Ever since the phenomenal success of the 2004 movie Sideways, Pinot Noir has enjoyed unparalleled growth. If I had had a crystal ball, prior to that release I would have purchased a vineyard in the most famous region of the U.S. for Pinot Noir, which is unquestionably the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Well, no such luck for me, but fortunately another family did just that!
The Black family purchased an existing vineyard in the Dundee Hills of the Willamette Valley in 2003 as a family retreat. They immediately began turning the estate into a sustainably farmed, well-tended vineyard with the goal of producing rich, elegant, delicious and complex wines.
The Four Graces 2014 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is a great example of why so many people have fallen in love with this grape varietal. For starters, the 2014 growing season was near perfect, with warm days and nights balanced by just the right amount of rainfall to produce above-average yields of very high-quality fruit. The grapes for this blend came from Foley Family Estate in the Dundee Hills, Doe Ridge Estate in the Yamhill- Carlton AVA, and hand-selected fruit from other vineyards in the Willamette Valley.
It was aged for 9 months in 100% French oak. On the nose, the wine displays classic Pinot Noir aromas of ripe black cherry, spicy oak, and earthy notes with hints of pine. The palate is lush yet restrained, showing a perfect balance between fruit, oak, and acidity. Pair this beautiful wine with roasted salmon, or with baked brie served with a warm cherry jam and French bread.
- Drew Fuller, Wine Consultant