Noel Family Vineyard, Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley, Oregon 2011


The complexity of Oregon’s Willamette Valley is millennia in the making. Thanks to an ancient lava eruption, the Missoula Floods, and the shifting of tectonic plates over the Willamette Valley’s, the geological history in this pocket of the world cannot be replicated. The incredibly diverse Chehalem Mountains AVA is home to a vast array of soil types that lend to the stunning wine produced there. Michael and Lisa Noel planted their treasured two acres to six Burgundian clones of Pinot Noir in premium Jory soils at 800 feet of elevation. The high elevation hill has a western-facing aspect and looks over a picturesque view of Ribbon Ridge AVA and the Coastal Mountain Range, forming the western boundary of Willamette Valley. Their veteran vineyard manager, Luis Hernandez, currently manages the famed 87-acre Sokol Blosser vineyard for over twenty years before joining the Noel family. Under his guidance, yields are limited to a mere one to one-and-a-half tons per acre, lending ample concentration and aromatics to each grape used. Farming is strictly organic and worked without pesticides, herbicides or fungicides. This dedication translates to pristine, concentrated fruit and a definitive sense of place.

Michael and Lisa first met at Carnegie-Mellon, but it was on a trip to visit Lisa’s family in Verona, Italy in 1996 that first inspired the couple to seek out a life in the wine industry. Before they purchased their special pocket of land in the Willamette, Michael first crafted wines in his garage. After they jointly cleared the land and planted their vines, the Noels hired veteran winemaker Todd Hamina who handcrafts the Noel Family Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir in his own Biggio Hamina Cellars. Following fermentation, only the free-run juice is racked into 100% French oak barrels where the wine ages for roughly one year. Thanks to the strict use of the free run juice, the wine has immense purity, a silken mouthfeel and has incredibly soft tannins akin to a well made Chambolle-Musigny.

This stunning wine exhibits a highly reflective, pale ruby red core with light garnet reflections on the rim. Intense and feminine aromatics of ripe strawberry, red cherry, candied raspberry and rose petals charm the nose over aromas of dew-kissed forest floor, wild herbs and a clean yet complex varietal perfume. The medium-bodied palate boasts a beautiful sweetness to the wild, red berry fruit as well as flavors of wet rose petals and savory earth characteristics, which are wrapped in seamless, soft tannins and a silken mouthfeel. This wine is ready to drink now and will delight lovers of the Old and New World alike. To enjoy, decant for fifteen minutes and serve at cellar temperature in Burgundy stems. Serve alongside this sautéed duck breast with wild mushrooms and savor every moment.

“For Pinot lovers around the world, this micro-boutique wine showcases an ideal snapshot of what Oregon is truly capable of.”

SommSelect: Noel Family Vineyard, Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley, Oregon 2011 - SommSelect

Country United States
Region Oregon
Sub-Region Willamette Valley
Varietal 100% Pinot Noir
Alcohol 13%
Oak French
Soil Jory
Farming Organic
Service Temperature n/a
Glassware n/a
Drinking Window n/a
Decanting n/a
Pairing n/a