Specialty Club – December 2021

2018 Bergström Wines, Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir, $68

 Winery Info: Founded in 1999 by John and Karen Bergström in Dundee, Oregon along with their son Josh, who had just returned from postgraduate study in viticulture and enology in Burgundy.  

Today the winery consists of five estate vineyards totaling 70 acres, in three of the top Willamette Valley appellations, farmed organically and with biodynamic practices. Josh Bergström is winemaker and general manager.

Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir, Wädenswil, Dijon 114, and Dijon 115 clones.

Vineyard: Sourced from six different blocks of Shea Vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA. Originally planted in 1983 on thin, sandy soil over sandstone bedrock, Shea tends to produce Pinots with depth, power, and ripe tannic structure.

Flavor Profile: Josh says his 2018 Shea Pinot, is one of his favorites to date, reflecting both the excellent, warm and dry vintage and the spicy, floral character of the terroir of this great vineyard site. It is a graceful, elegant, and seamless wine, with silky texture and balanced richness and depth. There are aromas of savory herbs and forest floor, flavors of ripe red fruit, cocoa and baking spice, and a long, evolving finish.

Availability: This wine is still in decent supply.

Drinking Window: Delicious now, but this Pinot could also age and develop for up to a decade.

Food Pairing: Try it with Fennel-garlic crusted pork roast, wild mushroom and burrata bruschetta, or vegan enchiladas with tomatillo sauce and cashew crema.

2020 Hippolyte Reverdy, Sancerre, $33

Winery Info: Hippolyte Reverdy is based in the village of Verdigny, in the Sancerre region of France’s eastern Loire Valley. The family has farmed here for generations and made small amounts of wine perhaps as far back as the 1600s. But it wasn’t until the end of World War II that Hippolyte increased production and began selling wines under his own label. His son Michel joined him and his other sons shortly after he finished high school in 1971. Sadly, Michel found himself on his own at the helm about a decade later, after his father passed away, followed by the untimely deaths of his two brothers. But he carried on, and today is considered one of the top producers in Sancerre.

Grapes: 100% Sauvignon Blanc

Vineyard: The vines are planted on two types of soil: Kimmeridgian limestone, which tends to produce well-structured wines with good aging potential; and pebbly, limestone-based soils that produce wines with accessible, fruity character. His Sancerres are a blend of fruit from the two sources.

Flavor Profile: A very pure, classic expression of Sauvignon Blanc, fresh and mouthwatering, with a nice hint of citrus without any grassiness. It has lovely texture and a wonderfully zesty, seafood-friendly minerality.

Availability: They make about 8,500 cases a year. There are only around 30 cases left of this vintage.

Drinking Window: Ready to enjoy now, or up to around 2026.

Food Pairing: It would pair perfectly with pan-fried goat cheese (especially the local Crottin de Chavignol). Or you could enjoy it with poached salmon, oysters, or gently spiced dishes.