In from Oregon!
The Willamette Valley lies along Oregon's western
edge running from Eugene northward to Portland, and it is a magical
area for Nature's most finicky grapes.
Millions of years in the making, it was formed by
a combination of ancient underwater volcanoes and shifting tectonic
plates that pushed the Oregon coastal mountains from the ocean's
depths, nestling the valley between the Cascade Range 35 miles to
the east and the Calapooya Mountains to the south.
Blend in a couple of massive floods during
the Ice Age, and you can begin to appreciate how the alluvial mix of
volcanic and sedimentary soils magically settled in this bowl making
it an extremely fertile region for agriculture.
Newberg, Oregon lies at the northwestern end
of the valley, not far from where the Willamette River joins the
Columbia. This area represents one of the few places with the
precise combination of soil, elevation, temperature, and
micro-climate necessary to create something extraordinary from two
of the most site specific grapes in all of winemaking - Pinot Noir
These grapes thrive in only a few select
corners of the world as their thin skins demand a cool climate.
Perhaps this helps their uncanny ability to reflect the complex and
distinctive soils in which they're grown.
The cooler weather also predicates the need for
an extended hang-time to reach full ripeness, making each harvest a
dangerous dance with Mother Nature!
These are two of Her most quixotic,
frustrating, noble, beguiling, alluring, pleasing, temperamental and
downright excellent-when-done-right varieties, so the pursuit of
great wine made from them is not for the uninitiated, nor those
unwilling to take a chance.
This region of Oregon attracts those who will
risk failure in order to produce something truly great, and it is
precisely here that James and Andrea Frey chose to establish their
winery and chase their dream!
In 2003, they, along with their two young
children Tristan and Tatum, visited a 52-acre tract of wilderness
along the foothills of the coast range, and knew this was it! After
2 years of clearing and preparing the property, they planted 18
acres of Pinot Noir and 4 of Riesling in what would be the first of
3 estate vineyards, and the beginning of Trisaetum.
Two years later, they purchased another
property - 28 acres in the heart of the Ribbon Ridge AVA - and
planted it to 6 different clones of Pinot Noir and 2 of Riesling.
They also built a brand new 13,000 square foot gravity fed winery of
their dreams! This would be the nerve center where it would
all come together.
They later added the smaller Wichmann Dundee
vineyard in the Dundee Hills AVA - three separate vineyards with
three distinct soil compositions, all planted to the perfect grapes
to express their unique character!
In a relatively short span of time, the Frey
family has consistently produced wines that garner accolades from
around the world, and routinely rack up "Wine Enthusiast"
scores in the low-to-mid 90's.
What they do with Pinot Noir is so special,
Maison Louis Jadot even purchased a 20-acre vineyard adjacent to
Trisaetum with plans to work with them on the first wine they would
ever produce outside of Burgundy, France!
That's called "Respect"!
And with respect to the wines we are
highlighting this week, we'd like to tell you about the pair we have
just put on our shelves for you from Trisaetum:
Trisaetum Willamette Valley Riesling - $19.99: This
off-dry Riesling is made from a combination of fruit from all three
estate vineyards. All are sustainably and dry-farmed utilizing both
organic and bio-dynamic practices for quality. The fruit was allowed
to hang until mid-October to allow full ripeness for an opulent
The wine has a slight residual sweetness defined
by crisp apple and pear flavors. On the nose there are subtle aromas
of dried flowers and citrus blossom, while the palate offers crisp
apple and juicy pear flavors, and wildflower honey notes that are
balanced by natural acidity. This wine is ultimately about balance,
as the sweetness and acidity are in perfect harmony.
"Trisae" Pinot Noir - $22.99: This wine shows the
beautiful balance of a growing season that will go down as one of
the Willamette Valley's best! It too is a blend from all 3
vineyards, and it offers that elusive balance of fruit, tannin and
acidity which makes it a great food wine.
Plum, wild strawberry and blackberry aromas are
carried by a backbone of acidity, and finished by supple tannins.
Only 1200 cases of this wine were produced, and it should continue
to improve over the next 10 years with proper
If you're a fan of great Pinot Noir and fabulous
Riesling, we think these two wines may be exactly what you are
looking for. They are priced right, and are on the shelf now
waiting for you to take them home with you!
Only at Wine World!