A classically cooler Oregon season, with lower yields driving structure and finesse.
2005 was a classic (lower temperatures and yield) Oregon season delivering the structure and finesse which can only be found in the world’s cool-climate viticulture zones (Burgundy, Oregon, New Zealand). A classically ageable vintage that falls slightly toward grace in the power/grace divide.
2005 Glass Willamette Valley White Pinot Noir
At a glance it’s a golden peach that throws the light. It’s a tri-part nose of earth, mineral and fruit aromas: spiced peach, wet rocks, citrus, yeast, jasmine, kiwi, musk melon and an ever-so-slightly-burnt crust of bread. First impression is bright and vibrant, lemon, lemon drop, lemon zest… but you are not yet dismissed. Into the fray is thrown an immensely weighty mouthfeel, a bit of savory and pure-form tangerine — yes, tangerine — on stunning acidity. All you never expected to find is here. It’s long, lively, weighty and persistent, finishing with a refreshing spritz. Easy comparisons you’ll also not find, even among your high-end whites. 280 cases produced. Sold out.
It’s always the quiet ones, the ones you assume are shy, perhaps don’t have much to say. 2005’s Provocateur, came willingly enough out of barrel – clean, minding its own business. Then I turned, just for a second, and it broke the shackles. It hit me over the head with a brick of dark fruit, threw a core of acid on my palate and scampered off in the direction of structure. The color is a dense violet, somehow matching its ripe and dark nose of graphite, cherry and caramel. Voluminous scarlet cherry fruit with black pepper highlights and a dry encompassing structure deliver fine front-of-mouth tannins that tingle on your lips. Brooding now, maturity will reveal the “linger factor” and guarantee the wow. Drink now to five years plus, and think about getting it some air in the first three. 352 cases. Sold Out.
I made this wine as an experiment to raise a few questions. I made it because I don’t want to put myself away safely, like so many sticks of dynamite in a crate on a shelf. Is it my endpoint? No. But I thought there might be a fuse around and, surprise, perhaps some sparks. Translucent gold in color and built in an old-world style, this wine is made for food and exhibits a dominance of savory and mineral over fruit. Honeyed lemon custard, apples, diesel, toast and earth dominate the nose. Weighty on the palate, it is earthy with flavors of bread crust, fruit cocktail and caramelized lemon bars that go the distance to finish on a knife’s edge of citric acidity. 62 cases. Sold Out.
2005 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
There are only a few places in the world where benchmark classic Pinot noir can be created. It requires long daylight, at least 110 days of grape hang-time, and a truly cool-climate growing region — Oregon, for example. In 2005, after a string of warm vintages, Oregon swung back to a cooler and more classic low-yielding vintage. We had to dance around a little rain at harvest, and more fruit would have been nice, but the grapes got what they needed. And subsequently, we got what we needed from the grapes: elegance. A brilliant purple garnet with a dark, dusty nose of Bing cherry, tobacco and green olive. A classically built Pinot noir of some heft showing condensed ripe cherry riding on a structurally significant core of acid and well-formed tannin. An elegant food wine, made more for time than for cocktail parties. 735 cases. Sold Out.
I usually think of my block from Anderson Family as that certain college professor that pushed you to get it right because it mattered. Well in 2005, the college professor is as intellectual as ever…but he’s been out drinking. Who guessed the leather elbow patches were for break dancing? Who knew he was used to spinning all that funk on his turntable, or that he could so well cover Parliament on the karaoke machine? I think Cliff Anderson channeled him to produce a strong plum fruit, complex earth and a delicious funk. Pepper highlights ride waves of coffee and chocolate on a velvet structure. The truth is, it made my mouth water, and I hope the same for you. A full berry tail-out and good tannin grip ensure the ability to deliver years of aging. Well cellared, you should anticipate additional complexity during its first 10 years with a potential 12- to 20-year drinking horizon. 98 cases. Sold Out.
Antoinette Carriere was my maternal grandmother. When we were at the farm, she was the point from which food and warmth emanated. She was the cornucopia from which prodigious meals and laughter and cards and a family solid, spilled. I am pleased to be able to offer this pinnacle of elegance from my cellar in her name. On the nose, Antoinette is cherry pastry, spice, olive oil, and white pepper. On the palate it’s an unbridled, full throttle, red with good linear acidity. Full and structurally elegant, the wine’s lifted by floral and anchored by tannin with a smooth grip. Get it air and it smells like Burgundy. Classic. Decant to get it air within its first three years. Well cellared, you should anticipate additional complexity during its first 10 years with a potential 12- to 20-year drinking horizon. 98 cases. Sold out.
Shea lived up to its billing as the booming bass note out of the cellar in 2005. In spite of near physiological ripeness close to picking, it was important to wait until after the first spell of rain to harvest. Basically, because of stress, carbohydrates had transmigrated out of the berries back into the vines. By waiting, the vines were able to flush those carbohydrates, along with huge flavor, back into the grapes. I don’t own much of that real estate, but I think they call it patience. In the glass the wine is deep and translucent red. It’s very dark and nicely demure on the nose yielding blood orange and iron. In the mouth it is weighty cherry and dry baker’s chocolate followed by blackberry, blueberry and earthy beet root. The rich, round and brooding structure holds power through the finish and drives your purple tongue on home. Well cellared, you should anticipate additional complexity during its first 10 years with a potential 12- to 20-year drinking horizon. 98 cases. Sold out.