You know how it feels when you taste a wine that really blows your hair back? Well this was that wine! Although this small winery hasn’t been around long, owner-winemaker Matt Vuylsteke has 18 vintages under his belt. He worked for wineries through the Pacific Northwest for almost two decades before starting his own brand. Now he and his wife Nancy make between 300-600 total cases of wine at Portland’s SE Wine Collective.
Using all Willamette Valley Pinot noir fruit, the grapes for this wine underwent a seven day cold soak to extract more color, flavor and tannins out of the skins before fermentation was allowed to begin. After that, Matt tries to be pretty hands off in the winemaking process, calling himself a “minimal interventionist.” The grape clones is this wine are a mix of Pommard, 777, 115 & 667– each imparting different aromas and flavors to the Pinot.
The first thing we noticed about this wine was the full mouth texture. Of medium weight, similar to most Willamette Valley Pinot noirs, yet it felt so voluptuous in our mouths! Even with this being a warmer vintage, Matt has teased out the acid levels, leaving a wine with a pleasant tartness of sour cherries and rhubarb. We also found savory notes of rosemary, forest floor and a kiss of anise coupled with violets and a hint of vanilla.
Pair this wine with your mouth! Just let its amazing texture caress your tongue… but if you want to drink it with food, we suggest going traditional with baked salmon, rosemary chicken or a charcuterie plate with local cheeses and meats.
Michele Francisco, a founder and regular contributor to Winerabble, a blog primarily about Pacific Northwest wines, is living the dream in Portland, Oregon. Her passion leads some to believe she's got wine running through her veins. Contact Michele at firstname.lastname@example.org & be sure to visit her online portfolio at www.michelefrancisco.com.