Oregon - recent tasting notes

It’s great to be back in the Willamette for the summer. Diane and I are having a great time seeing friends and tasting all the new releases. This is a pinot lover’s paradise. I thought I would share some brief notes on some wines tasted in the past two weeks. Thank God my wife Diane is designated driver.

Archery Summit It’s always fun to taste at AS. What a lovely facility with some of the best views in the valley. Their wines seem to age very well.
08 Reserve- Beautiful aromas of violets and cherries with cherries on palate. Lacks a bit in the mid-palate

07 Arcus – Dark cherries on the nose and palate. Good acid backbone with earthy elements. Not a big wine, typical of the vintage. Lacks middle body. Tails off on the finish.
06 Estate- Floral and spice aromas. Lush, soft tannins but still good acid. Full mid palate and very nice mouthfeel. Long in the mouth.

Winderlea - Bill and Donna are some of our favorite people in the valley. A beautiful winery and setting. This is the old Goldschmidt vineyard with some of the oldest vines in the valley. WInes are the most ’ Chambolle like’ of any IMHO.
07 Chardonnay – Nose of apples and some oak. Good acid but lacks complexity.
07 Estate – This wine has changed considerably since having it last year. It has come into it’s own, gained weight and a very pretty wine. Light ruby color with great red fruit perfume. Big middle and silky smooth. Not a lot of acidity, so not one to lay away, but a great wine to enjoy over the next few years.
07 Reserve – Darker. This wine has shut down and not showing much at this time. Red fruits and more structure than the Estate.
08 Estate – This wine is not released yet. Light ruby. Delicate, red fruits. Lacks some depth at this time but I think it will gain some body over the next year and develop in the same way as the 07.
08 Reserve- Bigger wine. Darker fruits, spice and a bit more oak. Bigger in the mouth. Nice length and balance of acid and tannins. This will be a very lovely wine with some time.

Beaux Freres Mike Etzel is a class act. Some of my favorite wines that age beautifully. The '93 is legendary in my opinion.
07 Willamette Valley– Spice and red fruits. Lacks fruit and structure. Slightly thin .
07 Estate – Medium body. More fruit than the WV. Good acidity finish.
07 Upper Terrace – Spice and cherries. Very nice araomatics. More suibstance that the above wines. Good but not great.
08 Willamette Valley – Dark color. Nose of dark fruits… Not a complex wine. More structure than the 07.
08 Estate – Dark fruits. Lush, silk, velvet on the palate. Soft . Long in the mouth. Fine wine.
08 Upper Terrace – Floral, dark fruit and earth notes on the nose. More elegant than the Estate. Long in the mouth. Nice complexity.
09 667 Barrel sample – Some SO2 on the nose. Big, ripe, soft…lots of extract
09 Pommard-Wadensvil barrel – Very big and lush. Ripe, extract…

We next tasted Mike Etzel’s sons, Jared and Michael’s new venture
08 Horsetails - Dark, rich, cherries. Fruit forward…Nice mid palate and length. Great QPR for $25.
08 Coattails – Dark. 75% new oak. Lush with great balance of fruit, acid and tannins. Long finish. Easy to drink now, but should cellar well.

Patricia Green Jim Anderson and Patty are always a great place to visit. Good solid wines year in and year out. One of the few wineries to make a sauvignon blanc.
09 Sauvignon Blanc - Beautiful aromas of sweet grapefruit, tropical fruit and honey. No herbal elements. Lush on the palate that coats the tongue and mouthfilling. Long with brisk acidity on the back end. Very lovely wine.
09 barrel samples
Olenik –Reductive nose. Nice mouthfeel, ripe.
Whistling Ridge – Nice dark fruits and balance. Well done
Etzel – Reduced. Nice balance…less middle than WR
Balcomb Blk1B - 50% whole cluster. Dark, dense with great perfume and mouthfeel. Long. Best of the bunch to me.
Mysterious – Grape source is a secret. Sl reduced but nice complexity and length. Very nice.

Evening Land A new winery. The old Seven Springs vineyard. Dominique Lafon is consulting on the chardonnay…a bit pricy, but it shows what can be done with this grape in the WV.
08 La Source Chardonnay – 30% new oak. Citrus aromas with nice minerality and racy acidity. Long in the mouth
08 Summum Chardonnay – 30% new oak. Bigger in the mouth than the La Source. Nice citrus and minerals on the nose. Great weight and length. Should develop into a beautiful wine. Excellent Oregon effort.
08 Estate Pinot Noir –Nice nose of cherries, clove and earth. Good balance and length. Nice mid palate. Savory quality. Fine tannins.
08 La Source Pinot Noir – Plums and dark fruits. Fine tannins. Nice mouthfeel, balance and length.

