Oregon Wine Club – November 2009

2006 Brittan Vineyards, Basalt Block Pinot Noir
Brittan Vineyards is a 128-acre winery on the edge of Oregon’s Coast Range, in the recently designated McMinnville AVA. Winemaker Robert Brittan had always dreamed of making Pinot Noir and Syrah from unique sites in a cooler climate so, after 16 years as winemaker and estate manager at Stag’s Leap Winery in Napa, he relocated to Oregon. Now he oversees vineyard operations and is winemaker at his own winery, where he has 20 acres planted to Pinot Noir, plus one acre of Syrah. His wines come from all estate fruit and he makes both a Basalt Block and Gestalt Block Pinot. The grapes for his Basalt Block (mostly Pommard clones) come from areas of the vineyard with the highest concentration of basalt, which results in low yields, and produces wines with intense flavors and layers of complexity. The 2006 Basalt Block Pinot is both powerful and refined, with an inviting nose, hints of fruit and spice, and a nice long finish. We’re glad this winery came to our attention and we’re delighted to share it with you. The Basalt Block Pinot is $45 and ready to drink now.

2006 Domaine Serene, Yamhill Cuvée Pinot Noir
In July we featured Domaine Serene’s flagship wine, the Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir. As we noted then, Domaine Serene is a stunningly beautiful winery in Oregon’s Dundee Hills that produces serious wines of profound elegance and finesse. This month we present their Yamilll Cuvée Pinot Noir. It may their entry level Pinot but it could easily rival the top cuvées at many other wineries, since they approach all of their wines with the same meticulous attention to detail and perfection. Fruit for their Yamhill Cuvée comes from their estate vineyard in the Dundee Hills and from Eola Hills. Combine a superlative winery and a classic vintage and little more need be said. This velvety Pinot Noir has hints of dark fruit and earthy spice and boasts the elegant texture, wonderful depth, and supple, refined finish that one has come to expect from Domaine Serene wines. It is $33 and is lovely now, or over the next four to five years. Enjoy it with roast chicken, boeuf bourguignon or, of course, salmon.