Avalon Wine


Shea Vineyard 2005 Pinot noirs

Shea Vineyard

2005 Vintage Pinot noirs

by Jean Yates
March 2007

Shea Vineyard
East Hill Pinot noir 05

Wine Spectator 94 points
for 2004 vintage

Shea East Hill Pinot noir 05 is blended from Blocks 7, 5, and the Oak Block on the east side of Shea Vineyard.

An appealing, meaty and toasty nose shows scents of red cherry and candied red raspberry. Flavors of juicy red raspberry dominate, with undercurrents of red cherry and red currant. In the midpalate, luscious blueberry syrup and fresh grape jelly show through the continued flavors of red raspberry, red cherry, and blackberry. There's a soft melange of pie spices throughout the flavors that shows up most in the finish, with hints of white pepper, nutmeg, cardamon, and cinnamon; also sweet vanilla and a hint of the toast on the nose. Tasted in barrels in August, 2006, the wine shows gripping but quite finegrained tannins and a juicy acidity that needs a bit of taming, but is quite appropriate given the youthfulness of the wine.

The backbone of the wine is the 777 Dijon clone fruit from Block 5 of the East Hill. Fermentation in neutral wooden fermenters (hard to do) has enhanced the texture of the wine, adding a smooth, lush texture in the mouth. A small percentage of whole clusters left in the grapes at fermentation brought out the spicy clove and cinnamon notes in this Pinot.

Compared to the highly rated 2004, the 2005 East Block shows a bit more spice, and its fruit flavors, at this point, are more berry than cherry driven. The weight, silky texture, and right on target balance of fruit, acidity, and tannins scream "cellar me and I'll be a star". It's a bit early, but we'd predict ratings, and more importantly, your personal enjoyment, to be as great or greater than the 2004 wine. This is a relatively young vineyard (replanted after a phyloxera outbreak in the mid-1990's), and the aditional year of age shows in the increased complexity and weight of the wine. The best of Oregon's 2005 Pinots are shaping up to be as good as anything we've seen from the state. We'd predict scores as good or better for this vintage as for the 2004.

Shea Vineyard Estate Pinot noir 05

2-23-07 - Wine Spectator's Harvey Steiman, in his wine blog, drank the 2005 Estate at a restaurant and had this to say about it: "...our waiter (at Roaring Fork, in Scottsdale, AZ) pointed us toward the Pinot Noir he declared was his favorite: Shea Vineyard Estate 2005, an Oregon wine I have not yet rated (though I gave the 2004 a 95-point score).

Shea's style is fruit-centered, and the 2005 vintage (like the 2004) represents a more typical, balanced character than the results of the hotter years that preceded it. The wine has rich cherry and raspberry character, plus some nice hints of vanilla and cream, but no overt oak. Those are good signs, because oak and alcohol can react badly to peppery heat.

Avalon tasting notes: Very impressive. The nose offers raspberry, red cherry, black cherry, black raspberry, toast, and red raspberry jam. Flavors are of red and black cherry, raspberry, and sweet rich fruit.

We're even more excited about the 2005's than we were at this point with the 2004's. A transparency to the flavors is present, allowing layers and layers of intriguing fruit and fascinating spice/incense/perfume notes. The finish is long and reiterates the flavors, adding a sense of silky tannins and velvety lushness to the experience.

There's less sense of barrel toast and more sense of integration in the 2005 than there was in the 2004 at this point in its development. Integration, intensity, and complexity are all words that come to mind in describing this wine.

Shea Vineyard Pinot noir "Homer" 2005

Wine Spectator 95 points for 2004 vintage.

Shea Vineyard Wadenswil Pinot noir 05

Wine Spectator 93 points for 2004 vintage.

Shea Vineyard Pommard Pinot noir 05

Brought back after several years, bright cherry fruit is Shea at its most appealing.

Buy 2004 Oregon Pinot noirs