Oregon Wine Club – December 2016

2014 Argyle Winery, Reserve Pinot Noir, $38.25

Winery info: Agyle was founded by Rollin Soles in Dundee, Oregon in 1987. Over the years his wines have been listed on the Wine Spectator’s “Top 100 Wines of the World” an astonishing 12 times. In 2013 he stepped aside to hand the reins over to Nate Klostermann, who has been with the winery since 2005.

Winemaker: Nate Klostermann

Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir

Vineyard source: From all three of their estate vineyards: 35% Knudsen (in the Dundee Hills, at over 700 feet elevation); 35% Spirit Hill (a higher elevation, cooler site in the Eola-Amity Hills, next to Temperance Hill); and 30% Lone Star (their warmest site, at a lower elevation in the Eola-Amity Hills).

Flavor profile: 2014 was a warm sunny vintage, with a record number of days over 90 degrees. This necessitated carefully thinning the vineyards in order to capture the dense, vibrant fruit flavors. This offering is rich and earthy, with good tannin structure, silky texture, and notes of ripe red fruit.

Production/Availability: 7400 cases produced, so it is in good supply for now.

Drinkability: This wine is still young, but you could enjoy it anytime over the next six to eight years.

Food Pairing: Plank salmon, of course, or perhaps your best boeuf bourguignon

2012 Division Winemaking Company, Pinot Noir “Deux” Vieilles Vignes, $42

Winery info: A small artisanal winery based in Portland, founded in 2010 by Kate Norris and Thomas Monroe. They first learned to make wine in Beaujolais, Burgundy, and the Loire and their goal with their Oregon winery is to produce delicious, interesting and balanced wines with minimal manipulation.

Winemakers: Kate Norris and Thomas Monroe

Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir from older Pommard fruit, aged for nine months in a combination of new and used barrels, followed by six months in all neutral barrels, and 11 months in bottle before release.

Vineyard sources: Selected from old vines in the Eola Springs Vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills, first planted in 1973 on soils with heavy deposits of marine sediment.

Flavor profile: From the warm 2012 vintage, this wine is wonderfully complex and layered, with rich texture and vibrant, savory, earthy notes.

Production/Availability: They made only 66 cases. The winery is sold out of this vintage and is onto the 2014. The distributor has just a few bottles left at this point.

Drinkability: They suggest decanting for at least 30 minutes if you plan to drink it soon, or to cellar it for five to fifteen years (from release) to let it evolve.

Food Pairing: Try it with duck, pork, or wild mushroom dishes.