CURRENT RELEASES IN DISTRIBUTION

2017 Estate Reserve Pinot Noir

Since it’s first release in 1997, our Estate Reserve Pinot Noir has always represented “the best of the best” that we coax out of our Belle Pente estate vineyard each year.  It is a selection of outstanding individual barrels from the best parts of the vineyard, including our original 1994 planting next to the winery and the steep section just above it planted in 1998. In this 2017 version, all of the grapes originated from these prime southwest facing blocks.

This 2017 version also continues our migration toward adding a little whole cluster fermentation to our top wines. This rendition includes around 12% whole bunches, providing more aromatic complexity and slightly more pronounced tannins. As in prior vintages, the clonal mix is heavily weighted toward the Wadensvil selection (58%) with the balance Dijon 777 and 115. Although this is not a shy wine, it shows the restraint and elegance that is the hallmark of the 2017 vintage. Look for dark black fruit flavors and aromas complimented by licorice, dried herbs, and flowers.

Our Estate Reserve Pinot noir routinely takes it place among the most acclaimed bottles from the Willamette Valley each year. It also consistently represents one of the best values in top-shelf New World Pinot noir. This wine has the underlying structure to be enjoyed over the next 20 years. We would recommend decanting it for near term consumption.

272 Cases + 150 Magnums Produced

2018 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Cuvee Classe

This is a brand new wine for the 2018 vintage, a blend of 26 “reserve quality” barrels, 2/3 from our Belle Pente estate vineyard in Yamhill-Carlton and 1/3 from Murto Vineyard in the Dundee Hills. These barrels were “de-classified” from the single vineyard bottlings to create a “Super Willamette” blend from these two great vineyards in the top appellations within the valley. Since it is definitely more “class” than “de-class”, we are naming it Cuvee Classe. Enjoy!

644 cases produced

Winemaker Notes

2017 Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir

Our Yamhill-Carlton bottling is the first wine in our “Good, Better, Best” trio from our estate vineyard. This 2017 version includes grapes from all 8 of our Pinot Noir blocks, primarily from earlier picks to fulfill our intention of crafting a lighter style wine that highlights the “kinder and gentler” side of an appellation known for structured, intensely flavored wines. The growing conditions in the 2017 vintage facilitated a medium bodied wine with very modest alcohol which is a delight to drink today, but could certainly be cellared for several years as well.

Pommard and Dijon 115 selections planted in 1998 form the core of the cuvee.  The grapes were vinified with a small (10%) amount of whole cluster, raised primarily in older barrels, and bottled 16 months after vintage.

Enjoy this wine today with hearty week-night fare!

870 cases produced

Winemaker Notes

2016 Estate Reserve Pinot Noir

Since it’s first release in 1997, our Estate Reserve Pinot Noir has always represented “the best of the best” that we coax out of our Belle Pente estate vineyard each year.  It is a selection of outstanding individual barrels, with the core components typically coming from our original 1994 planting next to the winery and the steep section just above it planted in 1998. In this 2016 version, however, the bulk of the blend comes from our Pommard and Dijon 115 blocks further up the hill with a south-east exposure. As our vineyard matures, the selection process becomes more difficult every year, but the pedigree of the resulting wine is unmistakable.

This 2016 version also includes more whole cluster and less new oak than in previous years. We have been slowly increasing our use of whole bunches over the past several years, seeking more aromatic complexity and slightly more pronounced tannins. This also led us to utilize more once-filled than new barrels for this cuvee, better showcasing the sweet ripe fruit of the vintage. Yields were 30% lower in 2016 compared to recent previous vintages, so the wines are very concentrated as a result. Look for dark black fruit flavors and aromas complimented by licorice, dried herbs, and flowers.

Our Estate Reserve Pinot noir routinely takes it place among the most acclaimed bottles from the Willamette Valley each year. It also consistently represents one of the best values in top-shelf New World Pinot noir. Enjoy now and over the next 20 years.

