Left Coast Cellars Left Bank Pinot Blanc 2008
Family owned and operated, Left Coast Cellars has been built and guided by two essential principles: a passion for winemaking and a deep connection to the land.
Founded in 2003, they completed the initial phase of the winery just in time for the inaugural 2004 vintage of the label bearing a Lewis and Clark map, illustrating their special place in the world. Based in the middle of the Willamette Valley, just 37 miles from the Pacific Ocean with the immense, cooling benefit of the Van Duzer Corridor running through the property.
In the seventeen years since their beginnings, Left Coast Cellars has gone from a largely grape growing operation with long term contracts with fellow Oregon producers, a wonderful opportunity to establish the high quality of their fruit, to an all Estate commitment. They farm 142 acres of vines on the nearly 500-acre Estate, largely sedimentary soil laid down by the Missoula floods and some volcanic soil as well.
Left Coast Cellars received a USDA grant in Oregon in 2008 to go solar, and the vast majority of the estate's electrical needs are supplied by the ground and roof mounted solar arrays. The winery and vineyards are LIVE certified, Salmon Safe, and were one of just six producers that went to a third-party verification in the initial Carbon Neutral Challenge, originally under the aegis of the Governor's Office, now folded into LIVE as a Carbon Reduction program.
One of Pinot Noir’s most successful New World outposts, the Willamette Valley is the largest and most important AVA in Oregon. With a continental climate moderated by the influence of the Pacific Ocean, it is perfect for cool-climate viticulture and the production of elegant wines.
Mountain ranges bordering three sides of the valley, particularly the Chehalem Mountains, provide the option for higher-elevation vineyard sites.
The valley's three prominent soil types (volcanic, sedimentary and silty, loess) make it unique and create significant differences in wine styles among its vineyards and sub-AVAs. The iron-rich, basalt-based, Jory volcanic soils found commonly in the Dundee Hills are rich in clay and hold 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. In the most southern stretch of the Willamette, the Eola-Amity Hills sub-AVA soils are mixed, shallow and well-drained. The Hills' close proximity to the Van Duzer Corridor (which became its own appellation as of 2019) also creates grapes with great concentration and firm acidity, leading to wines that perfectly express both power and grace.
Though Pinot noir enjoys the limelight here, Pinot gris, Pinot blanc and Chardonnay also thrive in the Willamette. Increasing curiosity has risen recently in the potential of others like Grüner Veltliner, Chenin blanc and Gamay.
Approachable, aromatic and pleasantly plush on the palate, Pinot Blanc is a white grape variety most associated with the Alsace region of France. Although its heritage is Burgundian, today it is rarely found there and instead thrives throughout central Europe, namely Germany and Austria, where it is known as Weissburgunder and Alto Adige where it is called Pinot Bianco. Interestingly, Pinot Blanc was born out of a mutation of the pink-skinned Pinot Gris. Somm Secret—Chardonnay fans looking to try something new would benefit from giving Pinot Blanc a try.