Best of the Best
Big Reds Case
Cayuse, Andrew Will,
Owen Roe, Syzygy,
Fielding Hills, Efeste,
Oregon Pinot Case
Shea, Roco, St. Innocent,
Soter, Evening Land,
Eyrie, Dusky Goose, Evesham
Every year, we tuck a bit of the rarest Northwest wines away in the cellar for the holidays. Then Marcus and Jean create a limited number of cases of incredible, cream of the crop collectibles. Here are the finest of Oregon's Pinot noirs and Washington's Big Reds in two gift cases for serious wine collectors.
Oregon's Finest Pinot noir
Bergstrom Vineyard Pinot noir 06 $80
95 Points Wine Advocate
The 2006 Pinot Noir Bergstrom Vineyard is medium/dark ruby-colored with a superb perfume of pain grille, roses, raspberry, and cherry. Velvety-textured, savory, and ripe, the wine conceals enough structure to evolve for 2-3 years. Layered and long, it will be at its best from 2012 to 2020.
The Bergstrom Winery, under the direction of Josh Bergstrom, has quickly risen to the upper echelon of United States producers of Pinot Noir. - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Extended Tirage Sparkling Wine 1999 $60
95 Points Wine Spectator
#18 on Wine Spec Top 100 Wines of 2009
"Elegant, with very fine bubbles and complex spice, coffee, pear and toast aromas and flavors that are poised against lacy acidity and refined structure, letting the flavors sail on and on with finesse. Drink now. 1,115 cases made." - HS
Homer Pinot noir 07 $80
94 Points Wine Advocate
Shea Vineyard Homer Pinot noir 07 - Parker 94 points! - Parker's hghest rated 2007 Oregon Pinot noir.
The 2007 Pinot Noir Homer is a selection of the top 13 barrels in the cellar (out of 205). Dark ruby-colored, it sports a slightly brooding bouquet of sandalwood, incense, damp earth, black cherry, and plum. It is the richest, densest wine in the collection as well as the best balanced. This silky-textured, deep, lengthy effort will evolve for 4-6 years and drink well through 2022. It is a candidate for wine of the vintage.
Dick Shea has 22 clients for the fruit he grows at his large Yamhill-Carlton estate, most of whom vineyard designate the resulting wine. More often than not, it is the best wine in their respective portfolios. - Jay Miller, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Private Stash Pinot noir 07 $75
94 Points Wine Advocate
We just tasted the 07 Private Stash yesterday with owners/winemakers Rolin Soles (Argyle) and Corby Stonebraker. According to Rolin "in this type of vintage (2007) anyone can get red fruit and minerality. The trick is the creamy midpalate - it makes the wine round and gives an impression of fullness in the mouth." And the wine shows that he accomplished his goal.
The 07 Private Stash's scent of dried roses and red cherry is echoed by red raspberry, red cherry, and sweet cherry candy fruit flavors. It is an elegant wine that gains weight and richness as a fresh, creamy quality opens upon tasting. Crisp, balanced minerality, and seamless tannins will allow the wine to cellar well for 3-4 years. - Jean
The 2007 Pinot Noir Private Stash is a richer, denser effort with a focus on the dark fruit side of the spectrum. Aromas of spice box, black cherry, and black raspberry lead to a medium-bodied, intensely flavored yet elegant Pinot with layered savory fruit, enough ripe tannin to support 2-3 years of further development, and a lengthy finish. Drink it from 2011 to 2019.
Roco is the personal project of veteran vigneron Rollin Soles, the artistic director of Argyle. - Jay Miller, Wine Advocate
Winemaker's Cuvee Pinot noir 07 $42
93 Points Wine Advocate
By a very thin hair, my personal favorite in this impressive lineup is the 2007 Winemaker’s Cuvee, a selection of the finest barrels in the cellar. Deep crimson-colored, it has a fragrant, alluring nose of smoke, spice box, incense, floral notes, and red fruits. Dense, sweet, layered, and complex, this rich effort will evolve for several years and drink well through 2022 making it one of the potentially longest-lived Pinot Noirs of the vintage.
