Practicing medicine requires just the right balance of art and science – the same can be said for the best wine and dining.
Doctor’s Orders shares this passion, including meticulous research into smaller production, relatively undiscovered winemakers, to enrich the experience for our fellow wine lovers!
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One of the definite highlights of our #WOPN2019 experience was gaining a greater appreciation for pinot noirs from the Willamette Valley. It is no coincidence that this region is positioned along the same geographic latitude as Burgundy, and with six distinct sub-appellations, there seems to be a style of pinot for everyone! While over a dozen wineries were present representing this region at the grand tasting event, three of the standouts we tasted were Day Wines, Résonance, and Cristom Vineyards.
Brianne Day is the badass breakout winemaker for her namesake label, Day Wines, natural wines from Dundee Hills, a warmer climate appellation in Willamette known for its volcanic soil. Each of her wines are generally sourced from a single vineyard in a Burgundian style with native yeast. While it was difficult to choose favorite among the pinots she was pouring, the highlight was her adorable son, Viggo, who accompanied her to the event!
Our next tasting was Résonance, one of Willamette’s oldest organically, dry-farmed vineyards located in Yamhill-Carlton, another warmer-climate AVA whose terroir is made up of coarse, sedimentary, ancient marine soil. We had the pleasure of being guided through the tasting by Guillaume Large, head winemaker, who was raised in the family vineyard planted by his great-grandfather in Burgundy's Pouilly-Fuissé appellation. The highlight of the tasting was the Résonance Vineyard 2015 Pinot Noir, a remarkably full-bodied and well-balanced effort with notes of dark cherry, blackberry, and blueberry and smooth tannins on the palate, awarded 94 points by Wine Spectator.
We wrapped up our jaunt through Willamette with Cristom Vineyards, located just outside of Salem in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA known for its Van Duzer Corridor, through which cool winds channel through from the Pacific Ocean. Cristom’s Director of Communications and Consumer Sales, Raechel, deftly guided us through each of the four estate Pinot Noir vineyards, Eileen, Jessie, Louise and Marjorie (named for the owner’s family matriarchs), each with its own unique profile of soil, elevation, and climate exposure. With a minimalist approach to the winemaking process and its hallmark whole-cluster fermentation by native yeasts, the final product is exceptional. The standout of the lineup was the 2016 Marjorie Vineyard Pinot Noir, Cristom’s lowest-production pinot, which was medium-bodied and floral with a lovely acidity and well-integrated tannins.
With a newfound appreciation for the Willamette Valley wine scene, we can’t wait to visit Oregon in the near future!
Be sure to check out next week’s post, when we review WOPN highlights from Sonoma and the Russian River Valley.