2013 Élevée Winegrowers, Élevée Vineyard Pinot Noir, $43
Winery info: Élevée began in 2008 when UC Davis-educated, Burgundy-trained Tom Fitzpatrick and his wife France purchased a “micro site” in the Dundee Hills, originally planted in 1998.
Winemaker: Tom Fitzpatrick. Tom refers to himself as a “winegrower,” reflecting his philosophy that growing grapes and making wine are one and the same: that one’s growing decisions are actually winemaking decisions.
Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir, 50% each Dijon clones 777 and 115
Vineyard source: From their estate vineyard planted at 540 feet elevation on a south-facing slope with volcanic Jory soil. The vines are densely planted and tend to produce elegant, “feminine” wines.
Flavor profile: This Pinot is utterly graceful and elegant, with medium body and flavors of red fruit and baking spice and smooth tannins.
Production/Availability: 150 cases. There is a bit left at the winery
Drinkability: The winery recommends enjoying this one anytime, from now through 2023.
Food Pairing: Tom (the winegrower) says this Pinot pairs well with both salmon and pork and suggests Open Fire Roasted Salmon with Brown Sugar Glaze, or Garlic Pepper Roasted Pork Loin with Rosemary (recipes available upon request!)
2013 Trisaetum, Ribbon Ridge Pinot Noir, $45
Winery info: Founded by James and Andrea Frey in 2003 in the heart of Ribbon Ridge, where they focus on producing small lots of Pinot Noir and Riesling from their three estate vineyards, located in Yamhill-Carlton, Dundee Hills, and on Ribbon Ridge.
Winemaker: James Frey
Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir, from Pommard, Wadensvil, and Dijon clones.
Vineyard sources: From their estate vineyard which surrounds their winery on Ribbon Ridge. This is their warmest vineyard site, with sedimentary, marine sandstone soils, and it tends to produce wines with great concentration and density.
Flavor profile: This is classic Ribbon Ridge Pinot, with excellent structure, rich dark fruit flavors, and lots of nice spice.
Production/Availability: 453 cases produced. This wine is already sold out at the winery and the distributor has just a couple of cases left.
Drinkability: It is drinking well now and should continue to develop for another eight to ten years.
Food Pairing: With its modest alcohol (13.3%) this Pinot is very versatile and food friendly. You could think beyond salmon here and try it with a variety of dishes.