Failla Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2018
Ehern Jordan is a rock star in the wine world. Like he was shot out of a golden champagne bottle, his career has spanned Kermit Lynch (all across France), Jean-Luc Colombo (Cornas), Helen Turley (he was the assistant who made her 100-point Zinfandels), Helen Turley again making 100-point Pinot Noirs, along with stops at Neyers and many other famed wineries along the way. Talent makes its own luck and Ehern is an extremely talented winemaker. Here is one of his beautiful Pinots, at a supreme discount.
From the winery:
“Failla Wines began in 1998, born of the opportunity to make expressive wines from single vineyard locations across California’s western Sonoma Coast. Ehren, never one for slowing down, rapidly expanded the Failla stable from 2 wines in 1998 to over 30 wines two decades later. Our expansion into the Pacific Northwest is indicative of Ehren’s forward-thinking nature, and desire to constantly challenge himself with excellent vineyards in different regions.
“In 2001, we sourced fruit from the famous Goldschmidt Vineyard. Logistics proved a challenge and we only made that one vintage. Several years and a few plane trips later, we were offered Pinot from the legendary Seven Springs Vineyard and the Oregon bug officially bit us again. In 2016 we made 6 wines from all over the Willamette Valley, and in 2017 we are expanding the lineup to include Chardonnay, Riesling and Grüner Veltliner. Long term, we have plans for developing an 80 acre vineyard site in Dallas, Oregon, located southwest of our new Tasting Room off Zena Road in Salem.
“After cutting his winemaking teeth assisting a consultant in France’s Rhone Valley during the difficult 1992 and 1993 vintages, Ehren Jordan went on to make powerful Petite Sirahs and Zinfandels for Turley Wine Cellars. The lessons he learned in France about maximizing ripeness in challenging conditions now serve Jordan at the 85-acre property on the Sonoma Coast, about 2.5 miles from the Pacific Ocean. In 1998 Ehren planted another parcel contiguous to their first, and in 2002 planted it with five acres of rootstock before grafting six selections of long-coveted Pinot Noir scion material the following year. Ehren’s commitment to the highest standards of viticultural practice, coupled with his education in France and throughout California, is expressed every bottle of Failla Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.”
Back to Waterford:
This Pinot offers up gorgeous red plum, raspberry and ripe pomegranate notes on the nose, backed up with brown baking spices and touches of caramelized baked goods. The palate is elegant and fresh, revealing a classic Willamette style that perfectly balances New World sunshine with Old World winemaking style. While it is not labeled as such, this is actually a single vineyard wine, entirely from the Seven Springs Vineyard in Eola Amity. The wine offers a depth of complexity and the backbone that you would expect from Eola Amity and while it drinks great now, has many more years in the cellar.
Rock-star wines typically don’t come cheap, but we managed to score a small stash of this at a great price. Don’t miss it.
“93 points. Editors’ Choice.
“You’ll have to search far and wide to find a Willamette Valley Pinot this good at this price. Winemaker Ehren Jordan is a proven Pinot master, and works his magic here, using fruit from top Chehalem Mountain and Eola-Amity sites. This offers a well-integrated mix of fruit and barrel flavors, blackberries, black cherry, mocha and coffee. The ripe and focused tannins add notes of espresso and toasted hazelnuts; the wine is a sheer joy to drink. Editors’ Choice.” – Wine Enthusiast