Undiscovered Gems: 2019 Small-Batch Pinots

The new 2019 Willamette Valley Pinots are beautiful and we are stoked to share these two 2019 selections from our January Oregon Reserve Pinot wine club. Given the number of Pinots we taste in a year, inclusion in the club is as high an endorsement as we have!

These two lovelies typify our mission over our 30+ years: finding undiscovered gems from small wineries and sharing them with Willamette Valley Pinot fans everywhere. You're highly unlikely to see them outside of Oregon...let alone outside of our offerings; less than 100 cases of each were made.

$44.95 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case order ($49.95 regular)

This handsome Pinot is a great example of why we’re loving the 2019 vintage, which is often called a “classic” Oregon vintage: fresh fruits, elegant textures, relatively lower alcohols. We’ve grown accustomed to the more fruit forward, warm vintage characteristics of the last five (five–unprecedented!) and Trathen Hall’s Hyland shows up to the party acting all cool. Effortlessly cool a la James Dean.

The combination of the volcanic Jory soil, the Coury clone of Pinot noir, and the location of the vineyard in the Coast range foothills produced a wine of unique elegance and beauty. Purples and reds come together with boysenberry and pomegranate accented by streaks of cedar and spice, all gliding on a plush smoothness.

There’s a lovely contribution from 35% whole clusters and virtually no influence of oak–aged for 10 months entirely in neutral barrels. Only 75 cases made

Hyland is one of the Willamette Valley’s heritage vineyards; it was established in 1972. The most coveted Pinot noir block is the 1989-planted Coury clone (Patricia Green Cellars fans may recognize this since there’s a PGC Hyland Vineyard Coury Clone bottling).

The Coury clone is known as a “suitcase clone” because it was originally smuggled into the country from Colmar, Alsace by Charles Coury in 1964…probably in an actual suitcase. Coury is one of the Willamette Valley’s original wine industry pioneers and this clone is his legacy.

$34.95 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case order ($39.95 regular)

We love the two 2019 single vineyard Pinot noirs from Redolent. The first, This Must Be The Place, was featured in early 2021 and we’re back with the wine responsible for starting the winery: Carlton Hill! Aromas of wild strawberry, raspberries, incense, and purple flowers lead to flavors of bright red fruits accented by warm soil, blood orange, lavender, and white pepper. It carries just the right amount of heft with a feel that’s wonderfully balanced. And it drinks especially well right now, which we’re always in favor of.

Above the towns of Yamhill and Carlton grows the stunning 11-acre Carlton Hill Vineyard. Planted in 1999, this vineyard is planted with a pure eastern sun exposure, somewhat noteworthy for Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. Redolent works with the classic Willamette Valley clones of Pommard and Wädenswil from Carlton Hill, and it always produces a distinctively superlative Yamhill-Carlton Pinot noir.

The quick backstory of Redolent Wine is a vineyard owner (David Polite, Carlton Hill Vineyard) contacted a wine salesman (Boyd Pearson) who enlisted a fermenter (Jon Larson) and a winemaker (John Grochau) to help make a single vineyard Pinot noir. Call it a lucky break. Call it providential. Call it propitious. We just hope you call it delicious! Like the seasons, life comes full circle, and you get through it with a little help from your friends.

Introducing someone to a memorable wine brings true joy. Jon and Boyd bring all of their experiences to the table to collaborate on every wine they make and continue to push each other through experimentation to try and produce both wines redolent of place and wines redolent of simple pleasure.