Appassionata Allegro Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon 2019

Pale ruby color; raspberry, cherry, strawberry, blackberry, plum, forest floor, spice on the nose and palate.

Appassionata Allegro Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon 2019

Dry; modest, fine-grained tannins; lively acidity. Light-medium body, silky texture; 100% pinot noir from Dundee Hills AVA. This is Appassionata’s entry level pour although it is priced nearly to three figures. The Appassionata name references Beethovan’s Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57. The allegro name refers to the first movement of the sonata.

Allegro spends 18-20 months in barrel and is released three years after vintage. The winery’s other pinots—Andante and Fortissimo—are held five and 10 years respectively and are priced in three figures. Excellent example of why Willamette Valley is considered a source for some of the top pinot noirs in the world. 13.5% ABV

The Appassionate Estate is a passion project from famed German winemaker Ernst Loosen. He came to Oregon nearly 30 years ago looking for an American project and saw the just-dawning potential of the Willamette Valley. He began a small, collaborative project with J. Christopher Wines in 2005. A few vintages later, Loosen purchased 40 acres in the Chehalem Mountains, planted a vineyard, and built a winery.

The website notes: “His long-term vision was to establish an enduring family wine estate, dedicated to growing and producing exquisitely expressive wines with extraordinary ageability. It has been two decades in the making, but that vision is now being fully realized.”

Appassionata owner-winemaker Ernst Loosen

The Appassionata winery, built in 2010, nestles into the north-facing slope of the property. It features energy-efficient underground barrel caves, solar-powered fermentation buildings, and a gravity-fed crush pad. The tasting areas allow views of the eco-friendly gardens and views of the surrounding hills and vineyards. Ernest “Erni” Loosen and his family is famed for their German rieslings. That base allowed him to take the long view in making Willamette pinot—holding the wine in bottle for years is not standard, and accounts for the elevated price of this pour.

Appassionata vineyard
Appassionata wine tasting area

Appassionata Allegro Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon 2019 is classic, graceful Willamette Valley pinot from an internationally acclaimed winemaker. Tasty fruit, restrained tannins and acidity, impressive complexity, refined elegance and grace. At a price point near a Benjamin, it is not an everyday, knock-it-back wine, but it will enhance any serious meal or occasion. Pair with turkey; duck; salmon and other rich seafood; lighter beef dishes; veal; venison; pork tenderloin; pasta dishes with white sauces; earthy vegetarian dishes. Cheese—versatile, will work with many cheeses; gruyere, parmigiano reggiano, camembert, fontina, swiss, provolone, brie, taleggio. Avoid strong, stinky cheese, fresh goat cheeses. $85-95

Appassionata website

Appassionata owner-winemaker Ernst Loosen with team in the vineyard
Appassionata underground barrel cave
Appassionata team blending wine