The 12 Days of Pinot Noir continues to tour the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Today’s stop is at Adelsheim Vineyard. They’re one of those stalwart Oregon producers that for many lovers of Pinot Noir were likely an early introduction to the sorts of wine the state can produce. Several of their offerings are widely available; inclusing a Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay with Willamette Valley designations that come in at friendly prices for folks seeking an entry point into Oregon wine. Adelsheim Vineyard has a history that dates back over 35 years. They currently have over 170 acres under vine. Today however I’ll look at a couple of their smaller release wines. First up is the Adelsheim 2007 Elizabeth’s Reserve Pinot Noir. Each year this reserve style wine is produced using what the winery considers the best barrels of wine from the highest quality lots. For the 2007 vintage lots from 8 vineyards were used to create this offering. Barrel aging was accomplished over 10 months in French oak; 30% of the barrels were new. 1,192 cases of this selection were produced in 2007 and the suggested retail price is $48.
Vanilla bean notes underscore cherry, strawberry and raspberry characteristics in the fresh nose of this wine. Continued strawberry and cherry along with cinnamon dominate the very even keeled palate. Light hints of plum, cedar, white pepper and flourishes of sour cherry emerge in the finish. This reserve Pinot Noir has very good structure and firm acidity.
This balanced and somewhat gentle expression of Pinot Noir is lush and layered with lots of flavor in its subtle undercurrent. This is a classic example of a cuvee style offering from Willamette Valley. It’s delicious now but it’ll easily evolve positively for the next 6-8 years and drink well for quite a few after that. For $48 I feel this selection over delivers in complexity and its ability to age. A very solid bet and with over 1,000 cases made it shouldn’t be too hard to find.
The second selection today from Adelsheim is the 2007 Bryan Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir. This fruit is from a single vineyard situated across the road from the original Adelsheim Estate Vineyard. This parcel of land, belonging to their neighbors, was planted in 1988 and by 1998 enough of the fruit was distinct enough to be made into a designate wine. Aging occurred in French oak; 30% of the barrels were new. 280 cases of this wine were produced and the suggested retail price is $68.
Red fruit along with hints of mushroom and splashes of rhubarb make up the nose of this 2007 single vineyard Pinot Noir. Throughout the palate sumtupuous layer after sumptuous later of wild strawberry is joined by nutmeg, clove and white pepper. Terrific mineral and earth character emerges in the finish which is prodigious in length and structure. Excellent acidity frames this offering which has firm tannins.
The 2007 Bryan Creek Pinot Noir is a wonderful, singular expression of Pinot Noir. It features tremendous purity of fruit and has textbook varietal characteristics in spades. As with the Elizabeth’s reserve this Pinot has a long life ahead of it. It’ll improve for 5-6 years and drink well for 5 after that. This small production wine was just released as a wine club offering and can be purchased directly from Adelsheim Vineyard.
Side by side these Pinot Noirs provide an intersting snapshot into what Adelsheim Vineyard was doing in 2007. One represting the best fruit from throughout their vineyard, the other a specific look at one spot and what type of Pinot it produced in 2007.