Soléna Estate

Owner(s) Danielle Andrus-Montalieu, Laurent Montalieu
Web site www.solenaestate.com
 
Link to this site
Soléna Estate

Laurent Montalieu and Danielle Andrus-Montalieu, the husband and wife team created this family-owned winery after successful careers in the Oregon wine industry. The couple purchased an 8-acre estate to commemorate their marriage in 2000. In May 2002, they launched Soléna in Carlton by bottling their first vintage of Pinot Noir from their estate vineyard, Domaine Danielle Laurent.

Soléna is the combination of the Spanish and French words 'Solana' and 'Solene' celebrating the sun and moon, and is the name they gave to their daughter.

Soléna Estate began as a way to explore winemaking with other varietals grown in neighboring appellations while the family's young Domaine Danielle Laurent Vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA matured. In May 2007, Danielle and Laurent added the Hyland Vineyard located in the McMinnville AVA to their estate vineyard holdings.

Today, Soléna produces Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from their estate vineyards as well as from other special sites in the Willamette Valley.

All of the vineyards from which they source, including the estate and the historic 100-acre Hyland Vineyard, are cropped to low yields and produce high-quality fruit. Vineyard management techniques explore all aspects of viticulture, including biodynamics.

Laurent Montalieu was a partner and winemaker at WillaKenzie Estate for 8 years before leaving in 2003 to focus on Soléna Cellars. Currently, he is also the winemaker and co-founder of the Northwest Wine Company in McMinnville and was a founding partner in Grand Cru Estates.

The Soléna Estate and Grand Cru Estates facilities were sold to Jackson Family Wines. A new tasting room is now located just up the road from Grand Cru Estates and the tasting room in Carlton is closed.

Reviewed Wines

2015 Soléna Willamette Valley Chardonnay

12.9% alc., pH 3.30, TA 0.64, RS 0.9 g/L, 500 cases, $30. Released November 2016. Harvest Brix 21.5º. Barrel fermented and aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 20% new. · Light golden yellow and clear in the glass. Very inviting aromas of fresh lemon juice and honeyed pear. Bright and crisp on the palate with clean flavors of citrus, pear and the slightest caramel. Very satisfying with great composure, finishing with a delightful crunchy apple sendoff. Score: 94. Reviewed December 13, 2016 ARTICLE »

2014 Soléna Grand Cuvée Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., pH 3.67, 7,000 cases, RS 0 g/ L, $30. Released April 2016. Harvest Brix 23º-25º. Aged 8 months in French oak barrels, 22% new. The 2012 vintage of this wine was one of Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines for 2016. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Very appealing when poured in the glass, but loses appeal over time indicating this is an early drinking wine. Aromas of black cherry and woodland spice lead to a middleweight core of spiced black cherry and black raspberry fruits embellished with a compliment of oak. Juicy, with balanced tannins and respectable mid palate intensity and finish. Score: 88. Reviewed December 13, 2016 ARTICLE »

2014 Soléna Guadalupe Vineyard Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.56, 148 cases, $48. Vines planted in 2006. Harvest Brix 25.6º. Aged 8 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Deep aromas of red cherry and berry with a compliment of sousbois. The typical crunchy cherry of the Dundee Hills is on full display in this wine with good depth and character. A little spice adds to the appeal as does the lingering finish although it leaves a bit of astringency in its wake. Score: 90. Reviewed December 13, 2016 ARTICLE »

2014 Soléna Zena Crown Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.73, 149 cases, $48. Vines planted in 2004. Harvest Brix 25º. Aged 8 months in French oak barrels, 33% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Reticent, but pleasant aromas of a mix of red cherry and berry with a forest under scent. Juicy on the palate with a mid weight charge of purple berry fruit accented with an earthy mushroom note. A little rustic, yet with admirable fruit quality, well-structured with firm fruit tannins. Score: 92. Reviewed December 13, 2016 ARTICLE »

2014 Soléna Domaine Danielle Laurent Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Oregon Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., pH 3.70, 517 cases, $55. Harvest Brix 23º-25º. Vines planted in 2001, 2004 and 2007. Aged 8 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Beautifully perfumed with aromas of black cherry, dark raspberry coulis, bakery spice and floral bouquet. Luxurious on the palate in a mid weight plus style with waves of black cherry and purple berry fruits that are plush and expressive. Substantial fruit tannins back up the fruit concentration. A high class wine that has staying power in the mouth and finishes with a peacock tail of fruit. The best wine I have had from this maturing vineyard. Score: 94. Reviewed December 13, 2016 ARTICLE »

