Oregon Wine Club – January 2010

2007 Siltstone Wines, Guadalupe Vineyard, Pinot Noir
The unifying theme of the two wines in this month’s club is that they are both Pinot Noirs from the Guadalupe Vineyard, in Oregon’s Dundee Hills. This 40-acre vineyard was first planted in 1988 and has been managed, from the beginning, by one of the most respected vineyard managers in Oregon, Joel Myers, who manages vineyards for many top Oregon wineries (including Ken Wright, but more about that in a moment). Guadalupe Vineyard lies in the transition zone between the Dundee Hills’ volcanic soils, and the marine sedimentary soils of the Yamhill-Carlton District, and exhibits characteristics of both types of terroir. Grapes from Guadalupe tend to produce big, well-balanced wines, with layers of dark fruit flavors. After nearly 30 years of experience in vineyard management and design, Myers began his own label, Siltstone Wines, and since 2000, he and his family have produced exceptional single-vineyard wines from the vineyards they have worked for over 20 years. We were instantly smitten by this 2007 Pinot which, while light in color, has a rich nose, silky palate, and a long, warm finish. Its enticing cherry and raspberry notes would pair perfectly with roast lamb with a raspberry vinaigrette marinade. It’s $27 and there is more available.

2007 Ken Wright Cellars, Guadalupe Vineyard, Pinot Noir
It was a squeeze to fit this wine into the club, but it is a fabulous Pinot, and we loved the idea of featuring two wines from the same vineyard, so we just made it work. Ken Wright is passionate about highlighting the inherent terroir influence in each of his single-vineyard wines. And he recognizes Pinot Noir as the ultimate grape for conveying the characteristics of the soil in which it is grown. So it is no surprise that he is very particular about site selection and vineyard management. And for this Pinot, he uses fruit from Guadalupe Vineyard, meticulously cared for by, yes, Joel Myers. As he says: Source is everything. He made about 400 cases of this wine, which hits the shelf at $60, and we are down to our last few bottles. It is full and rich, as is typical of wines from Guadalupe fruit, with dark cherry and plum flavors, and beautiful structure. Perfect for planked-smoked salmon, or Asian influenced dishes.