Le Cadeau It’s always fun to taste Tom Mortimer’s wines, who is always one of my favorite producers. He uses several different winemakers, so no one consistent style.
07 Aubichon Reserve – 50% new oak. Nice blend of oak and dark fruits. Lacks a bit in mid-palate
08 Aubichon Reserve – Bigger than 07. Rich and nice length. Lacks complexity
07 Le Cadeau Cote Est – Nice sous bois and hint of animale on nose. Long and silky
08 Le Cadeau Rocheaux – Spice and earthy aromas. Balanced. Nice.
07 Le Cadeau Equinnox – Candy cherries, red fruits with nice balance on palate
08 Le Cadeau Cote Est – Dark berries, rich. Nice middle and long sweet finish. Quite nice.
08 Le Cadeau Equinox – Big dark fruits with nicely integrated Francois Freres oak. Complex and long. I quite liked this wine.
08 Le Cadeau Diversite – Very nice aromas of game, smoke and earth. More tannin on back end than others
08 Le Cadeau Serendipity – Selections from Est, Rocheaux, and Diversite. Big perfume earth, oak. Showy wine.

Shea Bigger style wines very well made.
08 Chardonnay – Nice balance of oak and fruit. Creamy.

Pinot Noirs
07 Estate – Earth and minerals on nose. Medium body. Lacks mouthfeel.
08 Estate - Dark purple. Spice, meat and iron aromas. Nice mouthfeel and balance. Long finish. Nice.
09 Block 5 barrel sample – Big ripe wine with spice and ripe fruit. Fine tannins. Enough acid for aging?
09 Wedinsval – Earth, minerals on nose. Ripe fruit. Long with dry tannins on back end
09 Block 23 – Replanted younger vines. Big. Some alcohol evident. Very lush.
09 Homer – Great aromatics of spice and dark fruits. Super balance. Ripe and velvet on palate. Very nice.

Ken Wright Ken is a great gentleman making some very nice wines.
07 Chardonnay – Full malo. Some minerality with oak on nose. Rich. Could use more acid.

Pinot Noirs
09 Guadalupe barrel sample – Reduced nose. Nicely balanced palate of earth and minerals. Medium body. Good length
09 McCrone barrel sample – Reduced nose. Rich with nice dark fruits. Good middle and finish.
09 Abbot Claim barrel sample – More elegant style with nice balance. Long and silky.
08 Savoya – Sedimentary soil. Minerals on nose. Nice complex palate. Dry tannins on back end.
08 Carter – Volcanic soil. Nice floral, spice and dark fruits. Very nice mouthfeel and balance. Easier to enjoy now than the Savoya. Nice.

Scott Paul Scott not only makes great wine, but imports some very nice burgundies. His love of burgundy shows in his wines.
07 Le Paulee – Red fruits. Nice balance and length. Pretty wine.
08 D 122 – Ribbon Ridge grapes. Dark fruits, silk and velvet. Dusty tannins. Long, Elegant wine. Quite nice.
08 Audrey – Old vine Maresh. Sl reduced. Nice mid palate and texture. Lush with nice lengthy finish. Nice.

Soter James Cahill, winemaker, is a great guy and their wines are always at the top of blind tastings that I have done. A great place to visit! Great stuff.
07 North Valley – Big perfume of red fruits. Elegant. Easy to drink.
08 North Valley – Darker than the 07. More dark fruits. Spice. Big mouthfeel with nice fruit. Long with some fine tannins on the backend.
07 Mineral Spring Ranch – Earth and dark fruits. Nice extraction and flavor. Beautiful balance and finish. Not “typical” for the 07 vintage. One of my favorites of the vintage.

Westry Very nice wines of very good value.
08 Reserve – Nice mouthfeel and balance.
08 Justice – Sl reduced nose with earth and dark fruits. Nice midpalate and length.
08 Oracle – Red fruits. Bigger in the mouth than the above. Nice wine.
08 Abbey Ridge – Very nice perfume. Floral, spice, red and dark fruits. Balanced. Nice.

Eyrie Oldest winery in the Willamette. Elegant wines and not over the top. Jason Lett continues on the tradition of his father.
08 Chardonnay Reserve –15% new oak. Nice balance. Long, long finish. Very nice.
08 BlackCap – Nice perfume, but lacked a bit on the mid-palate for me.
08 Daphne – Sl reduced nose with spice notes. Medium body. Finishes a bit short. Dusty tannins.
07 Estate – Lighter color. Medium body. Pleasant finish. Lacks complexity
05 Reserve – Very nice floral, spice aromas. Elegant wine. Long with complexity. Nice wine.
87 Chardonnay Reserve – Caramel notes on nose. Viscous mouthfeel. Long, long in the mouth with sweet finish.
88 Reserve PN – Slight browning on the rim. Earth, spice and tertiary aromas. Fruit still present. Complex on the palate with resolved tannins, but still some acid on the backend.

Ayoub Mo Ayoub makes some very nice wines on his 4 acre vineyard. Every year seems to be a bit different, but always very good.
08 Estate – Med color. Hint of cream on the nose along with red fruits. Med body. Pretty wine.

