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BELLE PENTE WINES
Oregon Pinot noir
Estate Reserve 2006 - 2009

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Belle Pente

Belle Pente's Best:
Estate Reserve Pinot noir

I've driven up the gravel road to Belle Pente Winery a couple hundred trips since 1999, picking up wine for our customers. His winery is one of my favorites, and I've tasted every vintage since he began. The Belle Pente wines have something special - Brian's unique style.

Belle Pente's Estate Reserve Pinot noirs

Brian's Estate Reserve Pinot noir is released a year or more after most Oregon Pinots, and further cellaring adds complexity and an even deeper, rounder character. We're hearing from customers who are just trying their 2007's, raving about them, and coming back for more. If you put some in your cellar, you're going to be happy you did.

The "best of the best" comes from Belle Pente's vineyard to make their Estate Reserve, showcasing the purest, most attractive attributes that can be coaxed from their "beautiful slope" each year. It is the epitome of their winegrowing efforts, and its release - 2-1/2 years after harvest - marks the "official" end of that vintage. However, it is really just the beginning, since the lifespan of this wine (under ideal storage conditions) should be measured in decades rather than years.

Tanzer 93 Points
Belle Pente
Estate Reserve 2009

$39.55 in any 12 bottle order or Build a Case*(retail $43.95)
Add to Cart

Boy do I spend a lot of time writing about wines that need to be cellared. So it's a blast of fresh air (way more than a breath) to encounter a delicious, stuffed-with-goodness Pinot that beckons to be opened.

Brian O'Donnell, Belle Pente's winemaker, first described the 09 Estate Reserve as "more of everything" in relation to his 2009 Belle Pente Vineyard. I thought, hell yes! And he was right: more richness and opulence, more complexity and acidity. Red berries and currant provide a sustained sweetness, with creamy earth, citrus, barrel spice, and field herb accents. You can certainly cellar this, and it drinks even better on the second day opened, but why wait? - Marcus

Tanzer 93 Points: Vivid ruby-red. An intensely perfumed bouquet evokes candied dark berries, Asian spices and potpourri, with a bright note of blood orange gaining strength with air. Juicy, expansive and seamless, offering open-knit black raspberry and cherry flavors and a suggestion of candied rose. Shows excellent clarity and power on the finish, leaving notes of singed orange and cherry-cola behind. This exotic pinot is complex enough to drink now with little guilt, but I suspect that it will be even better with another three to five years of bottle age.

Tanzer 93 Points
Belle Pente
Estate Reserve 2008

$39.55 in any 12 bottle order or Build a Case*(retail $43.95)
Add to Cart
Unquestionably Belle Pente's finest 08 Pinot, it gives meaning to the word "Reserve." The New York Times chose Belle Pente's entry-level Willamette Valley Pinot as their top 2008 Oregon wine, and this is exponentially better. More depth and layers, more age-worthy structure. Packed with dark berries, shaded with field herbs and earth, this is ethereal Pinot noir that should rest in your cellar - it's a standout of the 2008 vintage. - Marcus

Belle Pente
Estate Reserve
Pinot noir 07 $43.95

$39.55 in any 12 bottle order or Build a Case*(retail $43.95)
Add to Cart

Jean's Favorite of 2006 - 2009 vintages

My favorite kind of Pinot - it's different with each sip and it just gets better and better until the bottle is gone. Of the last four vintages, the most complex with many subtle layers, each one introducing a new aspect of the wine.

When first opened, raspberry, red cherry, sweet herbs, and smoke show in the scent and taste. As it developed in the glass, mint, roses, violets, flowers and grasses from the field, a hint of dusty red Jory vineyard dust, minerals, a touch of pomegranate, and bacon fat were contained in a framework of silky tannins. At the end, a delicate note of green tea, sassaffras and cola add to the experience. Unforgettable. - Jean

Belle Pente assistant winemaker Evan Martin poured the 2007 Reserve at his wedding last summer. In the heat of a New Mexio summer he paired it with pork shoulder braised with southewestern green chiles. His cousin, chef du cusinse at Genoa in Portland cooked the dinner. The combination was a megahit with his family.

