2015 Quintet Cellars, Lichtenwalter Pinot Noir, $48
Winery Info: Quintet Cellars is one of the founding members of the Ribbon Ridge Winegrowers Association. It was founded and is managed by Ed Barr and Sue Barrett, who concentrate their Pinot Noir production on single-estate vineyards in the Ribbon Ridge AVA, with the belief that by working with fruit from select, proven vineyards they can produce the most elegant wines, that best express the terroir of their origin. Their first release was their 2012 Ribbon Ridge Pinot Noir. They work out of the Carlton Winemakers Studio, in Carlton, Oregon, and make their wines in very small, limited amounts.
Winemaker: Anthony King, formerly of Lemelson Vineyards is their consulting winemaker.
Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir, aged 18 months in 30% new French oak before bottling.
Vineyard source: Eleven-acre Lichtenwalter Vineyard in the Ribbon Ridge AVA, with marine sedimentary soil.
Flavor profile: A medium-bodied, elegant Pinot, with a lovely aromatic profile and complex flavors of blackberry and dark cherry. With subtle earthy notes and a hint of chocolate, it’s a very enticing wine.
Production/Availability: 125 cases made. The distributor still has some of this vintage available.
Drinkability: Now, up to 2025.
Food Pairing: Try it with leg of lamb or fresh salmon, especially Copper River.
2016 Evening Land Vineyards, Seven Springs Vineyard Chardonnay, $39.75
Winery Info: Founded in 2005 by a group of investors, with the much-celebrated Burgundian Dominique Lafon as consulting winemaker. The winery has gone through a number of changes over the years and is now headed by Rajat Parr, James Beard award-winning author and celebrated sommelier, along with highly-acclaimed winemaker Sashi Moorman. They are now sole stewards of Seven Springs Vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA, considered by many to be one of the top vineyards in the Willamette Valley.
Winemaker: Rajat Parr, Sashi Moorman, and Ben DiCristina
Grapes: 100% Chardonnay, fermented and aged for 12 months in once-used French barriques and 500-liter puncheons, followed by another six months’ aging in tank.
Vineyard: From a section in the south block of their estate Seven Springs Vineyard, in the Eola-Amity Hills.
Flavor profile: The elegant richness and graceful texture is perfectly balanced by fresh, natural acidity. With flavors of stone fruit and a hint of toast. A beautiful example of Oregon Chardonnay.
Production/Availability: 1,019 cases produced. There is still some available.
Drinkability: Enjoy anytime, through 2022.
Food Pairing: Perfect to pair with seafood, poultry dishes, or just to savor on its own.