2018 Bjornson Vineyard Estate Pinot noir
Empty bottle weight: 18.5 ounces // 525 grams
If you’re not already familiar with Bjornson Vineyard, it shares a property line with the esteemed Seven Springs Vineyard, located in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA. Slightly more than 100 acres, the Bjornsons cleared the land and planted 28 acres with grapevines. More recently, they completed construction of a tasting room and winery that looks much like a French chateau.
A fortuitous meeting with another Midwestern transplant to the Willamette Valley, Mary Olsen of Airlie Winery, convinced Pattie and Mark Bjornson that they could make a go of it out West. So, after being bitten by the Pinot noir bug, they followed their dream of growing grapes and making wine from Minnesota, and officially relocated to Oregon in 2005. A few years later, Pattie began her winemaking education with enology classes at Chemeketa Community College, just a year before I enrolled there!
While Pattie focuses much of her time on the winemaking side of the business, Mark works out in the vineyard, artfully cultivating the grapes that will be transported mere feet to the winery when ripe. Their vineyard is directly affected by a unique weather event called the Van Duzer Corridor. Like clockwork, these winds funnel through a small gap in the Coast range, drawn into the Willamette Valley from the ocean, cooling the vineyard each afternoon during the warmer part of the growing season. As a result, the berries are smaller, with thicker skins and more concentrated flavors. This Pinot, made using all estate fruit, is a great example of the distinct Bjornson Vineyard terroir.
Earthy aromas of mushrooms, eucalyptus, and mocha nicely balanced fruit notes of cranberries and pomegranates.
Lively acidity led the way for tart, red fruit flavors of cranberries, underripe raspberries, and sour cherries. Mocha and cherry cola rounded out the wine’s tart notes, and culminated into a savory, rosemary herb finish.
Food pairing suggestions:
Grilled pork chops // rosemary tempeh flatbread // coconut macadamia-crusted salmon
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