As fall is upon us and as you retire your rose, you may have a craving for red but not quite ready for the heavy stuff. While top Burgundian pinot noirs can be extremely pricey, you might look towards the New World for your quality light reds. Oregon is an infant wine region by old world standards but one with biceps. You can find a fantastic soul-warming wine from Willamette Valley for under $100, and Adelsheim is no exception.
Ginny and David Adelsheim purchased Quarter Mile Lane Vineyard in 1971. In 1978, the first commercial wines were produced. As Oregon’s wine industry grew at a rapid pace, Adelsheim grew with it.
The wine-makers use both traditional and state-of-the-art techniques to produce wines that show elegance, complexity, balance, and richness in their aromas, flavors, and texture. They accomplish this by managing crop size, allowing for a great concentration of fruit- as well as hand-sorting and destemming their pinot grapes into small, open-top fermenters. They ferment and age each batch of grapes separately before moving the must into oak barrels for 8-10 months of aging.
In terms of sustainability, Adelsheim became one of the 14 original wineries to be LIVE-certified in 2008. LIVE is the strictest winery certification program because it includes every aspect of winery sustainability, not just the materials that are used in the wines.
I love pinot noir from Willamette Valley because it is often a great compromise between the juicy fruit of Sonoma and the electric acid and earth of Burgundy. This 2005 vintage from the Chehalem Mountain AVA has both mouth-watering aromas of fresh fruit and a backbone of acidity which, combined with round, structural tannins, gives it great life and age-ability.