One of my work trips later this year will take me to Portland, OR for a couple of weeks in August, which will of course include a weekend roaming around the Willamette Valley. In preparation, I’ve been on the look out for Willamette Valley wines that I’ve never heard of in the hopes of finding a few jewels to add to my list of wineries to visit while I’m there.
Last night my wife and I went to dinner at River Stone Chophouse and had the chance to try a new (new to us) Willamette Valley producer – De Ponte Cellars. Our server recommended this particular producer because she’s visited the winery and blah blah blah she really liked it – that was good enough for me since it fit my criteria for the evening – one, it must pair well with my pork chops, and two it should be a Pinot from the Willamette Valley.
De Ponte Cellars 2006 Pinot Noir
De Ponte Cellars located in the Dundee Hills AVA in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Real cork closure. 14.2% alcohol. $68/bottle restaurant price, about $38 retail. Nice light purple color with tinges of pink at the rim along with bright raspberry, mint and dust on the nose. Heavier in the mouth than expected for a Pinot with pronounced oak influence which seemed to overpower the dark cherry and plum tastes. This one was much better the next morning when I tasted it (just a quick taste, no swallow). Thankfully, in Virginia, restaurants will recork a wine to take home if you don’t finish it. The next morning, the wine showed more finesse – the fruit and tannins seemed better integrated with a nice red fruit and earth finish.