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Van Duzer Winery - May Flowers

NW Wine Releases
For May 27, 2005

· Archery Arcus
bargain priced

· K Vintners'
"D-Vine Syrah

· Tony Soter's
two new OR Wines

· Lots of new, highly rated wines



"Orphan" Archery Arcus
Made by Gary Andrus for Phantom Hill

Just before Gary Andrus (founder and former winemaker at Archery Summit) sold Archery and "retired" to New Zealand, he made a Pinot noir at Archery Summit for his friend Anthony Maratea's Phantom Hill label. It's 50% Archery Summit Arcus Vineyard and 50% A&G Vineyard fruit. (A&G is co-owned by Anthony Maratea and Gary Andrus.) Gary left the country, Anthony lost his source of wine, and Phantom Hill came to an abrupt end. Gary's 01 Pinot, made for Anthony, got lost in the shuffle, cellared in obscurity until now.

That "orphan" wine is the Phantom Hill Pinot noir 01 $17.95/$16.16, originally priced at $35-$40 suggested retail. It has been impeccably cellared at Archery Summit and at Anthony's commercial cellar. It is everything you expect from a Gary Andrus/Archery Summit wine, shot silk texture in the mouth, huge flavors of ripe cherry, blackberry, and spice. The Arcus fruit shows in the dense core of currant, plum, and blue fruit flavors, and four years of cellaring has softened and opened the wine just enough that it is drinking exquisitely right now. Cellar for 3-4 more years for continued good drinking. THIS IS A STEAL OF A DEAL. Unless Gary "retires" again, we'll never see his wine at this price!

Archery Summit's New Wine Spectator Ratings

Speaking of Archery, the Archery Summit Pinot Noir Arcus Estate 02 $75/$67.50 just received 92 points from Wine Spectator, who said: "Dark and focused, with a brightly glowing core of currant, plum, and blueberry flavors, wrapped in firm tannins that just need time to let it all show. Best from 2008-2012." H.S.

The Archery Summit Red Hills Estate $75/$67.50 just received 91 points from Wine Spectator, who said: "Firm, with refined, cinnamon-scented berry and floral flavors that weave elegantly through the fine grained tannins on the finish. Best 2006-2012." H.S.

And of course, the mind-blowing Archery Summit Estate 01 or 02 $150/$135 is available from Avalon.

Gypsy Dancer's Wine Spectator Ratings

Gary's winery, Gypsy Dancer, has released some killer good wines as well. His Gypsy Dancer Gary & Christine's Vyd Pinot noir 03 $39.95/$35.96 received 91 points from Wine Spectator this month and they said: "Broad and generous, a supple mouthful of ripe cehrry, boysenberry, exotic spice and sweet oak flavors that persist into a long, vivid finish. Has intensity and length. Drink now through 2013." H.S.

The newest release from the A&G Vineyard, the Gypsy Dancer Pinot noir A&G Vineyard 03 $59.75/$53.77 received 90 points from Wine Spectator, who said: "dense and chewy, with a fresh sage note running through the ripe cherry and black olive flavors, finishing with a smoky edge. Best from 2006 through 2012." H.S.

Gary, Gigi, and Christine


K Vintners' Limited D'Vine Cuvee
Only 48 cases made
of this Gem of a Syrah

Kevin Novack's D'Vine Wine Distribution is a different sort of wine distributor. He's pioneered some very 21st century computer solutions in his warehouse, and now he's started commisioning limited release wines from some of the Northwest's most sought after wineries.

You know K Vintners- the tiny Walla Walla winery with the big attitude, the one with the massively huge Syrah blends, the one that works hand-in-glove with Christophe Baron of Cayuse, sharing winmaking and fruit with Cayuse's facilities and vineyards. Charles Smith is the wild man behind K Vintners, and we've enjoyed offering his wines to our customers over the last few years.

