Irvine Vineyards 2012 Oregon Pinot Noir
Where we’re going, we don’t need roads
I was horribly lost. After spending five weeks in Ashland, I thought I knew just about every nook and cranny in the Rogue Valley. Put off by the ROAD NOT PAVED signs, I gave up and turned back, convinced that I was in the wrong place.
But after a sheepish call to the vineyard confirmed that DEAD END really meant “you’re almost to our winery!”, I continued up the road and down into the gorgeous Emigrant Creek Valley hidden behind the rolling hills just outside of Ashland. It was a breathtaking sight – and could have easily been in France or Italy.
Owners Doug and Dionne Irvine grew up in Ashland and decided to return home to raise their young daughters. The family owned land just outside of town and soon discovered it was a perfect vineyard site. At 2100 feet in elevation, on the steep banks just off of Emigrant Creek, it has the ideal soils, elevation and slope to make wines reminiscent of Burgundy.
Irvine is just getting started – with vines planted in 2007 and first vintage in 2009 – but stay tuned: you’re going to hear a lot more about their wine in the years to come!
Cellar 503 Tasting Notes
Irvine Vineyards, Ashland, Oregon
2012 Oregon Pinot Noir
It’s true: Pinot Noir comes from southern Oregon as well as the Willamette Valley. In fact, the dirty little secret is that Pinot Noir is the most widely planted grape in southern Oregon. It’s just that it’s often sold to wineries up north looking to blend in a punch of ripe fruit to their notoriously cold-weather grapes.
But the Irvine family is proud to be from southern Oregon and want to make a statement that Pinot Noir from the warmer end of Oregon can be just as extraordinary. In fact, they’ve gone so far as to buy Willamette Valley fruit in order to produce their own northern Pinot Noir for comparison purposes in their tasting room.
As a true Southern Oregon Pinot Noir, the Irvine 2012 has juicy plums, cherries and wild berries exploding in your mouth balanced with Asian spices, and earthy characteristics you come to expect from Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir lovers will enjoy this wine just as much as folks who crave the riper, bigger fruit of traditionally warmer climate areas.