Oregon Wine Tasting featuring Kelly Fox Bethel Heights and Friends

Friday, August 10, 2018 - 07:30 PM

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"It's a hard grape to grow. As you know. Right? It's, uh, it's thin-skinned, temperamental, ripens early. It's, you know, it's not a survivor like cabernet, which can just grow anywhere and thrive even when it's neglected. No, pinot needs constant care and attention. You know? And, in fact, it can only grow in these really specific, little tucked-away corners of the world. And only the most patient and nurturing of growers can do it, really. Only somebody who really takes the time to understand pinot's potential can then coax it into its fullest expression."

Miles – Sideways


I remember my trip to Oregon in the summer of 1994 for the IPNC (International Pinot Noir Celebration) this is one of the best wine parties that I have ever attended. The festival is limited to 500 attendees as it is hosted by McMinnville College and that is all they can accommodate in their lecture facilities. I remember not only were the quality of the wines at the highest level but the people in attendance were some of the most passionate Pinot Noir lovers that I had ever come across. And although winemaking began in the 19th century in this state it is only recently that its potential has been recognized by the rest of the world.

It was in 1979 when serious wine producers started to look at the potential of this area as Eyrie Vineyards' 1975 South Block Pinot Noir placed in the top 10 of Burgundy-style wines at the Gault-Millau French Wine Olympiades, and was rated the top Pinot Noir. This send the news around the wine world and shortly after Robert Drouhin, head of Burgundy's legendary Maison Joseph Drouhin, was visiting America's west coast promoting the Drouhin Burgundies. The California wine industry was just starting to receive its first recognition back then, but there was little if anything going on in Oregon. Robert's first visit to the Northwest and its earliest vineyards left him with the impression that it quite possibly would be Oregon, not California, that would ultimately prove to be the best place to grow the great grape of Burgundy - Pinot noir.

Inspired by his trip to Oregon and the results of 1979 tasting that was held in Paris, where, for the first time, the best new Oregon Pinot noirs were tasted in competition with the finest Burgundies. Robert decided to hold his own blind tasting in 1980 at the Drouhin cellars in France, with several of the best Oregon Pinot noirs going up against the finest Drouhin Grand Crus. It was a Drouhin Grand Cru that took first place this time, but an Oregon wine (the now legendary 1975 Eyrie Vineyards South Block) placed 2nd by a very narrow margin with the French experts. News of this tasting brought the first widespread international attention to Oregon Pinot noir.

After a few years’ time Robert's daughter Véronique just graduated with an advanced degree in enology from the University of Dijon, and wanted to expand her experience by working in Oregon. Véronique interned with Adelsheim Vineyards, Bethel Heights, and Eyrie for the 1986 vintage. Later on, Robert mentioned to David Adelsheim that it might be interesting to buy a piece of land in Oregon, to see what it might produce. What started as a passing thought began its transformation into reality when Adelsheim phoned the Drouhins in Beaune not long thereafter to tell them of a property that was for sale that they might be interested in. The rest is history and with one of Burgundies foremost wine producing families moving to Oregon the writing was on the wall that this wine producing region would soon get its much-deserved recognition as one of the world's premier Pinot Noir growing regions.

Today, the state of Oregon in the United States has established an international reputation for its production of wine. Oregon has several different growing regions within the state's borders which are well-suited to the cultivation of grapes; additional regions straddle the border between Oregon and the states of Washington and Idaho. Wine making dates back to pioneer times in the 1840s, with commercial production beginning in the 1960s.

American Viticultural Areas entirely within the state include the Willamette Valley, Southern Oregon, Umpqua Valley, and Rogue Valley AVAs. Parts of the Columbia Gorge, Walla Walla Valley, and Snake River Valley AVAs lie within Oregon. Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris are the top two grapes grown, with over 16,000 tons (14,515 metric tons) harvested in 2005. As of 2005, Oregon wine makers produced over 1.5 million cases combined.

Currently there are over 300 wineries in Oregon and a bustling tourism industry has developed around wine tasting. Much of the tourism focuses on the wineries and tasting rooms in and around the Yamhill Valley southwest of Portland.