198 Cases + 150 Magnums Produced

Winemaker’s Notes

2017 Belle Pente Vineyard Pinot Noir

This 2017 version of our flagship Pinot noir includes grapes from all 8 blocks of our Yamhill-Carlton estate vineyard, planted between 1994 and 1999. More than half of the blend is from the Oregon “workhorse” Pommard clone of Pinot noir, which was the most widely planted selection in the early days of Willamette Valley viticulture. With the addition of a bit of Wadensvil, the older, “pre-Dijon” plant material makes up over 2/3 of this cuvee.

Although the clonal mix certainly contributes to the “old school” nature of this wine, it’s sensory character is more a product of the 2017 growing season than anything else. A very cold, wet winter delayed bud break until late April, and cool conditions continued until late May. Flowering occurred during a heat spike right around the summer solstice, setting the stage for a larger than normal crop. A generally gorgeous summer was punctuated by a few intense heat spikes, which were thankfully moderated by hazy air caused by wildfires in other areas of the West that drifted into the valley. This allowed us to delay harvest until mid-to-late September, getting good flavor development with only modest increases in sugars.

The net result is that the 2017 wines are remarkably fresh and vibrant for being the products of a very warm growing season. There is a sense of elegance and finesse in these medium-bodied beauties that is a rare commodity in the string of hotter vintages from 2014 through 2018. Our Belle Pente vineyard bottling has become a reference for Yamhill-Carlton wines, which is immediately apparent with the wafting aromas of fresh herbs and flowers, accenting the ripe black cherry and plum fruit. The tannins are persistent but smooth on the palate, and the wine will take on additional dimensions of body and sweetness with time in the cellar. The wine is certainly approachable now, but would really benefit from a few more years of bottle age.

Enjoy over the next dozen years with rich dishes featuring wild mushrooms, big birds, or small mammals.

623 Cases Produced

Winemaker’s Notes

2017 Murto Vineyard Pinot Noir

Our vineyard-designated Pinot Noir from Mike and Robin Murto’s outstanding old vines (planted in 1978) has been one of our most popular wines for the last 20 years. This mature, high elevation Dundee Hills sites makes terrific wine every year, but really delivers something extraordinary in warm vintages. 2017 actually got off to a slow start, with a very cold, wet winter that delayed bud break until late April. Cool conditions continued until late May, but a series of progressively more intense heat spikes began during flowering , setting the stage for a larger than normal crop. The heat spikes were thankfully moderated by hazy air caused by wildfires in other areas of the West that drifted into the valley, allowing us to delay harvest until early October.

The net result is that the 2017 wines are remarkably fresh and vibrant for being the products of a very warm growing season. There is a sense of elegance and finesse in these medium-bodied beauties that is a rare commodity in the string of hotter vintages from 2014 through 2018. Fans of our Murto vineyard wines will immediately recognize the old vines, Dundee Hills pedigree on the first sniff. Earthy notes of iron, accented with Christmas spices jump out of the glass, revealing ripe red fruit aromas beneath. The red fruit carries over onto a harmonious palate, where persistent tannins are balanced by lively acidity.

Although this wine is certainly approachable now, it will benefit from several years of cellaring. Enjoy with grilled salmon, mid-eastern accented dishes, and anything with small birds!

546 Cases Produced

Winemaker Notes

May Magnum Mayhem!

Special vertical package featuring Magnums (1.5L) of the most recent vintages of our Estate Reserve Pinot Noir!

Half Case (1 bottle each) $329, Full Case (2 bottles each) $599

2017, 2016, and 2015 Estate Reserve Pinot noirs

Good, Better, Best! (2017 Edition)

This package consists of the 3 Pinot Noirs from the 2017 vintage grown in our Belle Pente Estate vineyard in the heart of the Yamhill-Carlton AVA.

2017 Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir

2017 Belle Pente Vineyard Pinot Noir

2017 Estate Reserve Pinot Noir

2 bottles each in the 6-pack, 4 bottles each in the 12-pack

Covid Survival Pack – The Home Stretch!

