block 1, 100% whole cluster. Aged 15 months in 100% neutral French oak. · Moderately light reddish-purple hue in the glass. This wine really grabs your attention with a festival of ripe and forward aromas and flavors including dark pie cherries and sexy spice. Upon entry, the wine jolts your taste buds to action, offering substantial pleasure while displaying a seductive charm that carries over to the long and silky, cherry-soaked finish. Still mildly reserved, this marvelous juice should improve effortlessly over the next three to five years, and drink well for another five to ten years beyond that. Pick any superlatives you wish: my choice is “libidinous.” Reviewed November 29, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Dragon’s Bluff White Rose Vineyard Hand-Select Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $75. 50% whole cluster. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. A bit funky upon opening, improving with swirling to reveal aromas of black raspberries, candied apple, oak toast and vanillin. Discreetly rich flavors of dark red raspberries and Red Vines with an underpinning of vanilla oak and spice. The zingy acidity brightens the fruit and the soft, dusty tannins allow for easy drinking. The wine finishes with a lingering grip of generous fruit. Good. Reviewed December 14, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 White Rose Estate White Rose Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.45, 176 cases, $75. The winery’s flagship wine. Fruit from blocks 2, 3 and 5 was 80% de-stemmed with 20% whole cluster, and fruit from block 1 was 100% whole cluster fermented. 20 to 26 days of skin contact, pressed off with a wooden basket press. Aged 14 months in 13% new French oak barrels. · Moderately deep ruby color in the glass. Shy, but haunting aromas of black cherries, grilled meat and spice. A black tie, sophisticated wine that is still a bit stiff and formal and needs time to unwind. That said, it offers a perfect balance of perfecgtly ripe cherry and berry fruit, vital acidity and refined tannins. The silky mouth feel adds to the allure. The beauty of this wine grows on you over time in the glass and is spectacular the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Very classy juice. Reviewed December 14, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 White Rose Estate Whole Cluster White Rose Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.51, 98 cases, $75. 100% whole cluster fermentation. 15 day post-fermentation maceration yielding a total of 26 days of skin contact. Pressed off in a wooden basket press and barreled down in neutral French oak for 14 months. Racked once after MLF and again just before blending. · Gorgeous perfume of cherries flush with baking spices including cinnamon, with added notes of rose petals and sandalwood. Happy to just smell this wine. Stylish and expressive, the luscious fruit is alive with charm accented by exotic spices and edible flower with plenty of firm tannin to balance the fruit. Never fades in the glass, pumping out lively aromas and flavors until the glass is emptied. I am a sucker for whole cluster done right and this wine really delivers. Reviewed December 14, 2010 ARTICLE »

2006 White Rose Dragon’s Bluff White Rose Vineyard Dundee Hills Pinot Noir

13.9% alc.,198 cases, $75. This wine is produced only in exceptional vintages. The White Rose Vineyard was planted in 1980 on east facing Jory soils at 750-900 feet (one of the highest in the Dundee Hills). The wine represents a selection of the best barrels from the vineyard. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels. · Tremendous aromas of red cherries, Asian spice and warm cookies. Sweet red fruit fills the mid palate with touches of sassafras and oak. Nicely composed and very approachable now, although the core of flavors will be more expressive with a couple of years in the cellar. Reviewed December 17, 2008 ARTICLE »

2005 White Rose Wines Nekaia Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., $18. · A shy nose with likeable raspberry flavors and some bubble gum in the background. Sweet red dark fruits, tobacco, and a hint of oak lead to a lively ending. A bit shallow in the middle, but perfectly drinkable and with a little chill perfect with ribs. Reviewed February 12, 2007 ARTICLE »

2005 White Rose Vineyard Quotee’s Lair Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., $50. · Cherry syrup, oak char and spearmint aromas lead to pleasant black cherry flavors set off by toasted oak. Some stems flavors intrude. There is plenty of bright acidity producing a tart citric finish. Reviewed September 15, 2008 ARTICLE »

2004 White Rose Vineyard Dragon’s Bluff Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

100% whole cluster. Floral and spice perfumed, this is a fruity Beaujolais-style wine that is shallow in the middle and on the finish. Reviewed March 27, 2007 ARTICLE »

2004 White Rose Wines Quiotee’s Lair White Rose Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $40. 20-25 year old own-rooted Pommard clone vines. Owner and winemaker Greg Saunders has renovated this vineyard and built a winery and tasting room on his property which is adjacent to Domaine Drouhin and Domaine Serene in the Dundee Hills. Greg has quite a sense of humor and this is reflected in the names of his wines. He is, however, passionate about Pinot Noir and very serious in his winemaking approach. · This is an elegantly styled Pinot Noir with plenty of cherries, red currents, cola, and oak to please. More fullness than the Nekaia with more interest. The wine possesses a good acid backbone and a clean finish. The oak may be a little overdone, but this is being picky and some drinkers may welcome this wood accent. Reviewed February 12, 2007 ARTICLE »

2002 White Rose Vineyard Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc.. · This wine was been troubled by Brett and has not shown lately like it did on release. The pristine fruit was a fading memory, but the wine still drank decently. Reviewed March 27, 2007 ARTICLE »