You don’t have to travel to Oregon to see some of the top wines being made here as we have brought the wines to you. Tonight, we will taste over 20 of this state’s top wines including wines that are 10+ years old.  Wine Watch Wine Bar’s Toni Lampasone is making a few tasty treats to accompany the tasting wines and the fee for this event is $55 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com


Oregon Wine Tasting in the Wine Watch Wine Cave
Friday, August 10


Kelly Fox
Image result for Kelley Fox Pinot Noir Ahurani 2016

Kelley Fox Pinot Noir Ahurani 2016       
Price: $41.25       Sale $36.30

A medium, utterly transparent crimson red with cool tones, the Ahurani has a joybringing nose of spicy red and blue fruits with a touch of minerals and a soothing freshness. In 2016 (as in 2015) it is 100% whole cluster, and produced from blocks on the top of the tallest hill of the vineyard like the Momtazi Vineyard bottling. In the mouth, there is a gentleness that the Momtazi Vineyard bottling doesn’t have right now. No claws or talons or gimlet eyes. This one is a friendly dragon. It reminds me of the spirit of the Mirabai, but it is the Momtazi version. It has this lovely, flowing movement to it in the mouth, and without being glou-glou, it wants to be enjoyed. It is very early yet (I write these silly non-note notes in late January 2018), and I believe the Ahurani will continue to develop the fruit-side of the Momtazi Vineyard beauty significantly this year. It has the power and delicious acidity typical of this wild vineyard. 

Kelley Fox Pinot Noir Maresh Vineyard  2016   
Price: $67.50       Sale $59.40

On the lighter side of medium true-red with blue overtones, this Maresh is captivating. The light plays all over it, and it is both utterly transparent yet impenetrable as always. When the bottle is just opened and poured into the glass, the nose begins with soft minerals and the classic Maresh Hood strawberries that are worthy of king’s treasure. There is a tiny bit of spice, too, perhaps from it being 100% whole cluster. As in past bottlings, once the wine is in the glass for a few minutes, there is a Pacific northwest ocean and rain-freshness and purity that makes me fall in love with Oregon for the millionth time since I moved here over 28 years ago. Still very young, there is a pleasing acidity appropriate for a serious, long-game Pinot. This Maresh bottling comes from not only my beloved Long Rows (40%) and Old Block (40%) in which I do the biodynamic sprays and canopy management personally, but also Block 1 (20%), farmed by Jim Maresh Senior, who is now over 90 years old and still farming the beautiful land that he and his late wife, Loie, planted together in 1970. My first Maresh Vineyard bottling in 2007 came entirely from Block 1. All of these blocks are self-rooted and were planted in 1970. The total production was seven barrels. This is a queen of a wine with exquisite, silky texture and an unforgettable finish.

Kelley Fox Pinot Noir momtazi vineyard 2015   
Price: $49.50       Sale $43.56

The Momtazi 2015 is a selection of eighteen barrels from three of my blocks at Momtazi Vineyard: eight barrels of my beloved Block C 115 at the top of the vineyard facing both the volcanoes of the east and the Pacific Ocean on the west; eight barrels of Block K 667 facing the east on a vertiginous slope overlooking one of the two small lakes, over which fly the falcons who eat the trout; and two barrels of Block B 667 also at the top. It is 100% whole cluster, and it is a Demeter-certified biodynamic wine. The colour is a deep medium, youthful, almost blue red. It has mystery while being utterly transparent: these opposites are all about temperance in the alchemical sense. The nose is, well-gorgeous-and is full of minerals, blue fruit, and exotic spices with slight floral notes. There is a sweetness (metaphorically) like how the sunshine warms up the forest. There is a bracing freshness with the electric energy of ocean air. The mouth is structured, powerful, exhilarating, and precise.

Kelley Fox Pinot Noir Momtazi vineyard "tir"2016
Price: $63.00       Sale $55.44

2016 is the second year of my “Tir” bottling. It is made exclusively from one acre of a field blend planting surrounded by Oregon oaks and a few native madrones from above, and so far, has been very distinct from my other blocks at Momtazi Vineyard. Once again, it is 100% whole cluster. Visually, the “Tir” is beautiful, transparent, light-filled, medium deep red with youthful hues of purple, blue and magenta in its facets. The nose is full of exotic spices and red and blue fruits. It is spellbinding and beautiful (because of the place-not because of me). The mouth is very much in line with the nose and very smooth on the palate, but the structure is always there. The minerals and exotic spices and fruits spiral the palate and finish long, but this beloved (by me), shimmering wine is as elusive as the wind or the night.


