Oregon Wine Club – July 2015

This month, we feature two Pinots from the same vintage and made by the same winemaker, but for two different wineries. The clones are different as well, as are the vineyard sources. A little micro-study in what contributes to the unique profile of every wine. We are also experimenting with a new format for club write-ups this month to help us keep on top of them. We welcome your feedback.

2012 Mahonia Vineyard, Dijon Clone 114 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $51.50

Notes: From the winery’s “clonal series,” which highlights how each Pinot clone they grow contributes to the flavor profile of their overall wines. They plan to produce one single-clone Pinot each year.

Winery info: Salem, Oregon. First vines planted in 1985.

Winemaker: Chris Berg

Grapes: Pinot Noir, Dijon clone 114. A lower-yielding form, with small, compact clusters. Can provide rich aromas and very pretty flavors.

Vineyard source: Mahonia Vineyard, Willamette Valley AVA. Originally planted in 1985 on volcanic Jory and Nekia soil which tends to produce earthy, spicy wines with red fruit flavors.

Flavor profile: Elegant, concentrated, and classy, with violet aromas and flavors of dark fruit and spice.

Production/Availability: 50 cases. Very limited in Seattle.

Drinkability: Now through 2022

Food Pairing: Grilled salmon (of course), or pork tenderloin or rotisserie chicken

2012 Roots Wine Company, Estate Pinot Noir, $37

Notes: Founded by Chris Berg. First harvest, 2002

Winery info: Yamhill, Oregon

Winemaker: Chris Berg

Grapes: Pinot Noir, Dijon clones 113, 115, 777

Vineyard source: Yamhill-Carlton AVA. Willakenzie, sedimentary soil over a sandstone base which tends to produce texturally-driven wines with dark fruit flavors and good minerality.

Flavor profile: Well structured, with dark cherry flavors and aromas of rosemary.

Production/Availability: 174 cases. Currently in good supply.

Drinkability: Approachable now, but ageworthy for ten years or more

Food Pairing: If not salmon, perhaps duck breast, roasted vegetables, or seared ahi