2015 Goodfellow Family Cellars, Richard’s Cuvée Chardonnay, $45
Winery Info: Marcus Goodfellow began making wines under his Matello label in 2002. In 2012 he launched Goodfellow Family Cellars, where he now produces about 4000 cases a year, focusing on older vines grown in unique sites in the Willamette Valley. He has long-standing relationships with his growers, who farm sustainably and without irrigation. This wine is named for Richard Alvord, who was a pilot during WWII, and planted this vineyard when he retired at age 65.
Winemaker: Marcus Goodfellow
Grapes: 100% Chardonnay, from a mixed-clone block. Aged 22 months in half new French oak barrels.
Vineyard source: Whistling Ridge Vineyard, planted in 1990 by Richard and Patricia Alvord in the western edge of the Ribbon Ridge AVA. The vines ripen slowly on the windy, ridge-top site and the shallow, marine sedimentary soils dry quickly, forcing the unirrigated roots to grow deep in search of water. It is an ideal vineyard for white wine, especially Chardonnay.
Flavor profile: From the valley’s warmest vintage on record, this Chard is richly aromatic and beautifully structured, with notes of orchard fruit and excellent depth, stony minerality, and a soft touch of oak.
Production/Availability: 153 cases. There is still some left with the distributor.
Drinkability: Beautiful now, even a day or two after opening, or up to 2022
Food Pairing: Herb-roasted chicken or lighter fish dishes.
2012 Maysara, “Asha” Pinot Noir, $39.75
Winery Info: Originally from Iran, Mahmood (Moe) and Flora Momtazi bought 532 acres of old wheat farm just south of McMinnville, Oregon in 1997. Before they began planting, they meticulously researched what varietals were best suited to their different soil types. Today 252 acres of their land is under vine. Asha is an ancient Persian word “describing one who has a clean conscience for good thoughts, words, and deeds with a pure demeanor and performance.”
Winemaker: Moe and Flora’s eldest daughter, Tahmiene Momtazi
Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir, aged 22 months in 40% new French oak.
Vineyard source: Momtazi Vineyard, in the McMinnville AVA, a unique site with over 600 feet elevation change in the vineyard, with clay and loam-based soil in the lower parts, changing to Jory soil higher up. Committed to caring for the land in the most natural and healthy way possible they are certified Biodynamic.
Flavor profile: At once both elegant and powerful, it is full-bodied, with notes of cherries, cloves, and a hint of toast. With velvety tannins and a long finish.
Production/Availability: 541 cases. This vintage is almost gone.
Drinkability: Lovely now, or over the next several years.
Food Pairing: They suggest slow braised meats, with complex layers of spice and caramelization.