2010 Lachini Vineyards, Lachini Family Estate Pinot Noir
Over the past few years we’ve featured several wines from this north Willamette Valley estate. Their story began in 1999 when Ron and Marianne Lachini began planting their vineyard with a goal of producing small quantities of world class, single-vineyard Pinot Noir. They chose their site, near Newberg in the foothills of the Chehalem Mountains, for its excellent exposure and unique microclimates. They are committed to sustainable practices in their vineyard, and in the winery they use only native yeasts, and all gravity-flow processes, all of which they feel helps them create wines that express purity of fruit and are a true expression of their vineyard terroir. Their estate vineyard now consists of three distinct blocks, each planted to specific clones of Pinot Noir. Their 2010 estate Pinot is made from a blend of Pommard, Dijon, and Wädenswil clones from all three vineyard blocks and is lovely and inviting, with underlying notes of earth, black tea, and soft spice. It is $47.25 and, though it opens up beautifully with a bit of air or decanting, the winery says that, with its structure and complexity, it would reward cellaring for anywhere from two to 15 years.
2012 Domaine Drouhin, Arthur Chardonnay
We have also featured a number of wines from iconic Oregon producer, Domaine Drouhin, over the years, including the previous vintage of this one. The estate was established in 1987 by the family of Burgundian producer, Maison Joseph Drouhin, in Oregon’s Dundee Hills where they found the climate and terroir similar to that of their home in Beaune. Daughter Vèronique Drouhin-Boss has produced all of the wines there since the very first vintage and, while the winery developed its reputation for their stunning Pinot Noirs, since 1996 they have also produced wine from the “other Burgundian grape,” Chardonnay. It is named for Veronique’s son and is made from 100% Dijon clones first planted in 1992, some of the oldest such vines in the New World. While the previous several vintages were cooler, 2012 was relatively warm and dry, producing gorgeous, ripe fruit with intense flavors. Half of it is fermented in French oak (30% new) for rich texture, and the other half in stainless steel. It is then blended together to create a delicate wine that, to Véronique, tastes “as if one brought together elements of a pure Chablis and an elegant Meursault.” With its round texture, and flavors of fresh forward fruit, it has a bit more body than the previous two vintages, but still shows the lovely aromatics and lightness that we’ve come to love in the Arthur. It is $34 and ready to enjoy now or over the next three to five years, with shellfish (think scallops) or chicken dishes.