2011 Evesham Wood, Cuvée J Pinot Noir
We’ve featured several wines from Evesham Wood in the club over the years. The winery was founded in 1986 by Russ Raney who had developed a passion for the wines of Burgundy and was mentored by legendary Burgundian producers Henri Jayer and Michel Niellon. In 2010, after 24 years of winemaking in Oregon, Russ and his wife Mary decided to retire, comfortable knowing that they would be leaving their winery in the very capable hands of Erin Nuccio, who had worked alongside Russ for a number of vintages and who shared the Raney’s winemaking and vine-tending philosophy. Little has changed in the house style; Evesham Wood continues to craft beautiful, nuanced wines, expressive of their unique vineyard sources. The centerpiece of the winery is Le Puits Sec (“the dry well”), their 25-year-old estate vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills which is dry farmed and certified organic, and which yields Pinots with great structure and finesse. Their Cuvée J is a six-barrel selection sourced exclusively from this vineyard and last June we featured the 2010 vintage of this wine in the club. That year was warmer than 2011, which had a long and relatively cool growing season. As a result, the wines from the latter vintage tend to be somewhat leaner and “more Burgundian” in style. The 2011 Cuvée J is smooth and focussed, with great complexity and silky texture that, while very approachable now, will continue to develop for many years. The winery makes only 150 cases of this wine and is already sold out of the vintage. We have a few bottles left and offer it in the club at $45.
2013 Division Winemaking Company, Division-Villages, Les Petits Fers
We’re excited about this small, young winery in the heart of Portland with its big ideas and great passion. It was founded by Kate Norris and Thomas Monroe who shared a mutual love of wine and food, and Kate’s family home in France’s Loire Valley was a perfect starting point for their immersion into the world of winemaking. After intensive work and study in wineries and vineyards in France, they made their way to Oregon and the rest is…well, you know. Their first few vintages focused on Pinot Noir but they were soon able to add the Gamay grape to their line-up. In 2013 they launched their “Division Villages” line—wines focusing on different regions of France, and meant to be approachable and food friendly. Their “Petits Fers,” or little irons, is 100% Gamay, a grape Tom and Kate’s grew to love during their days living in the Beaujolais village of Julienas. Like a good cru Beaujolais (as opposed to Nouveau, which has barely had time to become wine), this version is light and soft, with an inviting touch of spice. It is sourced from two vineyards sites: one in Umpqua and one in the Eola-Amity Hills, with the Umpqua fruit fermented traditionally and the Eola fruit using carbonic maceration, as is typical in Beaujolais. This adds vibrant red fruit flavors to the earthiness of the Gamay. A recent wine dinner in Oregon paired this wine with chicken thigh confit, and bok choy with sesame and black garlic sauce. This is the kind of wine you could try with a wide variety of foods and, at $25 a bottle, you can pick up several and experiment!