Taking the Long View
On Oregon Pinot noir
A note from Jean, Avalon's founder -
One of the few good things about growing older is the abillity to take the long view. I've worked with Oregon wine for 23 years, and I've seen a lot of wineries, met a lot of winemakers. The winemakers I find most fascinating, whose wines remain in my memory the longest, are those rare individuals for whom winemaking is a lifelong process - they take the long view.
Finding their wines is a challenge. The process is their joy, not the sales. And the beauty of their work is not necessarily any one bottle, but the path they take, and the stops along the way. Vintage after vintage, there's something to say, something different - a subtle variation, a radical change in direction.
David Autrey and Amy Wesselman, owners, vineyard managers, and winemakers of Westrey Wines, are such people. I've tasted their wines since 1996. David and Amy's 2007 Oracle and Justice Vineyard Pinots will linger in my mind for a very long time.
Read the complete article on Westrey Wines
Pinot noir Oracle Vineyard 07 $20.95/18.86
Gorgeous. Vinous, spicy aromas of dark berries and black cherries pull you into to this seductive Pinot. An expressive array of creamy mixed berries and cherries is decorated with sweet earth, nutmeg, and minerals on the finish that just doesn't quit. Both complex and easy-going, this Pinot was an easy choice for Avalon's Reserve Pinot Noir Club. One of the standouts of the 2007 vintage.
The old vines of Oracle Vineyard produced a beautiful 2007 Pinot. Raspberries and blueberries prevail in the scent and flavors. There's a bit of rich spiciness accenting velvety tannins. A rustic dark note, characteristic of the vineyard, adds depth. Drinking well with food now, expect several years of cellaring to add even more complexity.
Westrey Pinot noir Oracle Vineyard 07 is made fromthe winery's estate vineyard. David and Amy grow the grapes and make the wine together, combining their skills into an original vision. Considering the very high quality of the wine, this is a blow-you-away value.
at right, Amy and David's twin boys
help out in the winery
Pinot noir Justice Vineyard 07 $20.95/$18.86
Westrey Justice 07 has captivating and bright scents of raspberries, woodspice, and light toast. A supple, elegant Pinot, the Justice's red raspberry core picks up darker shades of fruit, dried herbs and Earl Grey tea on the finish. The other Justice Vineyard designates sell for $50, making this a remarkable value.
Winemaker Amy Wesselman says this is the kind of wine that curls up in your lap and purrs. It's opulent, open, and delicious right now. Silky tannins, black fruit, and complexity make this a wine everyone loves.
Westrey Pinot noir Justice Vineyard 07 is the fourth vintage of this single vineyard Pinot noir made from Bethel Heights' Justice Vineyard fruit. Justice has evolved into a vineyard producing exceptional Pinot noir grapes, and Westrey's experience with it further enhances a skillful and sophisticated wine.
Pinot gris Willamette Valley 08 $15.95/$14.35
Westrey's Pinot gris 08 is a perfect Oregon gris. It's rich and full of pear, white peach, and melon flavors, with crisp acidity and light minerals in the finish.
Pinot noir Reserve 07 $29.95/$26.95
Westrey Reserve Pinot noir 07 is the winery's top wine. It is made from the best barrels from several vineyards. A veritable fruit salad of rich red and black berries and stone fruit greets the taster. Silky tannins and top notes of vanilla and spice add even more complexity and interest. Amazing wine at a more than fair price.
Chardonnay Reserve 07 $23.95/$21.55
A heavily perfumed nose announces this splendid wine, with white flowers such as mexican orange and jasmine subtly intertwined with scents of crisp citrus, green apple, and "grapefruit custard". The flavors all fall within a lovely crisp acidity that lifts the wine - there's classic citrus and apple flavors, with complex layered notes of Meyer Lemon, citrus peel, and a hint of flinty minerality in the finish. The finish is long and very clean.
at right, Amy in the Oracle Vineyard
Wonderful wine for food, pair with pan-seared macademia nut crusted halibut, fettucine alfredo, any creamy pasta dish, scallops, even foods you'd often consider best with sauvignon blanc, like oysters. There's a delightful freshness to this wine reminiscent of Sauvignon blanc but the wine is much more concentrated.
Chardonnay Willamette Valley 07 $17.95/$16.16
Westrey Willamette Valley Chardonnay 07 is made with grapes sourced across the Willamette Valley.
Pinot noir Willamette Valley 07 $19.95/$17.95
This is one classy value Pinot, and certainly the best Willamette Valley Pinot yet from Westrey. The nose is so pretty and elegant, with crushed raspberries, hints of pie cherry and cranberry that echo in the flavors. A seamless wine, with a surprisingly big finish, and the right combination of silky and juicy.
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