The Ultimate Oregon Pinot Noir Tasting at WWWB

Wednesday, August 23, 2017 - 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


Ultimate Oregon Wine Tasting at Wine Watch Wine Bar
Wednesday, August 23rd

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 700 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 15 of this state’s top wines some of which are over 10 years of age.  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 $45 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail

Ultimate Oregon Wine Tasting at Wine Watch Wine Bar
Wednesday, August 23rd


Image result for 2014 Penner Ash Pinot Noir Estate Willamette Valley

2014 Penner Ash Pinot Noir Estate Willamette Valley   
Price: $60.00       Your $52.80         Case $612

(93 Points)  Ruby-red. Aromas of blackberry, cherry cola, candied licorice and mocha take on a suave floral element in the glass. Sweet and broad on the palate, offering intense dark berry and violet pastille flavors sweetened by a building note of vanilla. The cola and vanilla notes come back steadily on a very long, penetrating finish that's framed and given grip by smooth, harmonious tannins. For a rich wine, there's quite good energy here.   Vinous / Antonio Galloni
Image result for 2013 La Crema Pinot Noir Yamhill

2013 La Crema Pinot Noir Yamhill
Price: $57.50    Sale Price: $29.75

A good amount of dark berry, cherry fruit with lots of spice, 2013 a cooler vintage and more classic in style, some earthy notes coming out as the wine opens, espresso.  A bright and zesty wine on the tongue with silky tannins and a nice freshness to the finish, that spice and earthy character from the nose lasting through the finish.  Finish 35+    Excellent +   

Image result for 2015 Siduri Pinot Noir Yamhill Carlton

2015 Siduri Pinot Noir Willamette Valley            
Price: $24.00

Black raspberry fruit here on the nose with hints of violet and fresh earth, a good amount of perfume.  Fresh and zesty on the tongue with black raspberry coulis like fruit and a nice hand of perfumed floral notes and some tannins at the end.  Finish 45+            Excellent             

Image result for 2015 Siduri Pinot Noir Yamhill Carlton

2015 Siduri Pinot Noir Yamhill Carleton               
Price: $36.00

A nice hand of earth here on the nose with dark truffle and dried floral notes, black spices, dark raspberry fruit.  Nice intensity on the palate with dark spices, black raspberry fruit and some tannin here on the finish along with a nice hand of spice.  Finish 40+              Excellent             

Image result for 2005 Domaine Serene Pinot Noir Grace Vineyard

2005 Domaine Serene Pinot Noir Grace Vineyard
Price: $139.00    Your Price: $122.32
Quantity in Stock: 17

(93 points) "Lithe, supple and refined, this is truly elegant stuff, letting its complex raspberry, cherry and exotic spice flavors whoosh across the palate, finishing expressively and in fine balance. Best from 2009 through 2015." (10/2008) The Wine Spectator:

Image result for 2006 Adelsheim Pinot Noir Bryan Creek Vineyard

2006 Adelsheim Pinot Noir Bryan Creek Vineyard
Price: $59.00    Your Price: $51.92
Quantity in Stock: 21

Bryan Creek Vineyard is situated high on the southern slopes of the Chehalem Mountains AVA (American Viticultural Area), on basaltic-origin, clay-loam soils that store enough moisture to get the grapevines through our annual summer drought. The 700+ foot elevation approaches the upper limits of where we like to plant, but the direct southern exposure provides some compensation. The grapes ripen later than at most of our other sites, but this long “hang-time” can lead to incredible complexity and intensity of flavor. This wine comes from Blocks 3, 4, 5 and 12, all planted to own-rooted clone UCD 5 (Pommard) in 1989.

Republic National
Image result for 2014 King Estate Pinot Noir Oregon

2014 King Estate Pinot Noir Oregon
Price: $23.25   Your Price: $20.46

As one of the most well-known bottlings of Pinot Noir in America, organically grown Pinot Noir from our estate vineyard is blended with grapes from sustainably farmed vineyards throughout Oregon, where grapes are grown to our strictly enforced standards
The palate offers an elegant blend of dark cherries, rhubarb and blackberry, evolving into complex flavors of cranberry, walnut, and cassis.


