Chehalem Stoller Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009
Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
This wine is a great example of the maturity of Stoller Vineyards these days, with an emphasis on the full-bodied reds from a ripe year. The spice and fruit complement each other nicely, with highlights of clove and nutmeg all the way to cinnamon hard candies. Dark, yet bright fruits such as plum and cherry are ever-present, and a mix of dark chocolate and cigar box put finishing touches on the wine for the evening.
This could be a meal in itself, but we recommend sharing it with others and pairing with an appropriate holiday meal. The silky tannins and amazing length may as well have come from a ribbon around your favorite gift this year.
Wine Spectator - "Light and juicy, this is bright with plum and currant fruit playing against refined tannins and fragile acidity, lingering on the transparent finish. This has all the elements, just needs cellaring. Drink now through 2017. 464 cases made."
International Wine Cellar - "Deep, bright red. Blackberry, cola, violet and mocha on the nose, with complicating notes of Asian spices and musky herbs. Fleshy and penetrating on the palate, offering sweet red and dark berry flavors braced by gentle acidity. The dark berry note recurs on the long, sappy finish, which features a sexy floral quality. Delicious right now."
Wine & Spirits - "Ripe and firm at once, this generous red possesses a smoky oak top note, with hints of cocoa over ripe black cherry fruit. On the palate the wine seems frisky and forward, its textbook pinot flavors marked by plenty of power and extraction, going to the brink, then pulling back."
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With two vineyards on either end of Chehalem Ridge and one in the Dundee Hills, Chehalem is dedicated to reflecting as purely as possible what the vineyard has produced. With minimal processing and without compromising great fruit, Chehalem wines promise good ageing but are very drinkable young. Production quantities of all Chehalem wines are limited, to assure ultimate winemaking control. View all Chehalem Wines
About Willamette ValleyView a map of Willamette Valley wineries (will-AAM-it)
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 are are number of sub-regions, including McMinnville, Dundee and Yamhill.
Notable FactsThe 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.
About OregonOregon 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.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost 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.
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