Oregon Wine Club – February 2011

2008 Scott Paul, “Audrey” Pinot Noir
Scott Paul actually began as a California winery in 1999. But it wasn’t long before Martha and Scott Wright relocated to Oregon, where the climate was much more suitable for making the Burgundian style of wines they loved to drink and wanted to make. Scott, who calls himself a “professional Burgundy geek,” models his wines on those of the village of Chambolle-Musigny, with their beautiful perfume, silky texture, and sensation of power, without weight. He says, “There are a lot of people these days making what we call Pamela Anderson wines—sort of artificially pumped up. We’re trying to make Audrey Hepburn wines!” Which brings us to this wine, “Audrey,” their selection of the best of the best. Scott Paul first began producing an “Audrey” blend in 2003, and for the 2008 version they selected their favorite eight barrels of the vintage, almost entirely from their blocks of Maresh Vineyard in the Dundee Hills. Planted in 1970, Maresh is the fifth oldest vineyard in Oregon and one of the most sought after, for its silky, elegant fruit. They feel that the seductive 2008 “Audrey” is their best yet. Like its namesake, it is elegant, graceful, and refined—a natural beauty. Delicious and very charming now, they expect it to be at its best in around two years. It is $65.

2009 J.K. Carriere, “Glass” White Pinot Noir
Is it white? Is it Rosé? It’s “Glass,” a white Pinot Noir, made using the techniques employed in producing turn-of-the-century French rosé Champagne, to strip the color and broaden the palate. It’s not a bubbly, although the freshness hints at a bit of a spritz. With its lovely peachy color, and aromas of honeysuckle and watermelon, it is an unpretentious, yet serious dry Rosé (on pour at some of Portland’s poshest restaurants, we hear). It is perfectly balanced and food-friendly: just right to liven up a winter meal or to savor on a summer evening on the patio (yes, summer will come!). J.K. Carriere winemaker Jim Prosser makes only a small amount each year (460 cases of the 2009) and this one is already sold out at the winery. It is $24 and our distributor has only a tiny bit left.

When we featured Jim’s 2005 Shea Vineyard Pinot in the September, 2010 club, we recounted the story of his journey from corporate life to the world of wine, with adventures in the Peace Corps (as a business advisor), Pakistan (climbing), and throughout the U.S. (cycling), along the way. But in 1999 (like Scott Paul, above) he founded his winery, near Newberg, Oregon. He, too, focuses on producing classically-styled Pinot Noir, but we think his “Glass” is a delightful diversion … to fill your glass!