12 Days of Oregon Pinot Noir – Day 2: Anne Amie
Day two of my “12 Days of Oregon Pinot Noir” project, and I must admit, I’m feeling rather spoiled as I sit in front of my warm and cozy fireplace, slowly sipping Anne Amie’s 2014 Winemaker’s Selection Pinot Noir. The mouthfeel is opulent and each sip is smooth and utterly enjoyable. A slow sip is key with this super complex Pinot Noir, each alluring nuance deserves to be acknowledged, savored and celebrated. I really enjoyed the essences as they mellowed and changed over several hours time, giving it great depth and character. Tannins are smooth and nicely integrated, and lively acidity gives it energy and balance. Initially, powerful aromas of ripe blackberries, black cherries and exotic spices soared from the glass, and as it redesigned and revived with time, zippier fruits slowly emerged, like cranberries and cherries; along with fresh tobacco and campfire smoke.
Much like Day One, with Adelsheim’s stunning 2014 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, I’m totally taken by surprise that this was chosen as their least expensive, highest production and earliest released Pinot Noir. Anne Amie’s winemaker, Thomas Houseman, explains:
“We are farming each and every block on our 100% Estate vineyards the exact same way. The only difference is blending. With this wine, you’re getting an entry-level Pinot Noir that’s farmed as if it’s going to be the highest end bottling we produce. We’re trying to make the best Willamette Valley [Pinot Noir] every year, regardless of what it costs to make it.”
So, know that when you seek out Anne Amie’s most affordable ($25) and accessible (3,629 cases produced) bottle of Pinot Noir, you’re getting the best of the best from their Estate vineyard. Located in the Yamhill-Carlton District with vineyards planted on the steep hillsides of the Chehalem Mountains, we know from the featured Adelsheim piece that the Chehalem Mountain’s soils evolved from some of the most dramatic and tumultuous geological happenings in Oregon’s history – floods, winds, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions – creating a quandary of soils that now give life and character to the vines that thrive from the perfectly diverse components.
I’ve only had one opportunity (so far) to visit the stunning tasting room at Anne Amie (which was once Chateau Benoit Winery). Inside, it reminds me of some of the colonial plantations in my home state of Virginia, but once outside, prepare to be swooned by palm trees and hammocks. This is Oregon, my friends.