Now we have a unique opportunity to offer our customers this very limited K Vintners D'Vine Syrah 03 $48/$43.20. Its fruit is from Cayuse and K Vintners' Morrison Vineyard, Cougar Hills Vineyard, Walls Vineyard, Cayuse Vineyard, and Seven Springs Vineyard. The blend is mostly Syrah, with Grenache and Mourvedre added from the Cayuse Vineyard. Charles and Kevin are both quite pleased with the wine. It's so big a spoon would almost stand up in it, and the Grenache and Mourvedre are present at just enough levels to add intriguing flavors that keep me asking- is THAT the Grenache? OR is it that red cherry note? There's also an array of flavors of big plush and meaty fruit, fresh turned earth, and hints of desert herbs. All in all, a memorable K Vintners wine.

Isenhower "River Beauty" Syrah 03 Released

We'd also like to mention that the Isenhower Cellars Syrah River Beauty 03 $33/$29.70 has just been released. This is Isenhower's Reserve level Syrah. Brett says that this is his favorite Syrah of the vintage, and it's big, rich, and has tremendous power balanced by acidity and rich black fruit flavors. It oozes blackberry & blueberry fruit flavors, and there's an attractive streak of white pepper through the flavors, along with hints of dried cherries and plums. Coincidentally, it's made from fruit sourced from two of Cayuse and K Vintners' favorite vineyards, Milbrandt Vineyard and "End of the Road Vineyard".

L'Ecole #41 makes a lot of wines, but the one we seem to anticipate more than any other is the L'Ecole #41 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla $36.95/$33.26, made in much smaller amounts than their more easily available (and also quite good) Columbia Valley Cab. Their Walla Walla Cab has a dense, dark, old world structure, with cassis, black cherry, cocoa, toasted espresso bean, and savory herbal notes on a balanced, toasty finish. The 2002 vintage is glorious. And we have the hard to get Magnums $89.95 available also!

Lastly, we'll mention that it's last chance for the Owen Roe Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla 03 $40/$36. It's from Block 17 of the Seven Hills Vineyard, the best block of the vineyard, and it's the first new vineyard source that David O'Reilly has worked with in awhile. It's a saturated, opaque wine with sweet cherry, candied blackberries, and herbal notes in the nose, and flavors of blueberry, black cherry, cassis, spice, and toast with hints of cocoa and toasted coffee bean in the long finish. The finish is long and harmonious, beautifully balanced and concentrated. The package, as is usual with Owen Roe, is gorgeous.

New Oregon Pinot noir Offerings

Raptor Ridge Pinot noir Reserve 03 $29.70/$33 just received 93 points from Wine Spectator, who said: "Supple, smoky and seductive, its plush texture brimming with intense blackberry, cherry, currant and spice flavor that lasts and lasts on the long, lithe finish. Tannins are beautifully integrated. Best from 2007 through 2015." H.S. It's sold out at the winery but we still have some.

The 2003 Reserve Pinot noir is a blend of wine grapes from across Yamhill County. Vineyards and clones included are Meredith Mitchell (MMV) and Stony Mountain (Stony) Pommard clones, a touch of Wadenswil clone from Shea Vineyard, and a Coeur De Terre (CdT) field blend. Soil types in these vineyards include Willakenzie and Yamhill. Fruit from each vineyard was harvested at an average of 24 Brix, with an average pH of 3.25.

From the winery: "This wine achieves the balanced spectrum of color, aroma, taste, structure, mouthfeel, and texture that the winemakers were after. Dark garnet red, this wine's nose is nicely tempered by subtle aromatics of cedar and carmel barrel toast, a classic signature of our Ermitage cooperage. Floral and fruit are equally present, with hints of rose petal and pomegranate."

"The Reserve is a full, round and silky wine with fine grained tannins. The flavors fall firmly into the red fruit camp, thanks to the addition of Shea Vineyard this year. An extra measure of fleshiness from Stony Mountain Vineyard rounds out the blend. Pomegranate, strawberry, and concentrated raspberry flavors pair perfectly with cedar planked Steelhead and a raspberry Pinot noir reduction. The Reserve is very approachable now, soft in the mouth, with reasonable acidity to support the fruit and extend the finish."