Bethel Heights
Image result for Bethel Heights Pinot Noir Aeolian
Bethel Heights Pinot Noir "Aeolian" 2015
Price: $45.00       Sale $39.60

THE 2015 VINTAGE:  2015 was characterized by early bud- break, early bloom, plenty of sunshine and a big heat spike in early August. A hot summer like this can push potential alcohols, forcing an early harvest that precludes hang time. But September brought mercifully cool temperatures and chilly evenings. Sugar accumulation was arrested and the vineyard was allowed to develop flavor. Not overripe flavors. Not high alcohol flavors, but instead the integrated, intense, and focused flavors only afforded by generous hang time at cool temperatures. Complete fact sheet for the 2015 Pinot Noir Estate is available here.

Aromas of black cherry, black currant, plum and sandalwood over saline hints of preserved lemon and sea foam. On the palate, flavors of black cherry and blueberry with hints of black pepper and oak spice. These flavors meld over a dense core of nervy acidity and fine-grained tannins, giving the wine both tension and vivacity. This wine has the concentration to age gracefully over the next ten years.

Bethel Heights Pinot Noir Estate 2015
Price: $33.75       Sale $29.70

This wine blends fruit from all the different sections of our estate vineyard. It truly encompasses the entire breadth of expression at Bethel Heights from the youthful exuberance of our youngest vines planted in 2002 to the brooding, earthy complexity of our old own-rooted vines that have been knitting themselves into our landscape for forty years.   Aromas of black cherry and black pepper over subtle hints of cassis, sandalwood and cola. The palate is broad and brooding; the heat of 2015 brought on thicker skins and the resulting added structure is apparent in this young wine, but vibrant acidity helps keep the young wine in balance. This should age gracefully for a decade or more.

Bethel Heights Pinot Noir "Casteel" 2015
Price: $75.00       Sale $66.00

Aromas of black cherry, pine resin, and black currants with hints of cooking chocolate and cinnamon lingering in the background. Flavors of black berries and dark chocolate play over a sinewy, taut structure of mineral laden acidity and fine-grained tannins. In a vintage that threatened to be over-wrought and soft, we were very pleased that the core of our Estate maintained the energy and focus we have come to expect, to support and carry the fruit long into the future.

Bethel Heights Chardonnay Estate 2014   
Price: $29.25       Sale $25.74

(92 Points Editors’ Choice)  An outstanding value in a top-level Oregon Chardonnay, this beautifully rendered, barrel-fermented wine is a showcase of sharply defined flavors. The tree fruits are highlighted with details of spice and new wood, clearly delineated and well-matched.  Wine Enthusiast

Bethel Heights Chardonnay Justice Vineyard 2015
Price: $67.50       Sale $59.40

The Chardonnay from Justice Vineyard over the years has developed a haunting sea breeze, saline quality both in the aroma and on the palate that distinguishes it from every other Chardonnay in our portfolio.   The wine’s freshness, purity, and unique fingerprint are framed by bright
acidity and a crystalline structure, perhaps providing a window into the marine sedimentary soils where it’s planted, soils that were once layers of sand on the floor of the ocean millions of years ago


Image result for Soter Pinot Noir North Valley 2016

Soter Pinot Noir North Valley 2016
Price: $30.00       Sale $26.40

This Pinot Noir exhibits charming aromas of bright red fruits, with baking spices and underbrush. The nose is bright and high toned - very expressive. Medium bodied on the palate with a darker fruit profile, the wine is sleek and silky in texture. Additional notes of black mission figs and plums emerge, with some anise, black pepper and a little forest floor note. In the finish, the wine reveals clove and hints of espresso. Soft, youthful tannins are nicely balanced with acidity, and the wine is quite seamless.

Brick House Gamay Noir 2015
Price: $30.00       Sale $26.40

(90 Points) Pale ruby-purple colored, the 2015 Gamay Noir offers a very pretty nose of violets, red roses and Bing cherries with hints of cranberry juice and garrigue. Light to medium-bodied, the palate reveals tons of fruit and savory layers with a chewy frame and great length.  Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Lemelson Pinot Noir Theas Select 2015   
Price: $30.00       Sale $26.40

(91 Points) Expressive black cherry and forest floor aromas open to refined and balanced dark raspberry, bitter chocolate and spice flavors that finish with minerally tannins. Drink now through 2023. Wine Spectator

ST Innocent Pinot Noir Momtazi 2015
Price: $41.00       Sale $36.08

Momtazi Vineyard is located in the McMinnville AVA, 7 miles west of the McMinnville, Oregon.  Planted in 1999 and 2004 on thin, poor soils, the vines have a south and SW exposure at an elevation of 680' - 760'.  The vineyard is certified biodynamic by Demeter.