This is a third (and hopefully last!) refresh of our original “case for coronavirus containment”, with a new selection of “ready to drink” Belle Pente wines to help you through the final phase of the stay home / stay safe lifestyle!

Follows are the “cases” (and half cases):

Reds only: $369 full case (2 bottles of each), $199 half case (1 bottle of each)

NV “Cuvee PTG”, 2017 Gamay Noir, 2017 Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir, 2015 Murto Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2016 Belle Pente Vineyard Pinot Noir, & 2014 Estate Reserve Pinot Noir

Mixed Reds & Whites: $299 full case (2 bottles of each), $159 half case (1 bottle of each)

2014 Riesling, 2016 Muscat, 2015 Pinot Gris, 2017 Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir, 2016 Belle Pente Vineyard Pinot Noir, & 2015 Murto Vineyard Pinot Noir

2018 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

The 2018 version of our ultimate “Wednesday night wine” is a classic (and classy!) blend of 60% Yamhill-Carlton and 40% Dundee Hills fruit. For those of you with a Burgundian bent, that is like like having a “simple” Bourgogne Rouge with all the fruit sourced exclusively from 1er Cru vineyards in Gevrey-Chambertain and Vosne-Romanee! The Yamhill-Carlton portion is primarily from our estate vineyard, with a little bit of Foxy Rock. The Dundee Hills portion is about half Murto and half Bella Vida Vineyards.

As our first 2018 Pinot to be released, this wine provides a sneak preview into the vintage. Twenty eighteen marked our 5th consecutive warm vintage, but cooler weather in early September enabled us to extend the growing season. We started picking on September 20th and concluded on October 7th, the latest harvest window since 2012, and just 2 days off from our 20 year average.

This is a “petite Pinot” with pedigree: the 2008 and 2013 renditions were the highest rated wines in the New York Times annual Oregon Pinot “round-up”, and the best values.  Our Willamette Valley bottling has been regularly featured as a premium glass pour Pinot at great restaurants around the country.  And it has been the “go to” week night wine for savvy Pinot-philes everywhere since it’s first release in the 1998 vintage.

Enjoy now and over the next several years!

1294 cases produced

Winemaker Notes

2017 Willamette Valley Gamay Noir

Since human oenophiles cannot live on Pinot noir alone, we humbly offer our homage to the delicious, promiscuous wines of Beaujolais! Gamay has become the darling of the sommelier set, and we were prescient enough to include several rows of it in our initial estate vineyard planting in 1994. The block has now grown to a whopping half acre, with production averaging around 100 cases/year.

Gamay grapes are the last to be harvested in our estate vineyard, typically a week or more after Pinot noir. We ferment with about 25% whole clusters, three weeks of maceration, and then gravity flow directly into neutral barrels. The wine stays in the cellar for a full year, and is bottled just prior to the next vintage.

Look for primary grape flavors and spicy aromas, medium body, and freshness on the palate. Serve at cool cellar temperature with simple grilled foods. This is not a wine for ageing. Over time it starts to taste more like Pinot noir, so enjoy it in it’s youth and celebrate the difference!

125 cases produced

2016 Belle Pente Vineyard Chardonnay

This Chardonnay is 100% estate grown in a little 2 acre parcel planted in 1999 on a steep slope with rows running up & down the hill from north-east to south-west.  This 2016 version continues a string of very compelling wines that started with the 2004 vintage, and bears witness to the recent rebirth of exciting Chardonnays coming out of the Willamette Valley.

Like many of our neighbors, we are gravitating to 100% barrel fermentation, but with very modest use of new oak, typically in the 10-20% range.  The wine spends a full year in barrel and often several months in tank before bottling, and is given at least a year in the bottle before release.

We have always done two harvests for Chardonnay: an early pick for fresh, citrus qualities, and a later pick for riper, tropical characteristics. In this warm 2016 vintage, the blend includes 60% from the early pick and 40% from the later pick. Echoing past vintages, this combination yields a dual personality of freshness and richness.