2014 Soléna Domaine Hyland Vineyard Legacy McMinnville Oregon Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., pH 3.73, 25 cases, $100. A single barrel selection chosen by Laurent Montalieu to represent the best expression of the Hyland Vineyard in 2014. Vines first planted in 1972 in volcanic Jory soils. Harvest Brix 25º. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Lovely, delicate aromas of fresh black cherries and earthy flora. A light to mid weight style wine with redder fruit flavors and spice galore. The wine hits all the high notes in the mouth and on the finish, flaunting impeccable balance, modest but adequate tannins and the power without weight that only Pinot Noir can deliver. This wine has the harmony to age beautifully. Score: 93. Reviewed December 13, 2016 ARTICLE »

2013 Soléna Grand Cuvée Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.3% alc., pH 3.55, 4,210 cases, $28. Sourced from family owned vineyards in Yamhill-Carlton AVA and vinified in small lots. Harvest Brix 21º. Aged 9 months in almost 100% neutral French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Pleasant aromas of Maraschino cherry, raspberry and spice. Light in weight and both savory and fruity, with flavors of cherry and raspberry and a sweet, vibrant cherry finish that has a bit of astringency and trailing oak. Score: 88. Reviewed July 13, 2015 ARTICLE »

2013 Soléna Guadalupe Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., pH 3.57, 198 cases, $40. Vineyard was densely planted to Pommard, Wädenswil and Dijon clones in sedimentary Willakenzie soils in 2006. Harvest Brix 21.7º. Aged 9 months in 38% new French oak barrels. · Light cherry color in the glass. Shy aromas of cherry pie glaze and cedary oak. Light to mid weight flavors of cherries and strawberries. The silky texture is appealing, but the tannins currently dominate the fruit. This wine needs more time in the cellar for the tannins to soften and the fruit to fully emerge. Score: 89. Reviewed July 13, 2015 ARTICLE »

2013 Soléna Willakia Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., pH 3.72, 199 cases, $40. Vines planted in volcanic soils in 2001. Harvest Brix 24º-26º. Aged 9 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. The brilliant cherry goodness really stands out on the nose and palate, with a dancing attack and extended finish. Very silky in the mouth, with husky tannins that show up on the finish. Oak tends to exert its presence over time in the glass. Still, the fruit is hard to ignore. Score: 91. Reviewed July 13, 2015 ARTICLE »

2013 Soléna Zena Crown Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $40. Nekia volcanic soils. · Light reddish purple color in the glass. The nose takes some time to unravel, eventually offering an appealing mix of Bing cherry and ripe strawberry fruit aromas with savory mushroom and woody flora scents. A spirited wine with generous black cherry and cranberry fruit accented with spice. Welcome finesse with excellent balance and inviting vibrancy, finishing with some persistence. Score: 92. Reviewed July 13, 2015 ARTICLE »

2013 Soléna Domaine Danielle Laurent Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., pH 3.60, 995 cases, $50. Harvest Brix 21º-22º. An 80-acre estate vineyard planted in Willakenzie soil. Densely planted 80-acre vineyard planted to 114, 11, 667, 777, “828,” Pommard and Swan selection. The wine includes some Willakia Vineyard grapes. Aged 9 months in 40% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Shy aromas of dark red cherry and berry with a bit of spice and sous-bois. Very reserved on the palate, with tannin and oak overshadowing the earthy fruit core, and offering little goodness on the finish. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was still closed. Very hard to score and I am banking on the future. Score: 89-90. Reviewed July 13, 2015 ARTICLE »

2011 Solená Grand Cuvée Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 5,300 cases, $25. Released July 2012. Grapes were combined from a variety of Willamette Valley appellations. Yield 2.8 tons per acre, harvest Brix 23.0º. 100% de-stemmed, 26 days of skin contact, aged 8 months in 33% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The fruit-driven nose features aromas of blackberries and boysenberries. Moderately rich, dense, and very soft on the palate with appealing flavors of black cherry and dark red and purple berries with an echo of spice and oak in the background. The tannins are firmly defined and slightly astringent on the crisp finish. A direct, fruit-driven wine. Score: 87. Reviewed December 18, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Solená Domaine Danielle Laurent Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.56, 1200 cases, $50. The Domaine Danielle Laurent Vineyard land was purchased in 2000 as their wedding gift to each other and they registered with premium nurseries for Pinot Noir vines as wedding gifts. Now 20 acres, the vineyard has been farmed biodynamically since the second leaf. The predominant soil type is Willakenzie. Clones planted include Pommard, Swan, and Dijon 114,115, 667, 777 and “828.” Harvest Brix 21.4º. 100% de-stemmed, 18 days skin contact, aged 13 months in 37% new French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. The aromas of fresh dark red berries and cherries draw you into the glass. Very soft and seductive in the mouth, with a perfect harmony between ripe red fruit, vital acidity and refined tannins. The oak is complimentary without being intrusive and the palate cleansing, iced cherry finish makes you reach for another sip. Score: 91. Reviewed December 18, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Solená Hyland Vineyard McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., pH 3.60, 175 cases, $50. This vineyard was planted in the 1970s, and was purchased by the Montalieus and the Niemeyers in May 2007. The estate is 200 acres with just over 120 acres planted densely to vines. Soils are volcanic Jory and some Nekia. The vineyard is composed of 47.21 acres of own-rooted, old vine Pinot Noir, 41.84 acres of newer, grafted Pinot Noir clones, and small amounts of Chardonnay, Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Müller- Thurgau. 100% de-stemmed, Yield 1.9 tons per acre, harvest Brix 23.4º18 days skin contact, aged 11 months in 28% new French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish-purple hue in the glass. The nose offers an array of dark red and black berry aromas with added scents of spice and espresso oak. Elegant and flavorful, with a modestly weighted core of black raspberry, black cherry and nutty oak flavors supported by svelte tannins and a lively cut of acidity. The fruits are vivid as they cascade across the palate, finishing with impressive intensity. Considerably more appealing the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle with better oak integration, more finesse and more forward fruit. Score: 91. Reviewed December 18, 2013 ARTICLE »