Domaine Drouhin Oregon Pinot Noir Laurene 2014
Price: $75.00       Sale $66.00

(92 Points) Pale to medium ruby-purple, the 2014 Pinot Noir Laurene offers a very fragrant nose of exotic spices—anise, cardamom and fenugreek—over a core of pomegranate, rhubarb, Bing cherries, fertile loam and truffles. Medium-bodied with a taut, fine structure of fine tannins and refreshing acid, the fruit has plenty of earth and red berry layers that linger with great persistence.  Robert Parker's Wine Advocate


King Estate Winery

Image result for 2016 King Estate Willamette Pinot Gris

2016 King Estate Willamette Pinot Gris
Price: $18.00       Sale $15.84

Our flagship wine, King Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Gris, reflects an excellence recognized worldwide. Made with the best selection of grapes each year, the 2016 vintage was sourced primarily from King Estate’s certified Biodynamic® and organic vineyard as well as a handful of like-minded sustainably-farmed vineyards throughout the Willamette Valley.

2016 King Estate Domaine Pinot Gris
Price: $26.75       Sale $23.54

Domaine Pinot Gris is the preeminent selection from King Estate Winery, made exclusively from certified organic and Biodynamic® grapes from our Estate Vineyard in the Southern Willamette Valley. The Estate is the largest Biodynamic vineyard in the United States and has been certified organic by Oregon Tilth since 2002.

2016 King Estate Backbone Pinot Gris
Price: $29.75       Sale $26.18

We are pleased to showcase high quality fruit and to demonstrate how selection of geographically diverse lots can produce an excellently balanced wine with structured acidity and added layers of complexity. Fruit for the 2013 vintage came from 6 vineyards:

2015 King Estate Willamette Pinot Noir
Price: $23.25       Sale $20.46

King Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir reflects an excellence recognized worldwide. Made with the best selection of grapes each year, the 2016 vintage was sourced primarily from King Estate’s certified organic and Biodynamic® vineyard as well as a handful of like-minded sustainably-farmed vineyards throughout the Willamette Valley.

2014 King Estate Domaine Pinot Pinot Noir
Price: $72.00       Sale $63.36

Made exclusively with certified organic grown grapes from our estate vineyard, each vintage of Domaine Collection reflects King Estate's unique terroir and is a true testament to our dedication to quality and sustainability. Our Domaine Pinot Noir is made from a combination of clones, primarily 113 and 115, grown exclusively in Bellpine soil.

2014 King Estate Backbone Pinot Noir
Price: $63.00       Sale $55.44

Each vintage, our winemakers have the ability to ferment and age individual blocks and vineyards separately until they are blended. This allows our winemakers to hand-select individual fruit from a select range of Willamette Valley vineyards. Each vineyard contributes unique nuances and character to this blend, making this wine more than just the sum of its parts. The exceptional quality fruit coming from these storied vineyards provides the backbone for our King Estate Willamette Valley wines.




Vintage Selections

Image result for 2005 Domaine Serene Pinot Noir Jerusalem Hill Willamette Valley
2005 Domaine Serene Pinot Noir Jerusalem Hill Willamette Valley
Price: $95.00    Your Price: $83.60               Quantity in Stock: 12

We had a huge collection of older vintage Domaine Serene wines but were getting down to the last few bottles.

Kelley Fox Pinor Noir Wines Pinot Noir Maresh Vineyard Dundee Hills 2009
Price: $55.50    Your Price: $48.84               Quantity in Stock: 6

We have a few older bottles of kelly fox in the house so I thought this would be the perfect time to pop a few. 


Duck Confit Sliders with Raspberry BBQ

Tuna and Mushroom tartar with Lemon Tarragon Aioli

Bacon Stuffed Mushroom Caps

Cherny Blue Cheese Gougers


This is a walk around Wine tasting in the Wine Cave, the fee for this tasting is $55 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail

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