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[Re-Post] Willamette Valley – A Version of Burgundy in the U.S. Part Three

Another beautiful day in the valley.  Today we venture into Newburg to visit more great wineries and continue our Pinot Noir adventure.

We started at Adelsheim with a trade tour from Matt.  We tasted wines in distribution.  Most wineries in the valley produce a Rose of Pinot Noir in the summer and begin the tasting with the dry, pink stuff.  Most of these are made for the locals and swiped up before they go into major distribution.  The line up at Adelsheim was delightful with some magnificent entry level Pinot Noirs and refreshing whites.

 

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We started with the 2012 Caitlin’s Reserve Chardonnay.  The wine was delightful with bright floral notes and crisp acidity.  This wine sees 20% oak.

Next up was the 2011 Pinot Noir that sees 10-11 months in oak (30% new oak).  This wine had great balance of fruit and floral notes with soft tannins.

Dave Paige is the winemaker and maintains an open-minded approach to the wine making process.  He harnesses new and old techniques in pursuit of classic, elegant wines.

Next up was Bergstrom.  We walked in to wait for a our meeting with Erik and were greeted with yet another Rose of Pinot Noir.  

Bergstrom is somewhat unique in that they offer Pinot Noir’s from 5 out of the 6 AVAs in Willamette.  This is a great opportunity to see the expression of terroir and vintage in each wine.  The wines tasted beautifully with elegance and finesse.  Their production levels are right at 10,000 – 12,000 cases a year.

 

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Erik came out and joined us on the patio to taste through the wines with us.  My absolute favorite treat was the Sigrid Chardonnay.  They actually showed this last in the tasting and it held its own.  This wine even has it’s own glass.  This is a top rated Chardonnay in the Valley and will show well for several more years.  This and the Evensted Estate Reserve at Domaine Serene were my favorite whites of the trip so far.

 

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We then walked the property and inspected the vines to find first signs of fruit.

 

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Up next was Beau Freres.  We tasted four delightful Pinot Noir’s.  I admired their philosophy of minimal handling of the fruit and juice throughout the winemaking experience.  They let the grapes undergo cold soak fermentation (occurring naturally) with natural yeasts.  The punch down of the caps still occurs by hand, most times twice daily.  Most winemakers prefer punch down by hand so they stay intimately familiar with the fermentation process and the juice.  With this philosophy, the resulting wines exude finesse, balanced acidity and fruit.

 

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We ended the day at Natalie’s Estate which is by appointment  only.  They sourced most of their grapes from Columbia Valley of WA.  The winemakers / owners were traveling in Spain with wine club members.  One of the wine club members was watching the tasting room and presented the wines to us.  And to our surprise, they had a Black Lab and Shih Tzu on the property – the same dog duo that Brian and I have!

 

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Fun day, but my palate was beat.  What better way to end the day than to go back to our

cabin and relax in the vines.

 

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Cheers!

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