2007

Jack be nimble… The best year in ten to favor producer over vintage, flavor over color, and elegance over bravado.

Some were on their game with nimble and moving wines. Many were not. 2007 was a temperamental growing year with cooler temperatures and an absolute requirement to limit yield and to pay attention in the vineyard. Those that did — and expressed the ascendancy of beauty over power in the cellar — produced ballerinas. The rest were stuffed shirts in grey raincoats.

2007 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Clean, serious and vibrant, this translucent violet Pinot noir delivers high-tone cherry, pepper and grilled meat on the nose. The palate is sour cherry, fresh raspberry, cherry PEZ and watermelon Jolly Rancher with just a hint of rare grilled steak and white pepper. Insanely mineral with very fine front of mouth tannins, this lip smacker will amp your appetite and ultimately remind you that there is no way to eat enough mountain strawberries. Vineyards: Shea, Temperance Hill, Eola Hills, Gemini, Momtazi, Black Walnut, and Anderson Family.  13% alcohol, pH 3.52, 777 cases.

Limited: 2007 Gemini Vineyard WV Pinot Noir

Not exactly a ripe blood orange, and not exactly not. Dark red cherry in color, this Pinot noir delivers brown spice cake, ripe passion fruit, nuts, iron and pencil to your nose. It’s north of ripe and south of plush, revealing dark cherry, resinous spice, sweet barnyard and crème brulée on a mineral tailout with good and fine grip. The Laurelwood soil of Gemini Vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains AVA is rich, wind-blown loess that contributes vigor to the plants and good acid to the wines made from these grapes, which are grafted 16-year-old Scott Henry trained Pommard clone Pinot noir. 13% alcohol, pH 3.59, 49 cases.

2007 Glass Willamette Valley White Pinot Noir

The crystalline peach color fronting a nose of crisp citrus, floral and musk melon hides the truth of this wine: Screeching Acidity. An overwhelming taste of lemon-lime, sea salt, grapefruit and tangerine goes on and on. Light front-of-mouth tannins help it to finish like icing on a lemon pound cake.445 cases. $20. Sold out.

2007 Willamette Valley Chardonnay

The color of harvest wheat straw, this wine screams lemon drop. On the palate it’s dry, serious and stylistically Burgundian with vibrant lemon, weighty lime, lemon zest, peach, tangerine, earthy hazelnut and brioche. Minerality is driven by acid, and the wine is long and nicely structured to age, eventually tailing out with citrus and almond cream. We keep our Chardonnay balanced by limiting the amount of new oak. It’s Chardonnay for grown-ups, French speaking or not. 92 cases. $32. Sold out.

2007 Provocateur Pinot Noir

Provocateur is French for troublemaker. The picture is my grandpa. The leaning is/was/will be decidedly more Pied Piper than antagonist. The color is ruby, with a nose of cherry, black pepper and coffee and in a little time, a just-unwrapped Brach’s caramel. The bright and serious palate reveals cherry, raspberry and watermelon jolly rancher, and its lip-tingling structure moves on your tongue as through a broad flat pipe, filling the lower half of your mouth while floating a more ethereal layer on top. Then it lingers. Drink now to five years and think about getting it some air in the first three. 968 cases. $24. Sold out.