2007 Soléna Grande Cuvée Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.5 alc., 3,500 cases, $25. Sourced from several sub-appellations of the Willamette Valley including the estate vineyard, Domaine Danielle Laurent. 100% destemmed, cold macerated, punched down by hand, 20 days skin contact, aged 6 months in 17% new French oak barrels, unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color. Shy aromas of strawberries with accents of savory herbs and oak cask. A middle weight wine sporting dark red berry fruit that is silky and discreetly rich in the mouth with deft notes of oak. Softly textured with supple tannins for early drinking. Decent. Reviewed February 15, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Soléna Domaine Danielle Laurent Yamhill-Carlton District Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., 350 cases, $45. Seventh vintage from this biodynamically-farmed 80-acre vineyard that is densely planted and located adjacent Shea Vineyard. Clones are Pommard and Dijon 115, 667, 777 and 828. High percentage of stems removed, 6-day cold soak, 25 days of skin contact, fermented in small lots in rotary barrels (barrels are rotated for “punch down” effect to gently extract color and tannins), aged 11 months in 33% new French oak barrels from a variety of coopers, unfined and unfiltered. · The nose is more savory than fruity with hints of oak toast, wet leaves and barnyard. The flavors trend to fresh wild berries matched with plenty of toasty oak that surfaces notably on the finish. Silky textured with complimentary fine tannins. The lovely fruit just can’t surface above the noise from the oak. Cellaring may allow more oak integration. For now, it is just decent. Reviewed February 15, 2010 ARTICLE »

2006 Soléna Grande Cuvée Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 3,500 cases, $22 (winery retail is $25), Vacu-Seal (glass). Crafted by Laurent Montalieu and Danielle Andrus Montalieu from vineyard sites throughout the Willamette Valley including the Estate vineyard Domaine Danielle Laurent. Grapes were fermented in small lots with total of 20 days of skin contact. Aged 6 months in 17% new French oak barrels. · Unfined and unfiltered. Shy but pleasant scents of red and even tropical fruits. Satisfying core of red berry and red plum fruit with some underlying earthiness. Nicely composed and harmonious with fine-grained tannins. Reviewed March 26, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Soléna Willakia Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.63, 97 cases, $35. Pommard and Dijon clones. 100% de-stemmed, cold maceration for 8 days, fermented in rotary barrels, aged 15 months in 50% new French oak, unfined and unfiltered. · Very shy aromatics with little to report other than faint purple fruits and a hint of smoke. Delicious dark stone fruit core that is rich and satisfying wrapped in husky tannins. Very smooth and sensual in the mouth with a perfect rift of acidity. Solid, but not exceptional, and lacks aromatic interest. Very good (-). Reviewed February 15, 2010 ARTICLE »

2006 Soléna Hyland Vineyard McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.33, $45. This 120-acre vineyard planted in 1970 and purchased by the Montalieus in 2007. Soils are volcanic Jory and some Nekia. The vineyard contains both own-rooted old-growth plantings and newer, grafted Pinot Noir clones. Grapes were de-stemmed, 6-day cold soak, fermented in rotary barrels, aged 15 months in 215 new French oak, unfined and unfiltered. · Very subdued aromatics with delicate floral and berry scents. Impressive infusion of berry jam on the palate with oak in the background. Smooth and harmonious with supple tannins, snappy acidity and moderate persistence on the finish. A sophisticated wine of great interest. Very good. Reviewed February 15, 2010 ARTICLE »



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