2017 Le Cadeau Vineyard, “Côte Est” Pinot Noir, $54
Winery Info: In 1997 Tom and Deb Mortimer bought a previously uncultivated vineyard site near Newberg, Oregon. They developed and planted it with one goal: to produce distinctive, complex, estate-grown Pinot Noirs. Their small-batch cuvées are produced by several different winemakers, giving each one its unique personality, showcasing the different clones, soils, and terroirs.
Winemaker: Steve Ryan
Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir, mostly Dijon clones, with some Pommard. Aged ten months in French oak.
Vineyard: From three east-facing blocks of their estate Le Cadeau Vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains AVA. The cooler temperatures here and the Nekia (Jory) soils give the wine its layered complexity, dark fruit character, and natural bright acidity.
Flavor profile: Very smooth and elegant, with flavors of cherry and spice and savory earthy undertones. Since its inception in 2004, this cuvée has been crafted to showcase the “delicate balance between dark fruit, earthiness, and structure.”
Production: 145 cases made. There are just a few cases of this vintage left.
Drinkability: Enjoy it now through around 2026.
Food Pairing: Great with salmon, of course, or with leaner beef (filet mignon), duck, lamb, or seasonal mushroom dishes.
R. Stuart & Co. Winery, Oregon Bubbly, NV, $29.75
Winery Info: R. Stuart was founded in 2002 by Rob and Maria Stuart and is based in McMinnville, Oregon. Rob had worked with other wineries for many years, including a stint as winemaker at Erath Vineyards, but the couple wanted to create their own winery, where the quality of the wines was high, but the prices weren’t. They source from various vineyards throughout the Willamette Valley with whom they have close relationships.
Winemaker: Rob Stuart
Grapes: A 50/50 blend of Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay, aged seven months in neutral Pinot Noir barrels (which is what gives this wine its pale pink color).
Vineyards: Courting Hill (a south-facing site in the northern part of the valley with Willakenzie soil), Stafford (in Wilsonville), and Tukwilla (in the Dundee Hills, with Woodburn and Jory soil).
Flavor profile: This sparkling wine is bright and refreshing yet richly textured, with aromas and flavors of Asian pears, apples, and a touch of fresh bread. It is nice and dry, with balanced, food-friendly acidity.
Production: They produced 723 cases. The distributor has a few cases left.
Drinkability: Ready to drink now.
Food Pairing: Enjoy it on its own or perhaps with chicken Florentine. The winery suggests shrimp Bahn Mi or crab pasta.