Oregon Wine Club – May 2017

2015 Holocene, “Memorialis” Pinot Noir $49.75

Winery info: Todd Alexander is the winemaker at Force Majeure, an ultra-premium winery in Woodinville specializing in estate-grown, single-vineyard Bordeaux- and Rhône-inspired wines. Under his Holocene label Todd produces Pinot Noir from small, unique vineyards in Oregon.

Winemaker: Todd Alexander, former winemaker at Napa’s highly-acclaimed Bryant Family Vineyard.

Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir from four different clones: 777, Pommard, 115, and Wadenswil.

Vineyard source: Monks Gate Vineyard outside Carlton in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA (next to the Trappist Abbey). The vineyard is situated on a west-facing slope with marine sedimentary soils.

Flavor profile: Beautifully rich and aromatic with lovely texture and notes of dark fruit, spice, and forest floor. It manages to convey intense flavor while still seeming elegantly weightless.

Production/Availability: 200 cases. Because of the small production, it is extremely limited and primarily available only to their mailing list. (We were able to get some for the club because Todd and his wife Carrie also happen to be club members)

Drinkability: This one is stunning now, but it will evolve for over a decade.

Food Pairing: Todd’s wife Carrie suggests pairing it with duck, roasted vegetables, or seasonal foods such as morel mushrooms and spring peas.

NOTE: Todd will be pouring his wines at a special tasting in the shop on Saturday, June 10, 2017, from 3 to 5:00. Don’t miss the chance to taste this and his Force Majeure offerings!

2014 Eyrie Vineyards, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir $38

Winery info: Founded by David Lett who planted the first Pinot Noir grapes in Oregon’s Willamette Valley in 1965. His first vintage was 1970 and his 1975 Pinot Noir placed tenth among Pinots in the Wine Olympics in Paris (it placed second at a rematch). Eyrie’s wines have always been known for their elegance and light-handed style, earning Lett the nickname “Papa Pinot.” He passed away in 2008.

Winemaker: Jason Lett, who took over from his father in 2005 and continues the family legacy

Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir

Vineyard source: 65% from Eyrie’s Dundee Hills estate vineyards, with 15% Cattrall Brothers (Dundee Hills), 12% Bishop Creek (Yamhill-Carlton), and 8% Tukwilla Vineyards (Eola-Amity Hills).

Flavor profile: Light in color and very elegant in feel, this Pinot has lovely texture, with notes of red fruit and a touch of earthiness. 2014 was one of the warmest vintages on record but this wine still manages to achieve delicate freshness and perfect balance.

Production/Availability: 2,522 cases

Drinkability: Very lovely now, though you could lay it down for ten or more years to develop further.

Food Pairing: Salmon, of course, or other not too heavy fare.