Enjoy this terrific full-bodied white now and for the next several years with rich seafood dishes, fresh garden pesto, and lightly smoked meats.

208 Cases Produced

Winemaker Notes

2016 Murto Vineyard Pinot Noir

We’ve been making single vineyard Pinot Noir from Mike and Robin Murto’s outstanding old vines (planted in 1978) for over 20 years. Although this mature vineyard delivers the goods every year, it’s high elevation Dundee Hills location makes it really shine in warm vintages, and this 2016 rendition is a classic “case in point”!

The 2016 growing season started out looking a lot like 2015. It had an early start, with flowering beginning at the end of May. But unlike 2015, the cooler, damper conditions during bloom resulted in a 30% smaller crop than the bountiful harvest of 2015. The warm summer that followed resulted in the earliest harvest ever for this vineyard, beginning on September 19th and wrapping on the 20th. The Murto vineyard generally gets harvested in October, so we were done before we would even start in a “normal” year!

The signature Murto profile includes red fruit and spice. This 2016 version reflects it’s warm growing season with intense ripe raspberry flavors and aromas, complemented by baking and exotic spices wafting above the fruit. It is a rich, concentrated wine that also retains freshness and balance due to the high elevation of the vineyard.

Delicious now, it will also reward 10-12 years of cellaring. Enjoy with grilled salmon, mid-eastern accented dishes, and anything with small birds!

446 Cases Produced

Winemaker Notes

2016 Bella Vida Vineyard Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir from the Bella Vida Vineyard in the Dundee Hills has been the “secret weapon” in our Willamette Valley Pinot Noir bottling since the 2003 vintage. Bella Vida sits between Murto and Maresh vineyards on Worden Hill Road (the Route des Grands Crus of the Dundee Hills), planted in the late nineties. The vineyard is a bit of an anomaly since it is a fairly warm site in spite of it’s relatively high elevation, so generally gets picked before Murto at higher levels of ripeness.

Although we’ve made single vineyard wine that gets sold under a “Bella Vida – O’Donnell” label in their tasting room, this is the first (and only!) time that we will offer a Belle Pente Bella Vida Vineyard Pinot. This wine was made as a special cuvee for the Grand Seminar at the 2018 International Pinot Noir Celebration, and this is the first time it has been offered for sale to the public.

The 2016 wines across the board are quite concentrated and dense, but this particular cuvee displays a finesse and elegance that is rare in the vintage. There is plenty of rich ripe red fruit, but also a fresh brambly finish, highlighting the “kinder and gentler” side of the 2016 vintage.

This is a very rare, “once in a lifetime” wine that belongs in the cellar of every true Willamette Valley Pinot collector. Delicious now, it will also reward 10-12 years of cellaring. Enjoy with big fish and small birds.

Extremely Limited – Only 30 Cases Produced

2016 Belle Pente Vineyard Pinot Noir

The early part of the 2016 growing season was almost a “carbon copy” of 2015 until flowering, which occurred a little earlier and under less ideal conditions, setting the stage for a smaller crop. Overall yields were down 30% from the bumper crop of 2105, resulting in very concentrated wines with great flavor authority. Once again, harvest at our estate vineyard was very early, commencing on September 8th and concluding on the 15th, a week earlier than our normal start date!

As would be expected from a warm year, especially one with a small crop, the 2016 wines offer plenty of intensely concentrated forward fruit flavors and aromas. Yet they somehow retain an underlying freshness and sense of balance. They are ripe, compelling wines that are a delight now, and will gain complexity as they shed their “baby fat” with some time in the cellar.

The grapes come from 6 of our 8 blocks of Pinot nor, planted between 1994 and 1999. This year’s rendition leans heavily on the Dijon clones (primarily 115 and 114) with about 25% of the “old school” Wadensvil and Pommard selections. True to it’s Yamhill-Carlton appellation, the wine shows ripe blueberry and blackberry flavors and aromas, with a hint of licorice and violets. A high single digit dose of whole clusters (about 8%) contributes aromatic nuance and textural complexity, making this one of the most intriguing renditions or our flagship estate Pinot to date!

