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Witness tree Vineyard

 

Witness Tree Vineyard

 

Witness tree Vineyard

 

Witness Tree Vineyard

The winery is named for an ancient oak which towers over the vineyard--it was designated a surveyor's landmark since 1854. Located in the Eola Hills north of Salem the winery is next door to Cristom and just over the ridge from Bethel Heights. Witness Tree has had several shifts in ownership, most recently when Dennis and Carolyn Devine bought out former Witness Tree owners Derek and Monica Mortimer-Lamb.

Witness Tree wines are 100% estate grown.

Bryce Bagnall is Witness tree's Winemaker. After graduating from the University of California at Davis -- the nation's premiere school for winemaking and viticulture -- Bryce spent nine years with Edna Valley Vineyard in California as an Enologist before spending a year on a Rotary Scholarship Studying and working in the cellars of many producers in the Burgundy region of France. He joined the Witness Tree staff in March of 1995.

Witness Tree has 46 acres of vineyard and makes Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in small amounts. Estate and reserve wines are now joined by a "Benchmark" bottling of their very best product. They also produce great value in their Aurora label, where they sell off the juice that doesn't quite make the cut for their higher priced offerings.


Pinot Noir Reviews- Older Vintages

Witness Tree Pinot Noir Estate 98

Dark Ruby in color, the 1998 Witness Tree "Estate" Pinot Noir is packed with aromas of chocolate, black cherry, vanilla and spice. On the palate, dense fruit flavors are balanced by well integrated French oak, tannin, and acidity. You will enjoy this wine with traditional beef and lamb dishes as well as smoked salmon, pork, and cheese. Given the depth, concentration, complexity and structure of the wine, it will be tempting to drink in its youth, but it will continue to develop in the bottle for many years to come.

Witness Tree Pinot Noir 97

Big, dark fruit flavors, one of the outstanding values from the 97 vintage, drinking well in 2000. Brilliant ruby red in the glass, this exuberant Pinot offers explosive aromas of strawberries, black cherry and just the right touch of oak. On the palate the medium-bodied wine displays a beautiful balance between fruit, acid, tannin and oak, all folding into the lingering finish. Despite its immediately appealing style, this Pinot Noir has everything necessary for a long life in the cellar.

Witness Tree Pinot Noir Vintage Select 1998

A very very fine Pinot Noir, the best of the best at Witness Tree, and one of the best of the 98 vintage. The wine is incredibly dark in the glass. The nose exudes the fragrant scents of black fruits, spices, and vanilla. The palate is caressed by a cascading wave of dark, jammy fruit supported by soft tannins. The finish echoes on and on. Only 512 cases were made

Wine Spectator says: "This 100-acre vineyard in the Eola Hills, closer to Salem than Portland on the Oregon map, always seems to produce a Pinot Noir that reflects the best of the vintage -- not always outstanding, but a good barometer of the year in question. This one has the intense fruit of the '98 vintage and manages to tame the chewy tannins that get in the way in a significant number of wines. Much deeper in flavor than the winery's regular bottling, it's ripe and focused, with well-articulated blueberry, black cherry and toasty spice flavors mingling nicely and echoing on the solid finish. It has a graceful feel despite its fullness and intensity, but I'd wait until 2003 to drink it. RATING 91 POINTS

 

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