Belle Pente
Estate Reserve
Pinot noir 06 $43.95

$39.55 in any 12 bottle order or Build a Case*
Add to Cart

The winery's purest expression of the best attributes of Belle Pente's Yamhill-Carlton District appellation. The wines are characterized by dark fruit flavors and aromas, herbal/floral overtones, underlying minerality, an intriguing texture, and an impeccable balance of acid and tannin that makes the wines silky and sappy but also fresh and focused. Belle Pente's Estate Reserve Pinot Noir provides a textbook example!

2006 has been described as a very "user friendly" vintage for Pinot Noir in Oregon. This Belle Pente Estate Reserve was selected for the International Pinot Noir Celebration in 2009 - so it can certainly be enjoyed now. But it is destined to provide the most pleasure when pulled from the cellar a half dozen (or more) years down the road. - the winery

Belle Pente
Belle Pente Vineyard
Pinot noir 09 $34.95

$31.46 in any 12 bottle order

Tanzer 92 Points:

This is the eighth vintage of Belle Pente's flagship wine. It is intensely aromatic, a virtual herb garden of lavender, rosemary, anise and thyme with floral scents of rose petals and violets. Flavors of ripe blueberries and black raspberries mingle with roast coffee and chocolate. Smooth texture and silky tannins. 2009 Tanzer - 92 points - Saturated red. Potent, spice-accented aromas of raspberry and candied rose are complemented by deeper notes of licorice and sassafras. Sappy and precise on the palate, offering lively red and dark berry flavors that gain weight and smokiness with air. Supple tannins give shape to the long, spicy, floral finish. - J.R.


About the Winery

As a kid, Brian made wine from pilfered grapes, squashing them and fermenting the juice in a canning jar. This momentous start to a winemaking career was interrupted by a high-profile, high-tech stint in Silicon Valley, where he met his wife, Jill. Their winemaking hobby grew and grew. When they ran out of room in their San Jose garage for their barrels of homemade wine, they moved to Oregon in 1992 and bought land.

Who knows how big-city Brian got the farming bug, but he and Jill built a farm as well as planting a vineyard. Way before the local food movement, the O'Donnells were raising goats, geese, sheep, and chickens. Driving up to the winery today, a herd of gorgeous red-headed Scottish Highland cattle greets visitors.

Belle Pente gained fame from an article in the New York Times. Brian's 2008 Willamette Valley Pinot noir was named New York Times' #1 of the 2008 vintage. It is doubtful New York City wine critic Eric Asimov knew, but winemaker Brian O'Donnell is a true New Yorker. He was born in Brooklyn, grew up in Queens, went to high school in Manhattan, and attended college in the Bronx.

Belle Pente Views

View from Belle Pente's vineyard, winery at the bottom of the rows

Contented Scottish Highland steer at Belle Pente

Brian during harvest, 2009

By Jean Yates

Oregon's Perfect 2008 Pinot noir Vintage

Since 1996

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What a track record this club has. The latest coup - Wine Spectator 97 point Owen Roe Chapel Block Syrah 07 was a Big Reds Wine Club selection - months before the review came out.

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We're available by phone at 541-752-7418
We're open from 10 AM Pacific time until 6 PM Pacific time,
Monday through Friday,
and 11 - 4 on Saturdays and Sundays

Marcus, Jean, Andy, and Wendy
541-752-7418

Avalon Wine
201 SW 2nd Street
Corvallis OR 97333
541-752-7418
www.northwest-wine.com
store@northwest-wine.com

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Marcus Looze
VP Marketing & Sales
marcus@northwest-wine.com
541-752-7418 store

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Andy Osterhaus
Customer Service Manager
and Serious Wine Geek
store@northwest-wine.com
541-752-7418 store

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Wendy Brown
Bookkeeper
& Gourmet Sales
wendy@northwest-wine.com
541-752-7418

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Jean Yates
President
jean@northwest-wine.com
541-424-8004 (direct line)

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