This is a totally dry, easy drinking, full-flavored rosé. And yes, it's 100% Pinot gris – since the skins of this grape are light red to purple, just two days of maceration are required to produce this wine's brilliant copper pink color, without additional grapes or artificial colorants.
Following some initial reductive notes, the aromas strongly suggest grapefruit and flinty smoke. The wine shows real nerve on the palate – juicy Bing cherry in tension with tart flavors like wild strawberry, rhubarb, and the aforementioned grapefruit – and harmonized with a spine of riverstone minerality that's perhaps due to the gravelly, alluvial soils of Hanson Vineyards.
As quaffable as this is, it's most useful at the table. My mind turns to barbecue, Thai curries, baba ghanosh, semi-firm sheep cheese, young chèvre, and dry salami, but why limit yourself with my suggestions?
12.1% alc • 5.8 g/L TA • 3.43 pH • 1.2 g/L RS (dry)
My ironically-named tribute to explorers and immigrants. Vitis vinifera is, of course, not native to this hemisphere, and in the long view of things, so few of us are. But as we put down roots we adapt to our new home, and ideally harmonize with it, rather than bend it to our will.
This intentionally cloudy skin contact wine looks like a mixed tequila sunrise and the exotic aromatics suggest tropical flowers and fruits like papaya and mango. On the palate, the clean acidity and the nearly imperceptible tannins harmoniously frame succulent flavors of apricot and peach. And since malolactic conversion was completed, the finish is ever so slightly creamy.
The majority of this wine spent 4 months on the lees in neutral French oak barrique; the tank-fermented 130 day Grüner veltliner joined the blend in February 2018.
Skin Contact Blend
11.5% alc • 5.4 g/L TA • 3.48 pH • 0.4 g/L RS (totally dry)
The Acadia Vineyards Grüner Veltliner is a completely different beast than our savory Havlin Vineyard Grüner (as described below). Fermented and aged completely in stainless tank, this has all the fruit and zing and intense minerality you might wish for from a Grüner at this price – and particularly if you're vegetarian or pescatarian, I cannot recommend this wine highly enough.
Although the aromas shyly suggest apple blossoms and strawberry fruit roll-ups, the palate tells a real story. It starts with juicy pear and apple skin flavors, it continues with the unfurling of a distinctly mineral core at the midpalate, and it finishes by striking notes of snap pea, tangerine, grapefruit, and wheat. So even as the Acadia Grüner is light and dry and very refreshing, with bright acidity, it also shows good intensity of flavor, and it’s ideal for spring and summer dishes. Or just drink it on the patio with nibbles!
This is our first wine sourced from the Columbia Gorge. Acadia is a high elevation, windswept, certified organic vineyard perched 1300' above the (forgive me) gorgeous Columbia River. The uniform volcanic soil is derived from pyroclastic flows that swept down the slopes of Underwood Mountain. It's sited right on the knife edge dividing the temperate rainforest from the inland desert, and it's thanks to the deep, ashy loamy soil that the vines can be dry farmed.
11.7% alc • 6.1 g/L TA • 3.31 pH • 2.8 g/L RS (dry)
Grüner veltliner loves the silt loam soils of the Havlin Vineyard, and the 2016 is the most complete, complex, and downright tasty vintage yet. As usual, this took 12 months to complete primary fermentation – malolactic conversion actually finished well before primary – and fermentation was conducted completely in used acacia barrel. It then spent an additional 5 months in stainless tank, whereupon it was bottled unfiltered.
More savory than fruit-driven, here you'll find aromas of orange oil, yellow plums, and baking spices; while on the palate, crisp acids frame a beautifully textured midpalate, fresh orchard fruit, zingy white pepper, and a touch of honey – although the wine is completely dry. Along with elegant density of fruit, the long and salty-leesy finish augurs well for additional complexity over the next several years.
13.1% alc • 6.0 g/L TA • 3.30 pH • 2.5 g/L RS (dry)
Bright, fresh, and already delicious, but there's a lot more going on than super-fresh red berry fruit. The complex and integrated floral and meat aromas, for example, and the tangy acidity, and the elegant and fine-grained tannins. While exuberant and spicy, it's also quite refined for such a young Pinot noir.
While the summer of 2015 was torrid, the crucial ripening period in September was both moderate and dry. Thus, the grapes developed complexity in last few weeks but retained all-important acidity. And though the vintage was plagued by serious drought, these dry-farmed vines, planted on shallow marine sedimentary soil, performed brilliantly.
The 10% whole cluster fermentation stayed nice and cool, and the wine was aged for 10 months in used French oak barrels. Racked twice, unfined and unfiltered, no additions other than minimally effective sulfites. The structure and balance of this wine suggest a lovely aging curve, and given its texture and poise, it could well remain open and generous throughout its life. So drink now, drink soon thereafter, and stash a few bottles away to drink 10 or more years down the road.
12.6% alc • 5.9 g/L TA • 3.64 pH
Zenith Vineyard, named by Wine Enthusiast as one of "Five Great Oregon Vineyards Worth Knowing," is located in the heart of the Eola-Amity Hills on marine sedimentary soils. The site, soils, and conscientious farming practices – without irrigation or herbicides – are responsible for bringing this ageable, layered, savory, and complex beauty to life. It's intense, but not “big," and there's no new oak to interfere with the site expression. Picked on September 14th – the coldest morning of the entire month.
Here's John Gilman's review in View From the Cellar: “The wine is ripe and quite black fruity on the nose, offering up a fine, youthful blend of black cherries, espresso, dark soil tones, a touch of balsamic tones, a touch of mustard seed and a smoky topnote. Deep, full-bodied and primary, with a nice touch of sappiness at the core, firm, ripe tannins and very good length and grip on the tangy and chewy finish. This is a good, structured young pinot noir that shows fine balance.”
13.9% alc • 6.2 g/L TA • 3.54 pH
The following wines have recently sold out at the winery but are likely still available for purchase in certain markets.
This skin contact wine is my ironically-named tribute to explorers and immigrants. Neither a rosé nor a full-blown orange wine, the idea here is to highlight the pinoté of skin-fermented Pinot gris – citrus, fresh herbs, forest floor – in concert with Pinot blanc and the fresh, lively fruit of briefly macerated Pinot noir.
From a cool, windy site with marine sedimentary silt loams. Primary fermentation took 12 months in neutral tank (70%) and acacia barrel (30%). John Gilman, View From the Cellar: "Beautifully aromatic... crisp and focused... a lovely bottle for the table."
Yes, a proper syrah from a cool site in the Willamette Valley. John Gilman, View From the Cellar: "Pure, full-bodied and very transparent, with a lovely core, fine focus and grip, ripe, well-integrated tannins and excellent length and balance on the complex and classy finish." #49, "Oregon's 50 Best Wines of 2016," Portland Monthly magazine.
Fruit from Zenith and Zena Springs – neighboring vineyards that share marine sedimentary soils. 20% whole cluster. An energetic, mineral-driven wine. Floral and savory on the nose, crisp and long on the palate, and structured with fine tannins.
"The 50 Oregon Wines You Need to Drink Right Now" - Portland Monthly. Fruit from Zenith and Zena Springs – neighboring vineyards that share marine sedimentary soils.
Fresh and structured, with grapes sourced exclusively from LIVE-certified vineyards. Released only in Oregon.
Regional red blend inspired by the fresh, drinkable reds of the Loire Valley. Unoaked. A blend of 85% Pinot noir, 10% Pinot gris, 3% Gamay, 1% Grüner Veltliner, 1% Syrah.
The below wines are generally no longer available for purchase. Some of the below wines have been set aside for special events or for future release as library selections.