2006 Matello Souris, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
The ebullient and aptly-named Marcus Goodfellow is definitely one of Oregon’s hottest new winemakers. In three years, he has advanced from waiting tables and pouring wine at the Heathman in Portland to being a fulltime winemaker. While making wines for Bishop Creek and Westrey, he also produces about 500 cases of Pinot Noir for his own tiny winery, Matello. This wine, named Souris after a friend, is about 100 cases of the best barrels available to him every year, with the fruit coming mostly from Whistling Ridge Vineyard, one of the oldest sites in the Ribbon Ridge area and right next to Beaux Freres. It is a superbly balanced wine with high-toned red fruit flavors, bright acidity, and just the right amount and type of wood to accent the wine without being intrusive. It is elegant, but also complex with an exceptionally long finish. The Heathman pairs it with roasted quail and morel risotto, which gives you an idea of its quality and food-friendliness. It is $39.75 and we can get a bit more.
2006 Cœur de Terre, Vineyard Estate Pinot Noir
Coeur de Terre Vineyard was founded in 1998 by Scott and Lisa Neal, and named after a massive heart shaped rock discovered during the planting of their estate vineyard. Like many Oregon micro-producers, the Neals have made all their wines exclusively from their own 16 acres of Pinot Noir, Syrah, Riesling, and Gruener Veltliner grapes. This estate wine consists of the top barrels from all three of their Pinot Noir blocks and is designed to be their signature wine. Not only are all the grapes hand-picked, the vines are hand-grafted and nourished with only organic nutrients. Not surprisingly, this Pinot features a nice balance of the crisp acidity characteristic of Oregon’s Coastal Range with soft tannins and rich, full-bodied fruit. It is hearty, approachable, and ready to drink. Although the winery is sold out, we are able to get more from the local distributor. It is $43.00. Try it with duck in a light or citrusy sauce.