Argyle Winemaker Rolin Soles ---------

Argyle Pinot noir "Nuthouse" 02 $30.56/$33.95 received 93 points from Wine Spectator, who said: "Bright, graceful, and remarkable for its pure blueberry, plum, and white pepper flavors riding exhuberantly over a laye of fine tannins. Lingers enticingly on the firm finish. Drink now through 2012." HS. Quantities are limited but we do have some left. It has a screwcap seal.

From the winery: "How deep is the ocean? How long does the ‘E’ note of a string double bass vibrate through one’s soul? These are just some of the thoughts one will contemplate while experiencing this 2002 Nuthouse Pinot Noir! Aromas of dark, wild berries and spices of licorice and cedar are locked deep into the earthy mineral core of this wine. Only time and patience will unleash the concentration of this wine. The mouth feel of this wine is massive and ‘super-juicy’ centered. Layer upon layer of silky comforter-like texture cushion the firm-gripping tannins. This wine is so viscous that the finish seems to sail on and on in one’s taste bud memory."

Alpine Vineyards Chardonnay-
Racy Acidity, Enticing Aromas, Lush Fruit Flavors

If you'd like a crisp, snappy white wine for summer at a great price, the Alpine Vineyards Chardonnay 04 $10.80/$12 has that combination of racy acidity, explosive aroma, and big fruity flavors that is so refreshing in the summer. The wine is made from 28 year old vines cropped at less than 2 tons an acre, from a winery that makes very little wine for public purchase. The wine was made entirely in stainless steel, and compares favorably to similar Chards at $20+.

Tony Soter Releases Two Oregon Wines at Great Prices

Tony and James at IPNC-----------------------

Tony Soter, famed winemaker of Etude Wines, owns a small winery, Soter Vineyards, in the North Willamette Valley of Oregon. We have been pleased to offer you his Pinot noir and Sparkling Rosé, and now we offer you two great new and well-priced wines from Soter:

2003 Soter Pinot Noir "North Valley" Yamhill-Carlton District $25/$22.50

The "North Valley" Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir is made primarily from Soter's young vines, and sees less new oak than the flagship wines. It is made in a more accessible format that will give pleasure early and over the medium term. The 2003 features notes of orange blossoms, cranberries, blackberries, sweet cream, cocoa, noble minerals, and has a very smooth and supple mouthfeel. Long and lush, the wine leaves big, thick tears in the glass and its soft entry invites sip after sip.

2004 Soter Rosé of Pinot Noir "Firefly" Yamhill-Carlton District $20/$18

As we like to say, this is rosé by design and not default; theis wine was pressed specifically with the intention of making a lovely pink wine. Full of fresh floral and bright red fruit aromas, this rosé of Pinot Noir is weighty and juicy, perfect for a summer afternoon garden party. Enjoy it with Provençal fare, such as game hens grilled with herbes de Provence and brushed with olive oil and fresh garlic.

Both of these wines are simply outstanding, perfect wines for the discerning winelover to stock up on for summer meals. They are full of flavor, quite California in style, very easy for anyone to love. The rosé in particular will make converts and impress guests who are lucky enough to enjoy this winner.

New on the Site

Updated Dessert Wine Page with lots of new wines

Paradise Ranch Riesling Ice Wine 00 375 ml $56.95/$51.26
Really incredible Pinot noir Ice Wine.

JM Cellars - Washington Winery, good value reds.

Syzygy Wines - Walla Walla reds

Nice price reductions on Kiona - Cab is back to where it should be

More price reductions, Terra Blanca wines
Don't miss the Malbec and Viognier- great wines for the price



About Jean Yates

Jean Yates is owner of Avalon Wine, and has worked to promote Oregon and Washington wine for over 19 years through her wine shop, web site, and articles.

