Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Yamhill Valley Vineyards: Pinot Blanc, Rosé & Pinot Noir

As Spring progresses, and the weather gets warmer and warmer, many people start craving more White wines, Rosés, and lighter Reds. Oregon is an excellent region to find such wines, from Pinot Blanc to Pinot Noir. One of the compelling wineries in Oregon, located in the Willamette Valley, is the Yamhill Valley Vineyards. I received media samples of a few of their wines and was impressed with their taste and quality.

Yamhill Valley Vineyards was established in the foothills of Oregon’s Coast Range Mountains, in 1983, by Denis Burger, Elaine McCall, and David Hinrichs, and they initially bought 34 acres, planting it with Pinot Noir. Over time, they purchased additional land, until they now own 150 acres, and have planted other grapes, including Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Riesling. They have a current capacity of about 15,000 cases, growing, producing and bottling all of their wines on their estate.

In 2005, the McMinnville AVA, a subappellation of the Willamette Valley AVA, was established, and Yamhill Valley Vineyards fell within this new AVA, making them the oldest winery in that region. The McMinnville AVA currently has about 16 vineyards and about 750 acres of vineyards. Making McMinnville more unique, it's one of few AVAs that is designated in part based on elevation. Vineyards in this AVA must be located between 200 and 1,000 feet above sea level, and their soil is also different from much of the rest of the area. The soil is mostly uplifted marine sedimentary loams and silt.

The 2016 Yamhill Valley Vineyards Pinot Blanc ($25) was fermented in stainless steel, and then aged for seven months, 97% in stainless steel and 3% in neutral oak. With a 13.5% ABV, this wine has a compelling nose of stone fruits and floral accents, and on the palate, it is juicy and crisp, with delicious flavors of peach, melon, pineapple and nutty hints. Easy drinking but with a nice complexity and a lengthy finish. Very food friendly, this would work well with seafood to chicken, salads to soups. Or you could just sit outside and sip a glass on its own.

The 2018 Yamhill Valley Vineyards Rosé of Pinot Noir ($16-$18) was fermented in stainless steel, and then aged for three months, 95% in stainless steel and 5% in neutral oak. With a 13.8% ABV, this wine has a rich pink color and a pleasing nose of red fruits. On the palate, it is dry and crisp, with delicious and complex strawberry, watermelon, cherry and mild citrus flavors, and a hint of herbal notes. It is fresh and clean, with a satisfying finish, and is excellent on its own or paired with food. This would be great with seafood, pizza or even hamburgers. You should definitely stock up on this Rosé, as it will please yourself, as well as any guests you invite over.

The 2014 Yamhill Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir Reserve ($40) is a select barrel blend, aged for sixteen months in French oak, about 20% new. With a 14.3% ABV, it has a light ruby red color, with an alluring aroma of red fruits and subtle spices. On the palate, it presents a complex melange of flavors, bright cherry, a touch of vanilla, a mild, spicy backbone, and a hint of clove. The finish is lengthy and pleasing, with a bit more spice. Medium-bodied, interesting and delicious. This is a type of Pinot Noir which I enjoy, and which should please any Pinot lover.

Check out the wines of Yamhill Valley Vineyards. It's the perfect time to experience the wines of Oregon.

No comments: