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Colene Clemens Dopp Creek Pinot Noir 2014

Pinot Noir from Chehalem Mountains, Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • WS91
14.4% ABV
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14.4% ABV

Winemaker Notes

#42 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2017

Conveying the house style and reflective of the area where it’s grown, Dopp Creek is rich with dark berry fruit, more on the broad-shouldered side, aided by complimentary spice and oak accents.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 91
Wine Spectator
Firm and focused, with cinnamon notes floating around red berry and floral flavors, finishing with gentle persistence agaisnt lively acidity and fine tannins. Best from 2018 through 2022. 3,100 cases made.
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Colene Clemens

Colene Clemens

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Colene Clemens, Chehalem Mountains, Willamette Valley, Oregon
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Located in the western end of Dopp Road where the Chehalem Mountains converge with Ribbon Ridge, this 122-acre property was acquired in 2005 and first planted in 2006. Starting at 350ft of elevation and rising to 650ft, this rocky south facing hillside is a mix sedimentary and volcanic soils, predominantly Wellsdale and Witzel. Current plantings now total 40 acres divided up among 5 different clones of Pinot Noir, 3 Dijon as well as Pommard and Wadensvil.

Colene Clemens farming practices can best be described as sustainable, utilizing organic methods whenever possible. They put a heavy influence on soil work and incorporate a lot of “green” manure as well as the production and application of their own compost. Colene Clemens is a firm believer in low yields and as such have practiced extreme crop reduction through both conservative, short pruning and green harvesting. All fruit is hand harvested at optimal physiological ripeness and picked into quarter-ton macrobins for transport up to the winery.

Chehalem Mountains

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The Chehalem Mountains is a northwest-southeast span of several distinct mountains, ridges and peaks in the northern part of the Willamette Valley. Of all of Willamette Valley's smaller AVAs, it is closest to the city of Portland. Its highest summit, Bald Peak at an elevation of 1,633 feet, serves to generate cooler air for the rest of the AVA and its hillside vineyards. The region covers 70,000 acres but only 1,600 acres are planted to vines; soils of the Chehalem Mountains are a mix of basalt, ocean sediment and loess.

Pinot Noir

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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.

PDX360909_2014 Item# 360909