Big Red Wine of the Week – #BRWOW Elemental Cellars 2013 “Farrar Vineyard Pinot Noir” (Willamette Valley, Oregon)
Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is often to the wine world what Park Avenue is to the real estate world: expensive and out of most people’s reach. And for good reason, its fickle temperament makes it a challenge to grow which makes it a costly gamble for a winemaker. And yet, dedicated people take that chance because when the soil, weather, and guidance of a skilled winemaker come together, the reward can far outweigh the risk. When considering desirable locations for growing Pinot, one region immediately comes to mind: Willamette Valley in Oregon. Here on a steep hillside in this famous Pacific NW region sits Farrar Vineyard. South facing, protected by a line of pine trees is where Pinot Noir thrives. With as little human intervention as possible, grapes are grown, hand-picked, and made into wine that carries the fingerprint of its birthplace. Steven Westby, winemaker and owner of Elemental Cellars (and head winemaker at Witness Tree Vineyards) loves Pinot Noir and it shows in this complex wine. So much happening here from the color to the aromatics to the taste. The color – crimson meets fuchsia. The nose is both botanical (floral, spice and red cherry fruit) and earthy (mushroom and wet forest floor). Not a heavy wine, but layered with flavors – cherry cola, black raspberry, and black cherry are balanced with vibrant acidity. I’m happy to pay the full retail price of $34.99 for this single vineyard Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley but this Super Heart Healthy sale price of $19.99 – is a flat-out steal.
- Noelle Starr