2016 McKinlay, Ladd Hill, Pinot Noir, $42
Winery Info: Matt Kinne’s family have been farmers in Oregon since the early 1900s. The winery was founded in 1987 and today their focus is almost exclusively on Pinot Noir. Matt’s vines are dry-farmed in well-drained, volcanic soil and he thins the vines to about one cluster per shoot, resulting in very low production, but maximum depth and concentration of flavor. He uses just a light touch of oak in his wines, which are often noted as being very Burgundian in style, although, the humble and low key winemaker seems to shun labels, letting his wines tell the story.
Winemaker: Matt Kinne
Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir from own-rooted Wädenswil clone, planted in 1974.
Vineyard: Three acres of old vines planted on volcanic soil in their Ladd Hill Vineyard, located on the southeast edge of the Chehalem Mountains AVA.
Flavor profile: The older vines in the Ladd Hill Vineyard produce expressive and complex wines, with lush, layered flavors and excellent minerality. This Pinot is aromatic and savory, with broad flavors of bright red fruit, lovely texture, and a hint of spice.
Production: They make only about 1000 cases per year. There is not much of this vintage left.
Drinkability: Enjoy any time over the next few years.
Food Pairing: This Pinot would be a great pairing with duck or ham.
2018 Kelley Fox Wines, Mirabai Pinot Noir, $38
Winery Info: Kelley Fox began her winery in 2007, with a production of about 100 cases of wine. But she had been making Oregon Pinots for years before that, working with the late David Lett (“Papa Pinot”) at Eyrie Vineyards, as well as at Torii Mor, Hamacher, and Scott Paul. Today she makes her wines at ADEA Wine Company with fruit from some of Oregon’s top vineyards: Maresh, Momtazi, Hyland, Freedom Hill, Weber, and Durant. This wine is named for an Indian poetess, with label art from drawn by Kelley’s younger daughter.
Winemaker: Kelley Fox
Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir
Vineyards: 60% Weber, with own-rooted Pommard clones planted in 1983; and 40% Maresh, from various blocks, planted between 1970 and 1991. Both vineyards are in the Dundee Hills AVA.
Flavor profile: This Pinot is wonderfully expressive, and very evocative of the Dundee Hills, with its aromas of red fruit (strawberries) and spice, a touch of forest floor, and beautiful silky texture that carries through to a long, lovely finish.
Production: 1288 cases. It should be around for a while longer.
Drinkability: Enjoy any time, through 2025.
Food Pairing: Planked salmon, mildly spicy foods, or perhaps a wild mushroom risotto or polenta.