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A family owned and run vineyard and winery located next to the Chehalem Ridge Natural Area southwest of Portland, near Forest Grove, Oregon. The two Pinot Noirs offered are from the estate vineyard which is farmed organically.
The vineyard is planted on a steep slope at about 900 feet elevation (one of the highest vineyard sites in the Willamette Valley) to UCD 29 (a Jackson clone) and Dijon clones 113 and 115, making up a unique clonal mix for an Oregon Pinot Noir vineyard.
Owner Paul Gates grew up near the commercial wine center of Lodi, California, and worked in the local vineyards as a teenager. He studied enology at California State University at Fresno, and worked in wine stores. After graduation, he moved to Oregon and worked in the cellars of four large wineries before planting his own 4-acre vineyard in 1998 with spouse Lori.
Gates and his two sons farm the vineyard mostly organically and the steepness of the vineyard and tightly spaced rows of vines require that they farm the vineyard largely by hand. The fruit hangs but 14 inches off the ground to absorb the heat reflected off the soil below.
Of interest is that the winery's crusher-destemmer is powered by bike pedals. The winery is able to process 30 tons of fruit each harvest by pedaling.
The wines are extremely well priced considering the high quality.
2013 Gresser Vineyard Select Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Chardonnay
13.5% alc., 100 cases, $18. Aged 9 months in 40% new French oak barrels. · Light yellow color and clear in the glass. Welcoming aromas of lemon curd, apple, buttery brioche and nuts, and bright lemon, pineapple and green apple flavors driven by bright acidity. Slightly viscous in texture, with a refreshing burst of acidity on the finish. A very enjoyable wine for the dinner table. Score: 91. Reviewed February 8, 2015 ARTICLE »
2012 Gresser Vineyard Select Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.9% alc., 500 cases, $32. Clones 29, Dijon 113, 115. Aged 16 months in 30% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light crimson color in the glass. Very inviting in the glass with aromas of fresh cherry and spice that hold up over time in the glass. Deep red cherry and raspberry flavors with toasty oak in the background. Sheik and silky, with many nuances that show themselves over time including savory herbs, cola, and black walnuts. Nicely balanced with dry tannins and welcome acidity. Still very solid the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle indicating age ability. Score: 91. Reviewed February 8, 2015 ARTICLE »
2009 Gresser Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
14.1% alc., 392 cases, $18. Released May 2011. UCD 29, Dijon 113 and 115 clones. Aged 16 months in 30% new French oak barrels. · Light reddish-purple color in the glass. Subdued aromas of black cherries and verbena. Lighter weight flavors of black cherries and cranberry with a hint of spice. Soft in the mouth with supple tannins and some length on the pleasing finish. Good (+). Reviewed May 11, 2012 ARTICLE »
2009 Gresser Vineyard Vineyard Select Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
14.1% alc., 246 cases, $24. UCD 29, Dijon 113 and 115 clones. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with the aroma of fresh dark red pie cherries. Delicious medium-weight dark red berry and black cherry flavors caressed by ripe tannins. Elegant with a very soft mouth feel and aromatic persistence on the long and flamboyant finish. An exceptional wine at this price point. Reviewed May 11, 2012 ARTICLE »