2015 Quintet Cellars, Duet Yamhill Carlton Pinot Noir, $41.50
Winery Info: Quintet Cellars is managed by Ed Barr and Sue Barrett. One of the founding members of the Ribbon Ridge Winegrowers Association, they began with a focus on producing Pinot Noir from single-estate vineyards in the Ribbon Ridge AVA. In 2015 they branched out to include wines sourced from the Yamhill Carlton AVA as well, but their overriding philosophy remains the same: that by working with fruit from select, proven vineyards they can produce elegant wines that fully express the terroir of their origin. They work out of the Carlton Winemakers Studio.
Winemaker: Anthony King, formerly of Lemelson Vineyards, is their consulting winemaker.
Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir, clones 777 and 115, aged 18 months in French oak.
Vineyard source: Lazy River Vineyard and Matteri Vineyard, both in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA.
Flavor profile: The two different clones from two separate vineyards combine seamlessly to produce a smooth Pinot with inviting red fruit flavor, soft spice, and stony minerality. Complex yet very accessible.
Availability: There is still a bit left of this vintage.
Drinkability: Delicious now, you could enjoy it anytime over the next two to three years.
Food Pairing: Braised pork with polenta, grilled salmon, or fall roasted root vegetables.
2016 David Hill Vineyards and Winery, Old Vine Pinot Noir, $39.75
Winery Info: David Hill is one of the oldest and northernmost wineries in the Willamette Valley. It is owned by Milan and Jean Stoyanov who bought the property near Forest Grove in 1992. The farmstead itself dates back to the 1880s, when homesteaders there were already producing wine from vineyards planted on the site. In 1965 Charles Coury arrived with rootstock from Alsace and Burgundy and began planting what is now David Hill Vineyard. These are some of the earliest plantings of Pinot Noir in the Willamette Valley. Work is currently underway on getting sub-AVA status established for this unique site.
Winemaker: Justin Van Zanten (up to the 2019 vintage)
Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir from Wädenswill, Pommard and Coury clones planted in 1965. Aged 14 months in 30% new French oak. The vines are grown on their own rootstock and are dry farmed.
Vineyard source: David Hill’s estate vineyard, planted on Laurelwood soil. The roots of the old vines now reach down to the basalt layer, enabling the resulting wines to fully express the character of the terroir.
Flavor profile: The unique Laurelwood soil imparts notes of brambly red and black fruit to this expressive, nuanced Pinot. It is well structured, with ripe, savory fruit flavors and a hint of toast, and it continues to evolve as it opens up. They say this wine truly expresses the essence of their vineyard.
Production/Availability: We got the last few bottles available of this vintage.
Drinkability: It is showing beautifully now, or you could let it develop another couple of years.
Food Pairing: Roast Cornish hen with wild mushroom farro, or pork-loin with balsamic apple preserve and roasted new potatoes.