Download &
print (pdf)

Belle Pente

Belle Pente (“beautiful slope”) is owned by Brian and Jill O’Donnell. They farm an historic 70-acre estate two miles east of Carlton in the Yamhill-Carlton District. The estate now has 12 acres of closely planted Pinot Noir which is farmed with organic and biodynamic principles. Famed viticulturist Wayne Cook oversees the farming. The first vines were planted in 1994 and the first wines were produced in 1996. the O’Donnells work out of their own 3-level gravity flow winery. I have been a fan of Belle Pente Pinot Noirs from some time now and their wines have been consistently outstanding. Last year, they were one of the featured wineries at the International Pinot Noir Celebration and poured their 2004 Estate Reserve Pinot Noir.

Brian is from New York City and Jill grew up in St. Cloud, Minnesota. They met while pursuing careers in Silicon Valley, California. On the eve of the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, they resolved to move and begin a career making wine. They arrived in the Willamette Valley in 1992. Their name has not been as highly-profiled like several in Oregon (Brian is soft spoken), but their Pinot Noirs are top rate.

2005 Belle Pente Murto Vineyard Dundee Hills Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., 200 cases, $35. Robin and Mike Murto established their vineyard in 1978. Yields for 2005 were .56 tons per acre. 10th consecutive vintage from this vineyard. This wine spends 18 months in barrel. · Huge, and I mean huge black cherry aromas that are intoxicating. Darker fruits on the palate with a nice touch of earthiness and oak. Very smooth in texture. Lingering fruity aftertaste with a hint of pepper. Kissed by an angel.

2005 Belle Pente Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $35, 18 months in barrel. · Enticing aromatics featuring spiced cherries and oak. Delicious cherry fruit with an oak sidecar. Well put together with lively acidity ideal for food accompaniment.

Belle Pente is located at 12470 NE Rowland Road, Carlton. The wines are distributed to fine retail stores. The website is and the phone is 503-852-9500. Tours and tasting by appointment.
Previous article:
Grochau Cellars
Next article:
Small Sips of the Rest

Print entire newsletter

Wineries in this Article