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Cloudline Pinot Noir 2008

Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • ST87
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Winemaker Notes

On the nose, there is deep cherry and earth. On the palate, there is excellent weight and balance, with good structure, and substantial depth of fruit. It is a wine that offers immediate pleasure, either on its own, or better yet, in the company of a delicious meal. And though a good choice now and for any night of the week, this Cloudline is a classic Oregon Pinot Noir and can be enjoyed for several years to come.

Critical Acclaim

ST 87
International Wine Cellar

Bright red. Smoky red berries and cherry on the nose, with a hint of anise that gains strength with air. Light in body but chewy in texture, offering bitter cherry and redcurrant flavors framed by dusty tannins. Nicely focused but a bit ungiving today. Some air helped this to flesh out and gain sweetness. Veronique Drouhin consults to this project.
88+ pts

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Cloudline

Cloudline

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Cloudline, , Oregon
Cloudline
Cloudline Cellars represents a first for Dreyfus, Ashby--our own wine. Given our love for Pinot Noir and our long history developing Domaine Drouhin Oregon and other fine wines, it's probably not surprising that we would choose Oregon's Willamette Valley as the home for this exciting project.

Our goal is very specific: to create teh best, most delicious and consistent value in Oregon Pinot Noir today. We are fortunate to have access to top sources, growers and vintners who understand and support what we're trying to accomplish. We have also enlisted the expertise of Veronique Drhouin-Boss, who has graciously agreed to be our consulting winemaker, or more appropriately, our "reference palate." In practical terms, she makes sure the quality never wavers.

Sourced from some of the finest vineyards in Oregon.

Willamette Valley

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One of Pinot Noir’s most successful New World outposts...

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One of Pinot Noir’s most successful New World outposts, the Willamette Valley is the largest and most important AVA in Oregon. With a temperate climate moderated by Pacific Ocean influence, it is perfect for cool-climate viticulture—warm and dry summers allow for steady, even ripening, and frost is rarely a risk during spring and even winter. Mountain ranges bordering three sides of the valley, particularly the Chehalem Mountains, provide the option for higher-elevation, cooler vineyard sites. The three prominent soil types here create significant difference in wine styles between vineyards and sub-AVAs—the iron-rich, basalt-based Jory volcanic soils found commonly in the Dundee Hills are rich in clay and holds water well; the chalky, sedimentary soils of Ribbon Ridge, Yamhill-Carlton, and McMinnville encourage complex root systems as vines struggle to search for water and minerals; and the silty loess found in the Chehalem Mountains, somewhere in between the other two in texture, is fertile and well-draining but erodes easily, creating challenges for growers but necessitating careful vineyard management.

The celebrated Pinot Noir of the Willamette Valley typically offers supple red fruit, especially cranberry, without the powerful punch often packed by its California counterparts. Elegance is paramount here, and fruit flavors are balanced by forest floor, wild mushroom, and dried herbs—much more in line with Burgundian examples of the variety. Chardonnay too takes its inspiration from the French motherland, focusing on tart, crisp fruit and minerality, rarely relying upon heavy new oak. Pinot Gris here is fleshy and bright, and Riesling is dry, aromatic, and citrus-focused.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow...

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

NDF80554_2008 Item# 104566

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