Pale straw color; peach, vanilla, wet cement on the nose; pear, apple, lemon zest, citrus on the palate.
Dry; medium body; fresh, crisp in the mouth; excellent acidity (3.26 pH). Pinot blanc is a mutation of pinot noir; it often is called the “understudy to chardonnay.” Fruit for this effort is 100% estate grown vines, the second-oldest in the McMinnville AVA. Blocks: Casa (vines 25+ years old, Entav 55 clone on its own rootstock, 0.7 acres) and Mainfield (vines 20+ years old, Entav 55 clone on 3309 rootstocks, 6.21 acres). Fermented in 95% stainless steel, 5% in neutral oak for 53 days. Aged seven months in 97% stainless steel, 3% neutral oak; 13.3% ABV.
Website notes: “Pinot Blanc is near and dear to the YVV family, we try not to play favorites, but, if we had a favorite white wine, Pinot Blanc would be it.” The winery website proclaims: “We have the perfect climate for growing Pinot grapes because we are located in the rain-shadow of the Coastal Foothills, visited by frequent winds that form from the Van Duzer corridor, and planted on western facing sloped hillsides. All of these come together to result in unique wines of quality and distinction, grown 100% from our Estate.”
Yamhill County has more than 80 wineries and 200 vineyards, the largest concentration of grape growers and wine producers in any Oregon county. With their first vintage in 1983, Yamhill Valley Vineyards is the oldest winery in the McMinnville AVA (their vineyard is the second-oldest). They grow, produce and bottle their own grapes at their estate located on 150 acres in the rolling foothills of Oregon’s Coast Range Mountains, one hour southwest of Portland in the Willamette Valley. Yamhill Valley Vineyards grow and make pinot noir, pinot gris, pinot blanc, chardonnay, and riesling.
According to their website: “From our beginning we have been stubbornly dedicated to the pursuit of a character that is distinctively Oregon and distinctively Yamhill Valley. Our goal is to bring forth from this unusual and exciting property the finest possible expression of its intensity, charm and uniqueness.”
Principals in the Yamhill effort include Denis Burger, president/founder; Elaine McCall, owner/founder (and Denis’s wife); David Hinrichs, owner/founder; Stephen Cary, winemaker emeritus (who passed away in late April, 2018 after 26 years at the winery); Greg Burger, national sales; Carlos Escobar, vineyard manager; Monica Macais, cellar master. The operation is transitioning to second-generation family ownership, including Jenny and Laura Burger.
Yamhill Valley Vineyards Pinot Blanc, Willamette Valley 2015 is clean easy drinker with acidity to work with range of foods, particularly lighter fare. There is early softness and fruit, but by mid-palate and finish tincture of lemon zest and slight bitterness and oiliness adds intriguing drama. Pair with fare that has subtle flavors—salads with creamy dressing; light, flakey fish in simple sauce; soft-shell crab; chicken breast; vegetable dishes; cheese-based dishes; soft cheese. $22