Enjoy now and over the next dozen years with rich dishes featuring wild mushrooms, big birds, or small mammals.

595 Cases Produced

Winemaker’s Notes

2015 Estate Reserve Pinot Noir

Since it’s first release in 1997, our Estate Reserve Pinot Noir has always represented “the best of the best” that we coax out of our Belle Pente estate vineyard each year.  It is a selection of outstanding individual barrels, with the core components coming from our original 1994 planting next to the winery and the steep section just above it planted in 1998. In this 2015 version, 2/3 of the blend comes from these two blocks, with the balance from 2 other blocks further up the hill.

As always, the Wadensvil selection in dominant in this cuvee, coming from a steep 2 acre south-west facing block.  Due to it’s pitch and orientation, this block has very thin soil (only 18 inches deep) that yields small grapes with very concentrated flavors and aromas. Dijon 777 and 115 from our original 1994 block provide complimentary complexity with a broad range of herbal and floral aromatics. And small percentages of Dijon 114 and Pommard (fermented with some whole cluster) provide a little lift and freshness.

2015 was almost as warm as 2014, but with much cooler nights. This preserved more natural acidity in the wines, so they are big and rich but also light on their feet. This version of the Estate Reserve is impeccably balanced, hitting the trifecta of ripe fruit, fresh acidity, and silky tannins. Although the intention for this wine is always 10 years in the cellar, it is a delight to drink today.

As described by Josh Raynolds of Vinous:

Deep, bright-rimmed red. A highly complex bouquet evokes red berry preserve and cherry aromas, along with sexy Asian spice, rose oil and smoky mineral accents. Shows impressive delineation on the palate, offering concentrated, spice-tinged red fruit liqueur, cola and spicecake flavors that pick up a strong floral pastille nuance with air. Finishes extremely long and pure, with fine-grained tannins providing shape and grip to lingering raspberry and bitter chocolate notes. 95 points

As the review reflects, our Estate Reserve Pinot noir routinely takes it place among the most acclaimed bottles from the Willamette Valley each year. It also consistantly represents one of the best values in top-shelf New World Pinot noir. Enjoy now and over the next 20 years.

275 Cases + 150 Magnums Produced

Winemaker’s Notes

2015 Murto Vineyard Pinot Noir

We’ve been making single vineyard Pinot Noir from Mike and Robin Murto’s outstanding old vines (planted in 1978) for over 20 years. Although this mature vineyard delivers the goods every year, it’s high elevation Dundee Hills location makes it really shine in warm vintages. This 2015 version is proof positive!

The 2015 growing season got off to an early start with bud break before the end of March (two weeks early) and flowering in early June. The warm growing season resulted in the earliest harvest ever for this vineyard, beginning on September 19th and wrapping on the 24th. The Murto vineyard generally gets harvested in October, so we were done before we would even start in a “normal” year!

The signature Murto profile includes red fruit and spice. This 2015 version reflects it’s warm growing season with ripe raspberry flavors and aromas, complemented by baking and exotic spices wafting above the fruit. This rich, concentrated wine also retains bright freshness that persists through the long finish. It is a thoroughly complete and intriguing wine!

Enjoy over the next 10-12 years with grilled salmon, mid-eastern accented dishes, and anything with small birds!

594 Cases Produced

2014 Murto Vineyard Pinot Noir

This is our 18th consecutive bottling of vineyard designated wine from Mike and Robin Murto’s outstanding old vines (planted in 1978) high in the Dundee Hills.  Although this mature vineyard tends to deliver the goods every year, the high elevation makes it a fairly cool site, and in warm vintages like 2014 creates something very special indeed!

