The Willamette Valley's Best Kept Secret?

The Willamette Valley's Best Kept Secret?

After a recent visit with Michael and Desiree Lundeen, I had two notions: 1) that was one of my all-time favorite tastings and 2) how do more people not know about Lundeen?!

Are Lundeen's wines the Willamette Valley's best kept secret? For now, very likely. The winery and we are working to change the "secret" part. We began earlier this year by calling out Lundeen's sparkling wines: without exaggeration, the Willamette Valley’s best sparkling wine line-up. While that tends to be the flashier (or at least more effervescent) side of Lundeen’s winemaking prowess, we'll continue sharing the secret today: we adore Michael's 2019 Pinots. 

Longtime followers will recognize the first wine: Articulate, the Reserve bottling only made when the time is right. The newbie is Lundeen's Mon Pere, which achieves a new level of wonder and value in 2019 because Michael put in "more of the best stuff" of the vintage at the sacrifice of his single vineyard bottlings.

You might not be able to tackle point #1 above and visit the Lundeens, but you can get in on the secret.

$35.95 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case order ($39.95 regular)

Us: A synergy of savoriness and undeniable sweetness of Pinot. An expansive depth and length. Articulate speaks a unique and eloquent language. In English: it rocks! 

Articulate involves Michael Lundeen's desire to make a complex wine not just in a nebulous, "my wine is complex" way, but to articulate that complexity. He succeeds in a way much broader than he may have planned: bottling a fluent expression of what Willamette Valley Pinot noir is and should be. 

Michael's wines are typically about place. Articulate is intended to be the alter-ego: a winemaker's wine, a blended reserve acting as a counter-argument to place. It's not made every year, but when the wine is right...a best barrel/best-everything blend in 2019, with only 75 total cases produced. Less whole clusters and less new wood are used than in Lundeen's single vineyard wines. Decant or drink over a couple days.

95 points James Suckling: "Strawberry pie with baking spices, as well as cherries. Medium to full body with fine tannins and a long, beautiful finish. This is curated and focused with depth and structure. Sustainable. Best after 2025."

$22.95 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case order ($24.95 regular)

Us: A new level of brilliance for Mon Pere. Michael Lundeen says that’s because he put “more of the best stuff” into the 2019 at the expense of his single vineyard program. His loss is our gain. 

2019 Mon Pere takes me back to the first Lundeen Pinot noir I tasted that made me an instant fan–Michael’s “Reserve” 2008. What I recall more than a decade later, thanks to 2019 Mon Pere, is how Michael’s wines can conjure alluring elements of Nebbiolo. The ‘19 is so purely, prettily Pinot noir that you wouldn’t mistake it for anything but Pinot. Silky, even caressingly creamy with the yummiest of red fruits but wait…there’s a linear feel to it, too, a finely woven tapestry of structure that recalls its distant relative, Nebbiolo. I love it!

Lundeen: Meaning “My Father” in French, “Mon Pere” is meant to honor my father and fathers everywhere while providing tremendous value in a Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. As such, it is the flagship bottling and largest production wine Lundeen makes to be able to reach far and wide with the message of valuing family, integrity, and stewardship. The creation of the wine always begins with grapes from the Lundeen Estate vineyard on which I am a 3rd generation Lundeen raising a 4th. Beyond this estate, the “Mon Pere” bottling contains wines from various vineyards I farm throughout the northern Willamette Valley. As it is broadly sourced as well as hand-crafted, “Mon Pere” always has complexity beyond what is typical at its price point.