Tag Archives: Pinot Noir

McKinlay · 2012 · Pinot Noir · Special Selection · Willamette Valley, Oregon

Have you ever met a winemaker that seems totally unafraid? Grounded and uncomplicated? No type-A, in-your-face manifesto, philosophy or secret stash of skills for which stand solely as the barrier between great wine and everything else? When you meet those winemakers you can’t help but start questioning the fluff and ego that gets credit for the success of the wines we drink. […]

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Oregon 2014: Photo Journal Part I

2014 could mark the end of an era, or perhaps just the beginning of new things. 3 years, 4 harvests, each so unique I sometimes  feel like the only common thread is that I spent them all with Winemaker Michael Lundeen at Walnut City Wineworks. 2011 was my debut vintage, as well as a difficult harvest, and looking […]

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Pinot Noir: 2 for around $20

Jean-Paul Brun · 2012 · Bourgogne · Terres Dorees · Beaujolais, France  2012 is going to be a scant vintage in Burgundy to say the least. It was the first half of the year that really set the tone. The weather was, well, shit. It was cold, wet and punctuated by a weak, drawn out flowering, spoty fruit set, frosts […]

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Montsecano · 2012 · Pinot Noir · Casablanca Valley, Chile

I like forward thinking in winemaking. I like winemakers that separate themselves from the pack on just the hope that maybe somebody will understand and appreciate what they’re trying to do. And I believe that’s exactly what André Ostertag is doing here. So here’s the breakdown… André’s family domaine and roots are in Alsace, he trained in […]

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Domaine Rolet · 2011 · Côtes du Jura Rouge · Les Grandvaux · Jura, France

From a geographical standpoint, the Jura is not all that complicated. Just four regional appellations comprise this north/south swath east of Burgundy: Arbois, Côtes du Jura, Château-Chalon, and L’Etoile. Straight forward enough, but that is about where the simplicity ends. The wines, on the other hand, can be confusing. All in one breath, they can be trendy and unknown, […]

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Cameron · 2011 · “Clos Electrique” · Pinot Noir · Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon

2011, in Oregon, was one of those years that was basically declared a disaster before fruit even started rolling in. Oh, but what a mistake it was if you were one of the defeatists. Sugar levels were low and botrytis was an issue, but after a lifesaving Indian summer and super long fruit hang times, […]

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Oregon Harvest 2013: Photo Journal Part I

I finally unloaded a harvest’s worth of pictures from my phone this morning. It’s hard to imagine a better working adventure than harvest in Oregon, so here it is, round 1 of my favorite photos. [Paella dinner in the Dundee Hills with the Walnut City crew.] [A view from Belle Pente Winery at their estate […]

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Wine Review: Alain Roy · 2009 · Givry ‘En Vauvry’ · Burgundy, France

Burgundy is complicated: the wine, the geography, the influence of vintage. Thankfully, there are some basic guidelines to follow. Burgundy is divided into a north, and a south; Pinot Noir is the heartbeat of the reds, Chardonnay of the whites. The most sought-after Pinot Noir is considered to be a product of  the north, or […]

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Harvest 2011: Done.

It’s hard to know where to start wrapping something like this up—and it certainly can’t be done in one post. My life was changed, this I know, and I have what feels like a years’ worth of personal, mental debriefing to do. [A post-fermentation pH testing.]

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Scenes from the top.

When I arrived at Walnut City Wineworks over a month ago, my eyes immediately fell on WF1 (white fermenter 1, we assume), a 2000+ gallon oak fermenter whose age is unknown, 25+ years maybe. She was one of the most recent additions to the facility after Michael Lundeen, the winemaker, took his post at WCW […]

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Wine Review: 2008 · Youngberg Hill Vineyards · ‘Jordan’ Pinot Noir · McMinnville, OR

It’s turkey season! That didn’t  mean a whole lot to me before I moved to VT—but I know better now. This is serious business. For 30 days, my co-worker, John, wakes up before 4:00 am, heads into the woods, settles in, waits for dawn, makes some sexy hen noises, and draws in a big ‘ole […]

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Wine Review: 2008 · Alta Maria Vineyards · Pinot Noir · Santa Maria Valley, CA

A sinister snowflake? A sparsely-spined sea urchin? A magnified mini Koosh?  Nope! The artwork for Alta Maria Vineyards features hand-hewn iron nails used by homesteaders in Santa Maria before the Industrial Revolution introduced mass-produced, machine-cut nails. Despite its lowly function, each nail is unique from the next according to the conditions in which it was made […]

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