Once again the tasting was a hit. Here are the tasting notes from Belle Pente, for those who would like to review or those who couldn't make it.
2012 W.V. Pinot Gris- This rendition marks a return to our signature richer, riper more "Alsatian" style of Pinot Gris that we were not really able to produce in 2011 or 2010. Since we now grow well over 2/3 of the grapes for this bottling, we can take full advantage of great growing seasons like 2012 to achieve fully developed flavors and viscosity while maintaining good acidity. The 2012 version is redolent of baked apples and pears with spicy notes, rich and full bodied, with a touch or residual sugar balanced by crisp acidity. It is easy to enjoy on its own, and there is not a dish on the planet that it wont compliment splendidly. $18/bottle
2010 Chardonnay- Our 100% Estate grown Chardonnay comes from a little 2 acre parcel planted in 1999 on a steep southwest facing slope. We have pioneered the use of Oregon oak in Chardonnay, deploying them 50/50 with French oak barrels for over 10 years. The wines are 100% barrel fermented, but with very modest use of new oak, typically in the 10-15% range. This allows the toasty oak characteristics to play a supporting role vs. stealing the limelight. At 6 years from vintage, this wine is beginning to hit its prime. Enjoy now and over the next six years with rich white fish dishes, baked mac and cheese, fresh pest and dozens of other white and green foods. $30/bottle
2011 Murto Vineyard- 2011 was the latest harvest on record at Belle Pente. The grapes for this Murto Vineyard Pinot were actually picked during the first few days of November, bud break occurred several weeks late, and warm, dry conditions during flowering in early July set the stage for a sizable crop. This 2011 version reveals reticent strawberry and red cherry flavor and aromas, with alluring notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, Asain 5-spice, sandalwood, white and black pepper. It is medium bodied with moderate polished tannins and bright, fresh acidity. $35/bottle
2013 Pinot Noir- Our little "entry-level" Pinot from 2013 includes almost 2/3 estate grown grapes from our Belle Pente vineyard, complimented with 1/4 from Belle Vida and about 12% from Murto Vineyard, both in the Dundee hills. The 2013's are intriguing and compelling wines, delicate but no elegant, charming but rustic. There is a underlying brilliance that peeks out now and will blossom with a little time.
2012 Estate Reserve- The Estate Reserve is a barrel selection from the best parts of the vineyard, with the core of the blend coming from our original block planted in 1994 paired with our steep south-west facing block planted in 1998 to the Wadensil selection of Pinot Noir. This version also includes about 30% from our Pommard block (also planted in 1998) which has really come into its own over the past several years. Ripe red and dark berries, potpourri and Asian spices, along with suggestions of sassafras, cola and smoky minerals. At once concentrated and lithe, conveying superb energy and focus to its juicy raspberry, cherry and spice cake flavors. $49/bottle