Today marks the second to last day for The 12 Days of Pinot Noir. The stop today is up in Oregon at a relatively new Winery. Coelho Winery was founded in 2004 by Dave & Deloinda Coelho. They’re both 2nd generation Portuguese-American and there are tie ins between the winery and their heritage. Currently they have 30 acres of their 40 acre property under vine. Pinot Noir represents 28.5 of those acres with Pinot Gris (1 acre) and Chardonnay (1/2 acre) making up the rest. Pommard and Dijon 777 represent the clones of Pinot Noir they have planted. Current production stands at about 2,500 cases per year. Approximately 50% of their fruit is sold to other producers. Today I’ll look at successive vintages of their Pinot Noir. First up is the Coelho Winery 2006 Paciência Pinot Noir. This selection is made from 100% sustainably grown, estate fruit. Barrel aging was accomplished in French oak; 15% of the barrels were new. This wine was bottle unfiltered and unfined. 1,566 cases of this vintage were produced and the suggested retail price is $35.
Ripe plum, blackberry, vanilla and hints of cedar emerge in the nose of this 2006 Pinot Noir. Throughout the palate cherry plays a large role in the flavor profile. Other flavors and notes come and go but the rich cherry is persistent and stays the course. Cinnamon, cloves, and lots of spice overall are part of the finish which also has sour cherry, black tea and cola notes. Brown sugar reference points kick in early and come back over and over throughout this Pinot as well. Firm but yielding tannins and fine acidity frame this wine.
The second wine is the Coelho Winery 2007 Paciência Pinot Noir. This wine is also made from 100% sustainably grown, estate fruit. The 2007 was barrel aged in French oak with 12% of the barrels being new. This offering was bottled unfined and unfiltered. 1,570 cases of this selection were produced and the suggested retail price is $32.
Wild Strawberry, cherry, plum, mushroom, and vanilla notes fill the nose of this 2007 release. Baker’s spice, hints of molasses and abundant dried fruit notes form a full flavored but gentle palate that coats the senses while never getting very big. Cherry cola, burnt sugar and hints of caramel emerge on the above average finish.
What stands about most two me about these two wines is how distinct they are. The fruit came from the same Estate source and the oak treatment and winemaking was pretty much identical. At that point you have to attribute most of the differences in these wines to vintage variation. Tasting them side by side as a mini-vertical, which I did, is certainly fun. But well beyond that it’s instructive and really quite fascinating. The 2006 features a richer, riper, fuller palate. It’ll marry well with bigger foods than the average Pinot Noir. Braised Short Ribs would work well. The 2007 is a bit softer and more aromatic with lots of gentle fruit flavors. It’ll pair well with a many of the typical Pinot foods such as pork or mushroom based dishes. However the 2007 is right up my alley as they style of Pinot I really enjoy on its own with just my thoughts. If you have the chance though, try them both.