Jean previously worked in the computer industry and does most of the work on the Avalon website. She is a passionate photographer and many of the images on this site are hers


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Paley's Place and Dusky Goose Pinot noir- new article
Wine Spectator rates Oregon's 2002 vintage 97 points

New section- under $20 Pinot noirs
New Section- $20-$30 Oregon Pinot noir

November 4
Under $25
Big Red Wines
Local and Small Production Wines

November 2
Under $25 Pinots
New Releases

October 30
Oregon's 2004 Vintage- Shea Wine Cellars

October 29
Owen Sullivan's

October 20

October 18
WA Cult Big Reds
Mark Ryan,
Woodward, Abeja

October 5
New "Insider"
2004 Pinots

October 2005

September 20
Wine Spectator
New OR WA Wine Ratings

September 13
Andrew Will
2003 Red Blends
Champoux, etc

September 12
Owen Roe 2004
Ex Umbris, O'Reilly's

September 9
2004 Wines

September, 2005
Value Pinot noirs
720 Cellars, Ransom, Lumos, McKinlay, O'Reilly

September, 2005
New Releases-
Classic Reds

September, 2005
New Releases
Best Value Big Reds

September, 2005
New Releases-
OR Best Pinot noir

August 21, 2005
New Wine Releases

August 27
Pinot noir
New Wines

June 7, 2005
New Wine Releases
Dusky Goose, Alpine, Ribbon Ridge, Chehalem, Et Fille

May 27, 2005
Archery Arcus,
D'Vine Syrah,
Gypsy, Archery Summit, New Wines

May 12, 2005
New Wine Releases
& Sales
Staff recs, sales,
Wine Spec

May 7, 2005
New Wine Releases

Focus on Bergstrom Winery

May 5, 2005
New Wine Releases
2003 Pinots,
K-Vintners Special Cuvee,
More Summer White Wines

April 26, 2005
New Wine Releases
Focus on Hamacher Wines

April 22, 2005
New Wine Releases
2003 Pinot,
Sale Pinot,
White Wines

BY Jean Yates

April 2005
New Wine Releases Reviewed
by Jean Yates

March 2005
New Wine Releases Reviewed
by Jean Yates

March 2005
Oregon Pinot noir-
What to Expect in 2005

by Jean Yates

February 2005
Washington "Big Reds"
Cellar Selections
and Bargains

by Jean Yates

Avalon Wine


Rock the Cellar!
Music to Make Wine To

Oregon Wine Dinner:
The Asparagus Challenge

“The Washington Wine Industry
has a Friend in the Governor’s Mansion”

Beyond Expectations
On the
Pinot Noir Trail

It's Hip to Spit

Latitude 46° N

Belle Vallée Cellars

Champagne- Not just for Breakfast Anymore

Champagne Cocktails-
A Compendium of Recipes and Lore

Oregon Pinot noir- What to Expect in 2005

Dueling Crabcakes-
Mike Sherwood on
NW Food & Wine

Big Reds-
new Releases

New Winery-
A Photo Tour

Ken Wright's Tyrus Evan

Vacuvin vs Private Preserve

Veronique Drouhin

Dubrul Vyd has Own Winery

Washington's New Superstars

Stoller- 21st Century Vineyard

Sineann- A True NW WInery

Aren't We All

Cole on the
2004 Harvest

Charlie Hoppes
& Fidelitas
"Cream of the Crop"

Ciel du Cheval

New Superstars

Fall Mushrooms
and Northwest Wines

Nota Bene-
First Release of Wines from Another Boeing Guy

2002 Vintage-
and the
Climate Changes
that Brought It

Winemaker Interview
Trey Busch
Basel Cellars

Cool Climate

Is This the End of the Willamette Valley’s Great Vintages?

What's so Scary
about Screwcaps?

by Cole Danehower

Corral Creek Vineyard

Aging Wine

Saviah Cellars
A Sense of Place

Shea Vineyard
In depth

Weather and Winemaking


Canoe Ridge Vineyard

Cataclysm, Light
& Passion:

Washington Terroir,
soils, and Light

Oregon Pinot noir