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Oregon wineries for a Burgundy Lover

vickib Mar 25, 2010 10:05 AM

I'm going to be in the Portland, Oregon area for two days next week, and I'm thinking of spending a day touring wineries.
I'm a Champagne, Burgundy, northern Rhone lover, who knows little about Oregon wines. I don't like heavy, syrupy, high alcohol wines.


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  1. d
    dgris RE: vickib Mar 25, 2010 12:52 PM

    Hi Vicki,
    Head out to 99W Newberg, Dundee, Carlton, McMInville south to Salem. There are many nodes of wineries to choose from making Pinot wines, even some Syrah (Biggi Hamina) I believe local fruit, and Lillian Syah (Cali fruit) is first class along with their Antica Terra PN, Dundee Hills and Ribbon Ridge are some of the best AVA. You could spend a week and not visit them all.
    Ciao, Dennis

    1. w
      whiner RE: vickib Mar 25, 2010 05:17 PM

      Sotor, Ken Wright - top 2.

      Others: Le Cadeau, Beaux Freres, Christom, Bergstrom, Argyle (love their sparkler within context of US sparklers) would all be good choices.

      2 Replies
      1. re: whiner
        Leonardo RE: whiner Mar 25, 2010 06:49 PM

        You can't visit Ken Wright.

        1. re: Leonardo
          RCC RE: Leonardo Mar 27, 2010 06:44 AM

          My limited experience with Ken Wright leaned on the heavy, syrupy and high alcohol.

      2. c
        chefdilettante RE: vickib Mar 26, 2010 05:25 AM

        I'm a big fan of St. Innocent and I think their wine making is a good fit with your palate.

        1. SteveTimko RE: vickib Mar 26, 2010 07:41 AM

          Domaine Drouhin IS a Burgundy winemaker who opened a winery in Oregon. Across the street is Domaine Serene, which isn't much Burgundy like but I like their wines.
          Belle Pente is a small, under-the-radar winemaker who makes great reds and whites that are a bargain. Defintely not heavy, syrupy. You'll have to call to schedule an appointment.
          Le Cadeau is one of the better makers but you'll have to call and schedule an appointment there, too.
          I'm a fan of Stoller as well.
          Scott Paul is a winemaker with a wine store, so you might be able to try other wines there. I'm not sure.
          At the Dark Horse Tasting Room in Newberg you can try both Medici and Sineann. Medici makes wines in the low 13 percent range and they age them for four years or so before releasing them. THey might be on the 2004s now. I like Medici quite a bit (they're also fairly priced in the mid $20s) but I have to say I've gotten mixed reaction from others who have tried them. Sineann is probably better known for whites.
          If you're looking for a place to eat, I recommend Tina's in Dundee. Call ahead for a reservation. In my Chowhound profile it asks "I really wish I could" and I answered: Date the head waitress at Tina's.

          1 Reply
          1. re: SteveTimko
            Vetter RE: SteveTimko Apr 11, 2010 11:04 AM

            Second, third and fourth Domaine Drouhin. YUM. A little spendy but so nice.

          2. t
            tito RE: vickib Mar 27, 2010 06:12 AM

            At the Carlton Wine Studio you must taste the Hamacher 2006 Pinot Noir.......one of the best pinots in the area

            1. s
              scottpaulpn RE: vickib Mar 28, 2010 01:37 PM

              We are the national importers for 15 of the top domaines in Burgundy, all of which are available in our tasting room along with the Pinots we make from our vineyards here in the Willamette Valley. Open this weekend Saturday 1-5, and other days by appointment.

              Cheers -

              Scott Wright
              Scott Paul Wines - Scott Paul Selections

              1 Reply
              1. re: scottpaulpn
                vickib RE: scottpaulpn Apr 7, 2010 02:13 PM

                Thanks so much. Though I didn't get to see your brick and mortar store, I just peeked at your website, and I'm intrigued. Thanks for the info.


              2. vickib RE: vickib Apr 7, 2010 02:12 PM

                Thanks to everyone for the feedback. Our plans got changed, and the wineries were sacificed to more time with family. However, we plan on returning, so your advice will come in handy.

                1. ibstatguy RE: vickib Apr 12, 2010 02:29 PM

                  Thomas; not sure though if they take visitors, very small production

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: ibstatguy
                    njfoodies RE: ibstatguy Apr 13, 2010 11:40 AM

                    Definitely the best kept secret in Oregon pinot noir in my opinion. Awesome wines! Had a '99 and a few months ago that were killer! -mJ

                    1. re: njfoodies
                      ibstatguy RE: njfoodies Apr 13, 2010 05:54 PM

                      I agree; maybe we should shut up? ;-)

                      1. re: ibstatguy
                        njfoodies RE: ibstatguy Apr 14, 2010 05:34 AM

                        LOL! This is one that I try not to talk about. On the various wine boards, when I see a post referring to Thomas, I always reply with a "ssssshhhhhhhhhh!" Great quality juice in my opinion, and I always look forward to receiving their mailer! -mJ

                        1. re: njfoodies
                          Cookiefiend RE: njfoodies Apr 15, 2010 09:54 AM


                          The secrets out guys - I'll look for them in July!

                  2. r
                    redmeatfan RE: vickib Apr 14, 2010 10:39 AM

                    St. Innocent as mentioned will be the closest thing to Burgundy. Argyle is really more new world Pinot with big juicy fruit.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: redmeatfan
                      pee0noir RE: redmeatfan Apr 11, 2011 02:48 PM

                      I like St Innocent - a lot - but the "closest thing to Burgundy"? Don't get me wrong, SI wines are far from stereotypical Cali fruit bombs, but others in the Valley produce more traditionally burgundaian juice IMO. The Eyrie, JK Carriere, the aforementioned Scott Paul (plus there's imported Bugs and gorgeous grower bubbles - just don't raise the subject of soccer), DDO, McKinlay... Just sayin

                    2. ChefJune RE: vickib Apr 13, 2011 01:51 PM

                      How interesting that 90% of the responses talk about the responders' favorites, regardless of whether they are at all Burgundian in style!

                      I certainly don't know all the Oregon Pinot Noirs, but of those I do, by far the most Burgundian in style are Drouhin, and Eyrie. Chehalem is definitely not a jammy wine, but ver "Oregonian." and I recently was introduced to Brick House, which is very Burgundian, as well as biodynamic.

                      1. omotosando RE: vickib Apr 13, 2011 08:25 PM

                        At a tasting recently, I had an amazing Pinot Noir from Bethel Heights, Willamette Valley winery, apparently 1 hour south of Portland.
                        The wine I had was the 2008 West Block, Eola Amity Hills.

                        The wine tasting instructor is a huge Burgundy fan and usually turns up his nose at Oregon Pinots and this wine, which he had not previously tasted, really surprised him. I have no idea if all of the winery's Pinots are this good (this was their most expensive wine, retailing at $50 a bottle from the winery). It was definitely not heavy and not syrupy or jammy. Not sure of the alcohol content.

                        I love Burgundy, but most of the ones I have had at tastings lately have been $150 a bottle on the low end and in the thousands on the high end. Given the $50 price point and the issue of price to quality ratio, I thought the Bethel Heights compared favorably

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