Mark Vlossak, ensconced in his new winery, seems to be taking St. Innocent to new heights even in the challenging 2007 vintage. - Jay Miller, Wine Advocate
Mineral Springs Pinot noir 06 $59
93 Points Wine Advocate, 93 Burghound
The 2006 Pinot Noir Mineral Springs has an especially expressive bouquet with floral notes, pain grille, damp earth, black raspberry, and blueberry. On the palate, the wine is layered, bordering on opulent. The savory, ripe, spicy dark fruit flavors persist into a lengthy, velvety textured finish. Give it 2-3 years and drink it from 2011 to 2020.
This is incredible Pinot. Hands down one of the top 20 Oregon Pinots of the 2006 vintage. Beguiling aromas of red fruit, deep spice, and mineral aromas draw you into the silky and voluptuous body. Layered black raspberry, wild strawberry, and blueberry are accented by a citrus note, providing freshness to the ideally ripe fruit. Grace and power merge in the Mineral Springs 06, creating a stunning Oregon Pinot noir.
Seven Springs Pinot noir 07 $48
92 Points Wine Spec
#97 on Wine Spec Top 100 Wines of 2009
Wine Spectator 92 points: Bright and juicy, with lively acidity and a streak of distinctive minerality running through the raspberry and floral flavors, lingering on the refined finish. Best from 2010 through 2014. ... I like the iron-basalt overtones to the dark cherry and tobacco flavors in the complex and refined Pinot Noir Estate 2007, which blends fruit from all parts of the vineyard. 1,519 cases made. - HS
Evening Land Vineyards Pinot noir is made with fruit from several blocks of the Seven Springs Vineyard. Dark blackberry flavors and a strong streak of minerality form the character of this wine.
Lenne Vineyard Pinot noir 08 $50
Very limited winery release.
Seductively ripe dark berries mesh with morel mushroom and lively spiciness. Owen Roe's first Lenne Vineyard designate Pinot noir - only 100 cases made. - Marcus
Reserve Pinot noir 06 $60
93 Points Tanzer, Oregon's Original Vines
We opened the 2006 Eyrie Reserve last week and attempted to capture its essence with mere words. We need a new dictionary. Complexity and completeness is where I started, with "sexy" underlined in the margin next to my notes. Mouth coating, richly textured, balanced fruit and earth. Powerful but elegant, this Pinot is transfixing. Made from Oregon's Original Pinot noir vines by Jason Lett, who also makes the Black Cap wines. - Marcus
The Nose: big, earthy, sexy and musky, but balanced by a very beautiful femininity - perfume, floral notes of cherry blossom and white flowers, vanilla and talc; and then some hints of black licorice, pie cherry, and cassis.
The Palate: rich, creamy, and mouth-coating, backed up by great acid and silky tannins. Lots of bright cherry/cherry cream, some yummy meatiness and spice, watermelon and strawberry jolly rancher candy, and a spicy sweet finish that keeps on going...and going...and going. Elegant, special, again Eyrie has produced one of the best Pinot's I've had the chance to taste. - Adrienne
Dundee Hills Pinot noir 07 $59
Rare, limited Pinot - a highlight of any vintage
Balanced and beautiful. A rich and graceful perfume of raspberry, rose, cherry, spice box and raspberry tea introduces the superbly layered Dusky Goose 07.
Replete with sweet, succulent fruit, the palate fans out with dark dried cherry, raspberries and fresh cream, with hints of darker berries. Full and round, silky and ripe, the Dusky finishes with its classic truffle note, caramel, mixed berries and a touch of dried thyme.
The Dusky 07 has a long life ahead of it - our first bottle was open for five days and continued changing, staying fresh through the last sip. This is a highlight of the vintage. - Marcus
Pinot noir 2003 - library release $75
Cellared perfectly since release, drinking beautifully
Dusky Goose 03 is in a zone, meaning it is the perfect Pinot for drinking with a meal for the holidays. Cellared perfectly since release.
