These 5 Must-Visit Destinations Are All a Direct Flight From Chicago, Amber Gibson, Make it Better, September 2016
How Fresher, Livelier Wines Are Changing The Market, Plus 10 Recommendations For The Warm Weather, Brian Freedman, Forbes, August 2016
12 Oregon pinot noir wines that prove a 50-year-old gamble paid off, Michael Austin, Chicago Tribune, Idaho Statesman, Columbian, August 2016
Getting to Know: Adelsheim Vineyard and the Chehalem Mountains, Christian Conahan, SIP Northwest, August 2016
Scaling the Pacific heights for a decent bottle of wine, Christine Austin, Yorkshire Post, August 2016
10 Terrific New World Pinot Noirs, Gabe Sasso, The Daily Meal, August 2016
Wine of the Week: The pioneering spirit of Adelsheim Vineyards, Scott Greenberg, WTOP, August 2016
Wine Reviews: Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, Isaac Baker, Terroirist, August 2016
Oregon pioneer Adelsheim Vineyard refocuses on Chehalem Mountains, Andy Perdue, Great Northwest Wine, August 2016
Adelsheim Winery continues to create outstanding Chehalem Mountain Pinot Noir in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, Cuisineist, August 2016
Pinot grigio wines to beat the heat, Scott Greenberg, WTOP, August 2016
What to Drink Now: Summertime Pinot Noir, Hayley Hamilton-Cogill, D Magazine, August 2016
Chehalem Mountains – New Focus of Adelsheim Vineyards, Yoo Press, July 2016
Adelsheim’s 2014 Breaking Ground worth the wait, Viki Eiderdam, Columbian, July 2016
Adelsheim Stands Up for Chehalem Mountains, Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator, July 2016
West Coast Wednesdays: Adelsheim Vineyard, Virginia Winos, July 2016
Adelsheim Vineyard hires Sam Schmitt as Director of Consumer Sales, Wine Business Monthly, July 2016
Adelsheim Vineyard Breaking Ground Pinot Noir Celebrates 45 Years, Rusty Gaffney, The Prince of Pinot/PinotFile, July 2016
Oregon Chardonnay Gaining Prominence, Rusty Gaffney, The Prince of Pinot/PinotFile, July 2016
Wine Geographic | April 2016
Searching for the best pairings for Pinot Noir? We’ve got answers, but first you have to meet the wine.
What is Pinot Noir?
If you want a sexy wine, reach for a Pinot Noir. Translated from French, this varietal’s name means “pine black,” and on the vine clusters of these grapes really do look like dark pine cones. There’s something about those little blue-black orbs that screams “come and get me!” It’s the wine world’s equivalent of Brigitte Bardot bedroom eyes. Sound crazy? Then you’ve probably never had a really great bottle of Pinot.
Speaking of which… what does a great bottle taste like? That definition probably depends on the person giving it. Pinot Noir is grown all over the world, and each region’s unique terroir produces a different variation on the varietal. That said, you can generally expect:
Fruit Aromas: Raspberry, cherry, and strawberry
- Non-Fruit Aromas: Earth, mushroom, barnyard, salt, smoke, violets, herbs, and roses
- High Acidity
- Medium Alcohol
- Low+ Tannings
Some of that will make sense; other parts might seem silly or just foreign. What’s really important about all that “somm speak” is that it will help you figure out what to eat with your Pinot Noir (and the answer isn’t just “more Pinot Noir!”… well, it is, but let’s try for some solid food today too, shall we?).
Here are the star ingredients in our 5 top Pinot Noir pairings:
Mushrooms are earthy and rich, swirling with that “can’t quite put your finger on it” umami that you may or may not like when you first taste it, but either way you keep coming back for more
Why filet mignon and not just, say, beef in general? Filet is a very lean and tender cut, and that rich mouthfeel you typically get from, say, a Ribeye is significantly milder in a filet, and there’s a hint of sweetness and delicacy, too. Pair it with mushrooms and flaky pastry, like in a Wellington, and you have an unmitigated hit on your hands.
