Oregon Wine Club – April 2023

2021 Holocene, “Apocrypha,” Pinot Noir, $65

Winery Info: Holocene wines are made by Todd Alexander, former winemaker at Napa’s highly acclaimed Bryant Family Vineyard.         

Todd relocated to Washington in 2014 to become winemaker for Force Majeure, an ultra-premium winery located in the Walla Walla Valley. He also makes wine for PÁŠXA, WeatherEye, and The Walls. Under his Holocene label, Todd produces stellar Pinot Noirs from small, unique vineyards in the Willamette Valley, with a focus on dry-farmed sites that emphasize low yields and sustainable practices and produce outstanding fruit. He crafts all of his wines with minimal intervention, using native yeasts and little new oak, to allow a real sense of place to show through.

Winemaker: Todd Alexander

Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir, clones 115 and 113.

Vineyard: Sourced from Antiquum Farm about an hour south of Yamhill-Carlton. It is an unirrigated vineyard on a south-facing hillside, planted on a thin layer of bellpine soil, a composite of volcanic and sedimentary soil. Its 800-foot elevation is considered to be the upper limit for growing Pinot in the region.

Flavor Profile: Fruit from Antiquum Farm’s unique terroir tends to produce wines that show more of the blue and black fruit notes of Pinot Noir, with plenty of intensity, balanced by vibrant acidity. This wine is medium-bodied, with lovely texture and structure, dark fruit flavors, notes of spice, earth, and brambly herbs, and wonderful minerality.

Availability: This is a very small production wine and the supply is highly allocated.

Drinking Window: Give it a year or two, then enjoy anytime up to 2030.

Food Pairing: They say they enjoy this wine with lamb merguez sausage and saffron rice.

2019 Coelho Winery, White Pinot Noir, Estates Reserve, $26

Winery Info: In 1991 Dave and Deolinda Coelho moved from California to Amity, Oregon where they began planting their estate vineyard. Their family name (pronounced “quail-oh”) is Portuguese for rabbit and reflects their Portuguese winemaking heritage (both of their grandfathers used to make their own wine). The Coelhos bottled their first vintage in 2004, and have since added two additional vineyards near their winery.

Winemaker: Chris Bertshce has been in charge of winemaking since 2016. He previously worked with Jacques Lardier (of Jadot and Résonance), James Frey (at Trisaetum), and in Sonoma County.

Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir: 66% Dijon 777 clone, and 34% Pommard clone. Fermented in French oak barrels and aged on the lees with no stirring for ten months.

Vineyard: Sourced from two of their three estate vineyards: Coelho, in the Van Duzer Corridor AVA, with Missoula Flood sedimentary soil, and Delfina, in the McMinnville AVA, with volcanic soil.

Flavor Profile: This white wine, made from Pinot Noir, has a light golden color, with lovely berry notes from the red grape. It is very elegant and textured and, we thought, almost reminiscent of a Meursault, with its depth, complexity, and richness. A delicious rarity!

Availability: They made 212 cases of this wine. We got all that was left from the distributor.

Drinking Window: Enjoy anytime over the next two or three years.

Food Pairing: Great with rich seafood or other creamy dishes, mushroom-based fare, or crispy duck.