Alive with Raspberry and dark Cherry aromas, the 2008 Firesteed Willamette Valley Pinot Noir begins with bright fruit up front, but later reveals deeper tones that combine cedar and spice with the wine's luscious flavors of vanilla bean and blackberries. The wine's silky tannins will continue to soften and integrate as this elegant wine ages.
Firesteed Cellars is located in the heart of Oregon’s Willamette Valley in the Eola Hills region. Through long term contracts, Firesteed sources grapes from all the major viticultural appellations in Oregon including: the Willamette Valley, the Umpqua Valley, the Rogue Valley of western Oregon and the Walla Walla Valley in eastern Oregon, in addition to the 90 acres of vineyards that surround the winery. In 2006 we began to develop our 200 acre Erratic Oaks vineyard just 6 miles west of Rickreall.
Firesteed Cellars is currently the third largest winery in Oregon and Oregon's largest producer of Pinot Noir.
The wines of Firesteed Cellars display distinctive varietal character, and consistently 'over deliver' in terms of value for the price. In winemaking we strive to have the fruit character be the "star" of our wines. Firesteed seeks to produce wines that are balanced and elegant with aging potential for the reds.
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Named for the river that runs through the valley from Portland to Eugene, Willamette Valley is home to some of the best Pinot Noir vineyards in the Northwest. While along the same north/south line as Seattle, the Willamette Valley is protected from Pacific rains by the Coast Range on the western border and the Cascade Ranges to the east. Though sunshine is typically plentiful, rainfall can occasionally be tricky, and the wines here vary vintage to vintage. Within the Willamette Valley is a number of sub-regions, including McMinnville, Dundee and Yamhill.
The valley is known for its Pinots – Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. With a climate similar to Burgundy – in rainfall, sunlight hours and other climate factors – Pinot Noir has flourished here. Pinot Noir in Oregon produces wines that are fruit forward, yet complex, some with good agebility.
Other than Pinot Noir, many wineries grow Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. Pinot Gris from Oregon is delightful in its texture and food friendliness. Chardonnay in the valley adapts well to the cool climate and produces lean, elegant wines.
Oregon has long been an agricultural state, producing everything from hazelnuts to cattle. The Willamette Valley in particular is a fertile basin for all sorts of produce. Not quite pegged as a wine state, in 1965, a UC Davis graduate named David Lett decided that the Willamette's climate mirrored that of Burgundy in France. With that in mind, he decided to plant some Pinot Noir clones to see how they did. And a good gamble it was. The Willamette is now one of the only regions in the world to focus solely on Pinot Noir as its red variety. Also known for Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. The southern part of Oregon has been slower in delving into the world wine market, but has been making excellent strides with their Rhone style varietals, like Syrah and Grenache. There are also coastal regions producing promising wines.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.