Cuvee J Pinot noir 07 $45
Super-limited, 150 case production of Oregon's finest
Silky and creamy, vibrant and fresh. It opens with scents of rose and raspberry, with a little cherry burst and a darker berry element beneath. There's a touch of forest before the finish, which holds a blackberry cobbler note mingling with ultra-subtle dried herbs. The 07 Le Puit Sec is deliciously drinkable right now - expect it to age nicely too. Highly recommended. - Marcus
Evesham Wood's Le Puit Sec (The Dry Well) vineyard is organically certified and dry farmed. It produces exceptional wine year in, year out.
Northwest's Finest Big Reds
by the case
Cailloux, En Cerise,
or En Chamberlin Syrah 07 $80
Washington's Highest Rated Syrah producer
Christophe Baron's estate, just on the Oregon side of the Walla Walla AVA, consists of five small but distinct vineyards (41 acres in total – with more on the way). Syrah and the Bordeaux varietals are the principal focus but the finest parcels of Tempranillo, Viognier, and Grenache grown in the USA are on this estate.
The vineyards are farmed biodynamically and much of the estate is planted on rootstock to prepare for the day when phylloxera works its way through Walla Walla. The wines are all fermented with indigenous yeasts and bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Sorella 06 $75
95 Points Wine Spectator
Andrew Will Sorella 06 received 95 points from Wine Spectator - same as last vintage!
Huge scents of black fruits, espresso, and wiffs of vanilla-tinged woodsmoke give way to layers of black cherries, black currants, and super-dark blueberries. The 06 Sorella is at once supple and structured, and really begins to shine with a couple hours of decanting. The finish is exceptionally long, with sweet licorice, minerals, and baking spices adding to the stunning fruit. - Avalon
Wine Spectator said: "Tight, focused and distinctive, this sharp-edged wine shows ripe currant, spice, tobacco and coffee flavors that sneak up on you. They start slow but swirl through the mildly grippy tannins into a long, expressive finish, making for a beautifully compact and complex wine. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2011 through 2018. From Washington." - H.S.
3 Vintage Owen Roe Dubrul Vineyard Vertical with
Dubrul Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 05 $75
95 Points Wine Spectator
"Rich, ripe, supple and distinctive for the green olive and savory, tarry notes swirling around the generous core of black cherry, black currant, and licorice flavors. A big wine that caresses. Drink now through 2017. - H.S."
A colossal Cab! Creamy aromas of black cherry, cassis, graphite, and signature Owen Roe barrel toast. Beautifully plush and juicy black cherry, black currant, and black plum flavors are at once hefty and svelte, providing a silk suit coat to the integrated tannins. Loads of sweet fruit--with a blueberry note coming out-- mingles with a sappy, dark caramel spice note on the powerful finish. - Avalon
Owen Roe Dubrul
Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 06 $72
Owen Roe Dubrul Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 06 opens with aromas of caramel-inflected rich, dark cherries, ground cinnamon, and barrel toast that usher in a concentrated palate of plush, dark currants, black cherries, and blackberries.
Savory notes of vanilla bean, barrel spice, dried sage leaf and mint come together with sappy fruit, fine tannin, and Dubrul Vineyard earthiness on the finish, exuding power. Best to cellar this for another couple years, then drink over the next decade. - Marcus
Dubrul Cabernet Sauvignon 07 $72
Owen Roe Cabernet Sauvignon Dubrul Vineyard 07 - Owen Roe Dubrul Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 07 is Owen Roe's flagship wine. It exhibits an expressive, rich nose of clove, licorice, cedar incense, vanilla, and sweet black fruit. Mouth-coating, velvety, and plush, huge, sweet blackberry, black cherry, and plum flavors are elevated by layers of sweet tobacco, dried fruit, pencil lead, and cassis liqueur. Ripe, integrated tannins are structured for 5+ years of cellaring. - Jean
Syrah Walla Walla 06 $33
93 Points Wine Spectator
"Supple, seductive and explosive with its beautiful plum, huckleberry, cream and white pepper flavors that glide easily over a bed of polished tannins, lingering on the expressive finish. Drink now through 2013. 370 cases made." - HS
Beautiful ripe fruit and spice, balanced acidity and some nice tannins to back it all up. Have some patience and lay her down for a while or be sure to uncork it way ahead of drinking - if you just can't wait! .