Random wines with Johnny Vino My best friend here in Oregon and we look forward to another year of tasting lots of fine wines…both form Oregon and burgundy…
05 Beaux Freres- Dark. Spice and dark fruits. Great balance and length. Drinking perfectly at this time.
94 Beaux Freres – Signature BF nose with spice and secondary notes. Pure silk. Bigger than the Archery Summit. Long, long in the mouth. One of the best BF of the 90’s.
94 Archery Summit – Dark fruits with hint of green and menthol on the nose. Silky palate. Lovely wine.
08 Antica Terra – Dark with nose of red and dark fruits. Big in the middle. Nice balance with long sweet finish. Nice.
07 Thomas – Slightly green and stemmy on the nose. Good fruit and spice on the palate. Not the best Thomas I have had.
91 Beaux Freres – First commercial vintage. 6 barrels made. Vines 4 years old. Silky and sweet on the palate with fine finish. On the downslope, but sill very enjoyable.

08 Cameron Willamette Valley – Dark. Earthy, funky nose with some animale. Lean on the palate with good acidity. Long finish.
08 Libra ‘ Mystic Vineyard’ – Jammy fruit with some earthy notes… Relatively simple wine. Easy drinker.
08 Witness Tree Estate – Nice nose of cherries and earth. Nice balance with soft tannins.
08 Laura Volkman ‘St James Estate’- Nice red fruits. strawberry and spice aromas. Bright acids and lacks a bit of fruit on the palate.
08 Arteberry Maresh ‘Maresh Vineyard’ - Clove and raspberry aromas. Big mouthfeel, rich and long. Nice.
07 Crowley ‘ Gehrts’ – Dark. Wonderful aromas of meat, earth and animale. Quite interesting and to my liking. Very complex. Nice palate with balance of fruit and acid. Very nice.

Overall Favorites of bottled wines ( in no particular order)
09 Patricia Green Sauvignon Blanc
08 Evening Land Summum Chardonnay
07 Winderlea Estate
07 Crowley ‘Gehrts’
07 Soter Mineral Springs Ranch
08 Le Cadeau Equinox
05 & 94 Beaux Freres
08 Scott Paul D 122

My thoughts: The 07’s seems to be coming around, gaining weight and some are showing quite nice. 08 is a great vintage and most wines have the qualities to make very good wines with a little bottle age. 09 is a very ripe year and will be good wines to drink while waiting on the 08’s to develop.

Well done.

[cheers.gif] I have Willamette envy.


I may not share some of your winery preferences, but man you’ve been busy! Well done.

PS - Too bad you missed the whites at Westrey.

Thanks Bob. I did taste the whites at Westry…just missed them in posting. I particularly liked the 08 Chardonnay Reserve. Apples with some nice oak notes on the nose. Nice rich viscous palate with pretty nice acidity.

I prefer the regular Willamette Valley and generally do, but it’s a bit like asking whether I prefer Cherokee Purple or Brandywine tomatoes.

Agree about the “regular” chard, and a reminder to get an heirloom or two planted.


Nice summary! You definitely had some great wines. I ordered Patty Greens Sauv Blanc last week but will probably get it in the fall due to weather. Nice to see more positives on that wine.

I bet the old Eyrie wines were fun to try as well.

Thanks for this report.

Nice effort Roger…and it is barely June…still more work to do. Let’s get together soon.

Roger - great to see you again, welcome back to the valley and thanks for the kind words. Stop in anytime.

Cheers -


Thanks Scott. We’ll stop in Saturday to taste some Freddie Mugnier! Hope I have the date correct.

“Thank God my wife Diane is designated driver.”

Lengthy summary, Roger and, as Bob Wood noted, you have been busy - enjoyed reading your notes.


Great notes!

In regards to the 93 BF-have you had it lately, I’m wondering how it’s held up…

I last tasted the 93 one year ago. I’m hoping to taste again this summer. I personally liked the 93 better than the 94 last year. A bit more refined and complex, with less ripeness and structure than the 94. It has certainly reached it’s peak and on downward slope, whereas the 94 still has a few years left in it before decline IMHO. Mike Etzel thinks the 94 is more “California like”, whereas the 93 is better example of classic Oregon Pinot. Not to downgrade the 94. It’s drinking great at this time.

Great notes, thanks. When we visited with Jim last September I seem to remember him saying that they were losing their SB fruit source as it was being budded over with something more “commercial.” Do you know whether they have a new source?

Had my last 08 a week or two ago. [cry.gif]

Great notes, thanks. When we visited with Jim last September I seem to remember him saying that they were losing their SB fruit source as it was being budded over with something more “commercial.” Do you know whether they have a new source?

Had my last 08 a week or two ago. [cry.gif][/quot

I don’t know the current status of future grape source, however Jim mentioned that currently the wine is 30 percent from their Estate Vineyard (mostly 1990 planting but some 2000 and 2001 vines), 20 percent from Croft (post-2000 vines) and 50 percent from Oak Grove Vineyard (28 year old vines).