2019 Aubaine, “Joie,” Select Block Pinot Noir, $70
Winery Info: Aubaine (pronounced Ō-Bane, the French term for windfall) is a relatively new boutique winery dedicated to producing exclusively single vineyard and estate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
It was founded by Andy Lytle who teamed up with esteemed winemaker, Isabelle Meunier, to make the best possible expression of Eola-Amity Hills fruit. Their inaugural release was the 2019 vintage.
Winemaker: Quebec-born and Dijon-trained Isabelle Meunier
Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir, Pommard and 777 clone. Aged in 30% new French oak.
Vineyard: Their Anahata Vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills.
Flavor Profile: Powerful, yet silky smooth, this Pinot has inviting notes of black cherries, rose petals, and the minerality characteristic of Eola-Amity fruit. As the winery says, it is “an iron fist in a velvet glove, all in grace and harmony.”
Availability: 196 cases produced. There is still some of this vintage left.
Drinking Window: While this is a new project, the winery suggests the wine could age ten years or more.
Food Pairing: You could enjoy this Pinot on its own, or with salmon or lighter meals.
2021 Helioterra Wines, Melon de Bourgogne, $26
Winery Info: After training with a number of top Oregon winemakers including Eric Hamacher and David Adelsheim, Sheboygan native Anne Hubatch produced her first solo vintage in 2009—marking the beginning of Helioterra Wines. Since then she has developed relationships with top grape growers throughout the Pacific Northwest to create a variety of wines, not limiting herself to any single style or type. Melon de Bourgogne, the grape used to make Muscadet, is not often grown outside of the Loire Valley.
Winemaker: Anne Hubatch
Grapes: 100% Melon de Bourgogne, fermented in neutral oak and stainless steel barrels.
Vineyard: Stavig Vineyard, a small, three-acre parcel in Happy Valley. Its gentle slope provides good drainage and optimal sun exposure during the day.
Flavor Profile: Crisp, minerally, and fresh, with a hint of sea salt. A long, cool fermentation adds texture and complexity to this wine. Anne notes that Melon grown in Oregon tends to have deeper, richer flavors than its Loire counterparts.
Availability: 75 cases produced. It is still in decent supply for now.
Drinking Window: Ready to drink now, or over the next year or so.
Food Pairing: Perfect for raw oysters, crab cakes, seafood, or rich creamy dishes.