Quail is awesome. It’s not that much harder to cook than a chicken or turkey (if you have a butcher, get them to truss the little buggers up for you and you’ll be one step closer to being a master roaster) and the presentation is truly Masterchef worthy. For pairing purposes, quail is gamier and more complex than plain old chicken, but not as unctuous as lamb, which would overpower poor Pinot.
Fish and red wine?! Call the wine police! We might get sentenced to 10 boxes of Franzia for this crime against vino tradition, but rules are made to be broken, and Pinot is made to be paired with a great piece of Pacific Northwest salmon.
Figs are dark, sticky, and sweet, but Pinot Noir’s acidity puts that sweetness in check. Add in some goat cheese – bonus points for a crostini, which will coax out the faint smoky undertones present in some Pinots – and you’ll have a serious taste-splosion.
Best Picks: Pinot Noir From Around the World
Chile: Veramonte Pinot Noir, 2010 – $11
New Zealand: Kim Crawford Pinot Noir, 2014 – $18
California: Etude Lyric Pinot Noir, 2014 – $30
Oregon: Adelsheim Elizabeth’s Reserve Pinot Noir, 2012 – $60
Burgundy, France: Chateau de Meursault Pommard Clos de Epenots, 2012, $129
Gina Birch, Special to The News-Press 10:02 a.m. EDT March 22, 2016
When you think of Oregon wines, the first thing that mostly likely comes to mind is pinot noir and possibly pinot gris, but certainly not chardonnay.
Well times are a changin'.
The reason Oregon chardonnays have bombed in the past is because the wrong kind of clones were being used according to Stephen Lawrence, Director of Distribution Sales for Adelsheim Vineyard, one of the oldest wineries in the state.
The chardonnay clones were from California where the weather is decidedly warmer; the grapes just couldn’t get ripe in Oregon. So 15 years ago, David Adelsheim went to Burgundy, France where the climate is often compared to Oregon’s Willamette Valley.
He brought back two chardonnay clones and shared with fellow winemakers including those from Ponzi, another pioneering winemaking family in Willamette. It was a collaborative rather than a competitive effort, to find success with this grape.
Lawrence says, “It’s sort of like a band of brothers between the wineries, like the expression the rising tide lifts all boats.”
It took about 10 years for the vines to produce enough to bottle and then the winemakers had to figure out what percentages and kinds of oak brought out the best in the grapes during aging.
The wines generally have more minerality than those from Burgundy and more up-front fresh fruit than California. They are typically lighter, have lower alcohol and higher acidity. Lawrence says, “We think this is how chard should taste.”
Adelsheim’s 2014 Willamette Valley Chardonnay has a floral yet crisp nose, apple. In the glass there is a nice balance between the fresh fruit and acid, with gentle spices on the finish. ($35 range)
The 2012 Caitlin’s Reserve Chardonnay spends more time aging and has more oak; you can tell by its creamy smell, like a tropical pie. It is round and acidic with a hint of citrus and spice. ($45 range)
I ordered a bottle of the 2013 Ponzi Chardonnay Reserve for comparison but sadly it did not reach me by deadline. I’m told it’s zesty and fantastic. I’ll let you know.
Although I’m fascinated by the development of chardonnay in Oregon, I would be remiss not to mention Adelsheim’s amazing pinot noirs.
The 2013 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is a textbook bottling from this area. The nose is beautiful; silky red fruits, cherry cola and rose petals. On the palate you get bright red fruit, earthiness and some allspice.
The 2012 Elizabeth Reserve Pinot Noir is one of the oldest premium pinots produced in Oregon and is Adelsheim’s bread and butter according to Lawrence who calls it “the ultimate expression of Oregon pinot.” A blend of power and elegance with blueberry, blackberry and black raspberries, it dances on the palate.
Wine column: Pinot noir with a purpose
When I scoured the shelves of local wine stores and the lists of local restaurants for Oregon chardonnay, I found very few—it’s only 3 percent of what the state grows. However, Lawrence is convinced that will be changing in the next few years. He says, “There is a renewal of Oregon chardonnay and we are hoping to bring it to the level of our pinot. We feel the future of Oregon is chardonnay.”
Inside scoop is to keep your eye out for these wines and grab them when you see them. It will be fun to see how they continue to evolve and they are perfectly suited for Florida cuisine. Cheers.