370 cases produced, 100% Syrah, from the Walla Walla vineyards Seven Hills, Morrison Lane, and Les Collines.
Cabernet Sauvignon 06 $40
93 Points Wine Spectator
The Fielding Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 06 received 93 points in the 11-13-08 Wine Spectator Insider and "HOT WINES": " Smooth and silky, offering a plush mouthful of lavender-accented black currant, cherry and espresso flavors that weave together through the long, vibrant finish. Has great stature and a welcoming feel. Drink now through 2016. From Washington."
The nose is playful, with red berries, black cherry candy and caramel. Then POW! Fielding Hills Cabs capture the essence of Cabernet, with a dense cassis core accented by sweet black cherry. Great structure and balance. The caressing finish echoes with dried herb, licorice, earth, and generous black fruit.
Paul Gregutt's Top 100 Washington wines for 2006 included the Fielding Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 04 at the NUMBER THREE SPOT. The only wines ranked higher were from Quilceda Creek and Cayuse.
Cabernet Sauvignon 07 $40
#6 Washington Wine in Wine Enthusiast
The most sophisticated of the Fielding Hills wines and the most lauded. The 2007 vintage is the best ever from the Riverbend Vineyard.
Scents of chocolate cherries, graham, sweet tobacco, Chambord, and dark roasted espresso bean explode from the glass. The scent continues in the flavor, with the addition of sweet blackberry, licorice, and a firm, vibrant core of tannins for aging. The vibrance of the vintage brings a bright uplift that calls for another sip - quickly! - tasted 9-22-09 - Jean
Champoux Cabernet Sauvignon 06 $36
93 Points Wine Advocate
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate says: "The 2006 Champoux Vineyard was aged for 18 months in 50% new French oak. Pain grille, spice box, black currants, black cherry, and blackberry aromas are followed by a smooth textured wine with layers of fruit, savory, spicy flavor, and impeccable balance. It will evolve for 4-6 years and drink well through 2026."
The Champoux Vineyard is the primary source used by Quilceda Creek Vintners to produce their Cabs in 2002, 2003 and 2005. Total production of this winery is about 800 cases in a good year.
Efeste Wine Cellars
Ceidleigh Syrah 06 $30
93 Points Wine Spec, #33 in Wine Spec Top 100 Wine of 2009
Wine Spectator 93 Points:
"Smooth, round and generous, this positively glows with gorgeous plum, blackberry and floral spice aromas and flavors, echoing on the long, expressive finish. This just doesn't quit. Drink now through 2014.
Ex Umbris Syrah 07 $24
92 Points Wine Spec
Wine Spectator says: "Velvety, offering a plush mouthful of spicy cherry and red berry flavors, playing against plush tannins and hints of milk chocolate on the long, vivid finish. Syrah. Drink now through 2014." - H.S.
The 2007 Ex Umbris Syrah is the best Ex Umbris yet. Gobs of Marionberries and black raspberries are interspersed with licorice, milk chocolate, and coffee. A superbly rich, supple texture helps carry lingering sweet fruit, violets, and white pepper through the finish.
Syrah The Contender 07 $57
Cayuse's Christophe Baron's consulting project
Lush and expansive. Aromas and flavors of blueberry and garrigue, minerals, dried meat, white pepper, fresh tobacco, and high plains grassland form the core of this dense and concentrated Syrah. Co-fermented with Marsanne prior to barrel. - Jean
"This wine showcases the more masculine traits that Syrah has to offer; smoke, petroleum and meaty characteristics. As the wine evolves, black fruits, violets, and intense minerality slide over the palette and make for a long and concentrated finish. This wine was co-fermented with Marsanne and will age in French oak barrels for eighteen months prior to bottling." - the winery
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Steady as the Seasons
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Jean, Adrienne, and Wendy
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