The 2014 growing season started in mid-April, and accelerated with temperatures hitting the 90s during the first week of May.  Bloom occurred in early-to-mid June, two weeks ahead of normal, setting us up for an early harvest.  The summer was characterized by warm days and very warm nights; lows were only in the mid 60s rather than the high 50s that we generally experience with our maritime climate.

Harvest at Murto commenced on the 23rd of September and concluded on October 3rd, the earliest start and finish ever!  The grapes were vinified with a small fraction of whole cluster that helped us extend macerations to 18-21 days, and then aged in barrel (30% new French oak) for 18 months.  The wine was gravity bottled on May 11th, 2016.

Fans of riper style Pinots will find a lot to love in this wine.  Compact aromas of raspberry and baking spice require a little bit of coaxing, but with air become quite expressive.  There is a density on the palate reflective of the vintage, but also a freshness.  It is both backward and forward at the same time, displaying a compelling complexity that bodes well for the cellar.

Standing in stark contrast to the leaner, racier 2013, it celebrates the diversity of vintage that we are blessed (and sometimes cursed!) with here in the Willamette Valley.  Enjoy some of this hedonistic young wine now, but put some away to watch it gain sophistication with age.

573 Cases Produced

2014 Estate Reserve Pinot Noir

Since it’s first release in 1997, our Estate Reserve Pinot Noir has always represented “the best of the best” from our Belle Pente estate vineyard each year.  It is a wine intended for 10 years in the cellar, but in fruit forward, friendly vintages like 2014 it is approachable (and eminently enjoyable!) much earlier.

The core components always include individual barrels selected from our original 1994 planting, which is a scant acre of mixed selections (mostly 777 and 115) that consistently produce the most complex wines in the cellar.  Just under a third (30%) of the grapes in this 2014 version are from this tiny section of the vineyard.

The biggest portion (40%) comes from our steep 1.5 acre south-west facing block planted in 1998 to the Wadensvil selection of Pinot noir.  Due to it’s pitch and orientation, this block has very thin soil (only 18 inches deep) that yields small grapes with very concentrated flavors and aromas.

These two blocks represent the “crown jewels” of our estate vineyard, and the vines in these sections receive “special handling” throughout the growing season to help them maximize their potential.  In the cellar, the wines are raised in a higher percentage of new barrels than our other single vineyard wines, and after bottling get to rest longer before release.

In 2014, due to the hot summer, the grapes were harvested early in a very narrow “window” between September 18th and 20th.  No whole clusters were utilized, and fermentation was conducted with ambient and vineyard selected yeasts.  The wine was raised for 18 months in French oak barrels (56% new) prior to gravity bottling on June 1st, 2016, and held for another 18 months in bottle before release.

This terrific young wine was a star of the show at the International Pinot Noir Celebration last summer, and is just reaching the beginning of what will surely be a long drinking window.  True to its Yamhill-Carlton appellation, the wine shows concentrated, dark fruit flavors and aromas accented with notes of fresh herbs and flowers.  It is one of those rare vintages that offers early appeal as well as the potential for 10-20 years in the cellar.  So put a case (or two!) away and drink a bottle every year until it’s gone.  You’ll be glad you did!

422 Cases + 150 Magnums Produced

2017 Cuvee Contraire

We’ve been making this proprietary rose-style blend off-and-on since 2000, and this 2017 version honors our long-standing tradition of making something special out of odd lots and “left-overs” hanging around the winery. The inaugural release in 2000 included “orphan” lots of Pinot Blanc, white Pinot Noir, and Gamay blended together as a “marriage of convenience”, and became an instant hit. In 2017 we had a small lot of Gewurztraminer searching for a home, so we combined it with a few barrels of white Pinot Noir (captured as run-off from our processing line and barrel fermented as a white wine), and a splash of Pinot Gris. Since there is no Gamay in this years rendition, it is much lighter than previous vintages, and makes for a delicious summer sipper. 75% Pinot Noir, 13% Gewurztraminer, 12% Pinot Gris. Enjoy!

90 cases produced

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