Image result for 2015 Four Graces Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

2015 Four Graces Pinot Noir Willamette Valley
Price: $24.75       Your $21.78

On the nose the 2015 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is earthy and elegant. It shows expressive tannins and dark red fruit, bearing all the hallmarks of a great New World Burgundy. The palate is soft with swarming notes of bramble fruits, cherry pie, and cranberries. While it is vibrant and delicious in its youth the focused tannins suggest aging with grace. French oak has contributed a velvety softness without masking the lovely red and black fruit characteristics.


Image result for 2015 The Four Graces Pinot Noir Dundee Hills Reserve
2015 The Four Graces Pinot Noir Dundee Hills Reserve
Price: $43.50   Your Price: $38.28

All from the Black Family vineyard in Dundee Hills. Laurent Montalieu (French Guy) is the winemaker here and this wine has a strong terroir or earthy character to the bouquet, dark cherry fruit with a good amount of exotic spice, orange zest and truffle like earth notes. This wine is very complex with layers of spice, earth and dried floral notes backing up the thick black raspberry fruit, wonderful concentration and richness with a long-layered finish, very well built, this wine could use some time some tannins at the end but lots of fruit to match. Finish 50+ Most Excellent +

Twenty One Wines

Image result for 2014 Bethel Heights Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

2014 Bethel Heights Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills (Magnum)
Price: $63.00       Sale $55.44         
2014 Bethel Heights Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills (375ml) 
Price: $16.75       Sale $14.74          Case $171 (12 bottles)
2014 Bethel Heights Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills
Price: $32.50       Sale $28.60          Case $332

(92 Points)  This selection from all parts of the vineyard comes together seamlessly on an open texture. 2,319 cases made


Image result for 2014 Bethel Heights Pinot Noir Aeolian Willamette Valley

2014 Bethel Heights Pinot Noir Aeolian Eola-Amity Hills
Price: $45.00       Sale $39.60          Case $459

(95 Points) The Casteels identified sections of the vineyard, planted in the 1990s, that are exposed to more wind, and created this aromatically pure, intense and deep style. 625 cases made 

2014 Bethel Heights Pinot Noir Casteel Eola-Amity Hills (Magnum)
Price: $165.00    Sale $146

2014 Bethel Heights Pinot Noir Casteel Eola-Amity Hills
Price: $82.50       Sale $72.60          Case $842

A Pioneer Reaches the Pinnacle in Oregon - Wine Spectator, February 2017

Bethel Heights Vineyard grows its grapes on 103 acres in the Eola- Amity Hills AVA, a windy area just north of Salem, the state capital. The family-owned winery is an Oregon pioneer, founded in 1977, and all its wines are produced from estate-owned vineyards. Cousins and co-owners Ben and Mimi Casteel represent the second generation of the winery's founding Casteel, Dudley and Webb families. Ben, the winemaker, pursues a light and delicate style, decidedly old-school, putting the emphasis on fruit flavors and intensity and delivering a marvelous sense of weightlessness in the wines.
The original Bethel Heights vineyard and the adjacent Justice Vineyard, which was planted in 1999, cover 74 acres on the undulating western slopes of the Eola Hills. Ingram Lane, planted in 2008, tucks into rolling hills on the eastern side of the AVA. The winery specializes in Pinot Noir from specific blocks within these three vineyard sites. The family now makes more than 2,000 cases of an entry-level estate Pinot Noir, and more than 1,000 cases of an estate Chardonnay. Smaller lots, including the Casteel Reserve (a blend of selected barrels) and single-block bottlings, go for a bit more. A stunning wine called Æolian is sourced from recent plantings in windy portions of the estate vineyard.
Other bottlings, such as Flat Block, West Block and Southeast Block, each made from specific sections of estate vineyards, demonstrate the differences in flavor and structure that can come from plots literally feet apart. These contrasts are much like those found in Burgundy.

Five Spice Duck confit and Wild Mushroom Duxelle Tacos finished with Foie Gras Mousse and sundried C image


Strawberry-rhubarb tempura sushi roll finished with foie gras pate coin

Crispy 5 spice Duck Confit tacos with cherry-balsamic preserves

Savory Porkbelly & Polenta Jumbo Croutons with rosemary-bosch pear glaze

Applewood Smoked Bacon wrapped shrimp with blueberry syrup


This is a walk around tasting at the new Wine Bar across the street from Progresso plaza.  The fee for this event is $45 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail

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