2017 Hyland Estates, Pinot Noir, Coury Clone, $55
Winery Info: Hyland is one of the oldest vineyards in Oregon. First planted in 1971, it is located in the McMinnville AVA, on a south-facing bench in the foothills of the Coast Range overlooking the Van Duzer Corridor.
The first plantings included Coury clone Pinot Noir, named for Charles Coury who brought rootstock from Alsace to Oregon in 1965. He planted a vineyard in Forest Grove (now David Hill Winery) and also began a nursery with Dick Erath. French native and highly regarded Oregon winemaker Laurent Montalieu and his wife Danielle Andrus Montalieu bought Hyland Vineyard in 2007. Laurent notes, “With its self-rooted, unique varietals this historic vineyard offers the ultimate expression of terroir.”
Winemaker: Laurent Montalieu, with co-winemakers Anne Sery, Brian Irvine, and Bruno Corneaux.
Grapes: 100% old vine, self-rooted Coury clone Pinot Noir. Aged 28% in new French oak for ten months.
Vineyard: Blocks 3C (62%) and 6 (38%) of their biodynamically farmed estate vineyard. The site has volcanic Jory soil and is relatively cool in summer and warm in winter, providing a more uniform ripening period.
Flavor Profile: The Coury clone is noted for its unique spice profile. The winemakers say they strive to preserve those characteristic aromatics, while also ensuring the wine has the structure to match. We were immediately struck by the lovely, nuanced aromas of this wine and its overall elegance. Subtle notes of toast, plum, and savory mushrooms complete the picture.
Production: 494 cases produced. The distributor still has some of this vintage left.
Drinking Window: Lovely now, or up to around 2025.
Food Pairing: The winemakers suggest a bone-in pork chop served with a mustard demi-glace with hazelnuts and apples, or with pork rillettes.
2019 Megan Anne Cellars, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, $29.75
Winery Info: Washington winemaker Mark McNeilly (of Mark Ryan Winery) and his wife Megan have long been enamored with the Willamette Valley and its wines. In 2014 they collaborated with former Evening Land winemaker Isabelle Meunier to launch Megan Anne Cellars, producing Willamette Valley wines that offer a “softer, more feminine side of the Mark Ryan Winery family.”
Winemaker: Quebec-born and Dijon-trained Isabelle Meunier
Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir
Vineyards: Justice, in the Eola-Amity Hills; Freedom Hill, just outside of the Eola-Amity Hills; and Nysa, in the Dundee Hills. Justice fruit tends to produce complex and intensely-flavored wines; Freedom Hill, rich, dark wines, with good tannin and acid profile; Nysa wines tend to be complex and concentrated.
Flavor Profile: Very smooth and approachable, with rich complexity and texture and balancing food-friendly acidity. It is a great expression of classic Willamette Valley terroir, with red fruit flavors, and inviting notes of bramble and earth.
Drinking Window: Enjoy this one now or over the next three years or so.
Food Pairing: Pair with anything from mushroom risotto to lighter meat dishes.