Oregon Wine Club – August 2016

2012 Brittan Vineyards, Basalt Block, Pinot Noir, $49.75

Winery info: A 128-acre winery on the edge of Oregon’s Coast Range in the McMinnville AVA. Founded by Robert Brittan, previously winemaker and estate manager at Napa’s Stag’s Leap Winery for 16 years, and his wife Ellen, who recently brought some of their wines by for us to try, including this one.

Winemaker: Robert Brittan

Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir, mostly Pommard clone

Vineyard source: From the part of their estate they have named Basalt Black for its high concentration of broken, sub-marine basalts. The site produces wines with intense flavors and layers of complexity.

Flavor profile: The 2012 vintage was moderately warm in the Willamette Valley with little rain. This Pinot has broad, layered flavors of dark fruit, excellent structure, and an underlying stoniness.

Production/Availability: They made only 780 cases and are onto the 2013 vintage. We got the last few bottles of this one.

Drinkability: This one is tasting beautifully now, though it could probably age a bit longer. We still have a bottle of the 2010 Basalt Block (from our November 2009 club) which Ellen said is stunning right now.

Food Pairing: Pork tenderloin, plank-roasted salmon, or duck breast come to mind.

2014 Domaine Drouhin, Roserock Chardonnay $32.00

Winery info: Roserock is a new project from Domaine Drouhin, the estate established in Oregon 1987 by the family of Burgundian producer, Maison Joseph Drouhin. They found that the climate and terroir at their site in the Dundee Hills was similar to that of their home in Beaune and have been crafting stunning wines ever since, with the motto: “French soul, Oregon soil.” Their daughter Vèronique Drouhin-Boss has been at the winemaking helm since the very first vintage and she crafts the wines for Roserock as well. This is the inaugural vintage of this wine.

Winemaker: Véronique Drouhin-Boss

Grapes: 100% Chardonnay

Vineyard source: Sourced from three Chardonnay blocks of their Roserock Vineyard, situated at the southern tip of the Eola-Amity Hills. With its ancient volcanic soils, ideal elevation, and cooling effect of the Van Duzer Corridor, the site produces classic cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Flavor profile: 2014 had a long, warm growing season, producing Chardonnays with great balance and depth. This one was aged half in barrel and half in stainless steel, and went through full malolactic fermentation. It is fresh and fruity, with elegant structure and texture and just a hint of oak.

Production/Availability: About 2000 cases. Just released in March, it should be in good supply for a while.

Drinkability: Véronique says this wine should drink well for at least three to five years, when its freshness and acidity will be at its best.

Food Pairing: Hors d’oeuvres, seafood, or white meat.