Richard Erath bought this 49 acre property from the Dopp family in 1968 naming it Chehalem Mountain Vineyard (CMV). From the original planting only the weathered, ungrafted, dry-farmed 2.34 acres of block B-3 remains. As early as 1967 Richard began acquiring plant material from California, altogether bringing over 20 different clones of Pinot Noir to his nursery in the Willamette valley. While a good number of those clones turned out to be unsuccessful there is some mystery to the exact make up of clones he used within CMV, and more specifically, Block B-3; though it is known to be predominantly Pommard 04 and Wadenswil 2A. Pommard 04 was sourced from UC Davis which had been introduced in the early '50's by Professor Harold Olmo of UC Davis from cuttings taken directly Ch. de Pommard in Burgundy. The Wadenswil came from Wente vineyards in Arroyo Seco.
CMV is located in the far western edge of the Chehalem Mountains AVA. The higher reaches of the hills in Ribbon Ridge AVA provide a shelter-effect for the vineyard. The growing season tends to start slightly later while temperatures remain more consistent throughout the season providing uniform ripening. The soils are sedimentary based Wellsdale loam, which are fine textured, moderately deep though low in nutrients which limits vigor. The block's south facing position in the upper bench of the vineyard provide a natural defense against vine diseases via airflow and sun angle. All of these factors have allowed for, and contributed to, these vines approaching their 50th harvest. Additionally, the root systems of these old vines have dredged deep enough to allow them to maintain themselves very effectively and eek out a living in the even the most extreme of vintages. Consistently, though the yields are tiny, the harvested grapes are optimally pure and sound.
The resulting wine reflects a quiet confidence, filled with a bouquet of sweet & savory herbs, allspice and freshly turned earth surrounding a subtle core farmers-market-fresh fruits. The tannins are ultra fine and matched with effortless power and length. Elegance and refinement over all else.
Chehalem Mountain Vineyard: Chehalem Mountains sub-AVA, Clones- Pommard 04, Wadenswil 2A
This is the last remaining block of grapes from a vineyard planted in 1968 by Oregon pioneer Dick Erath. Yields are less than 1.5 tons per acre, and the wine’s aromatics are loaded with rose petals and cherry blossoms. Delicate and graceful, it disguises its power with subtle raspberry, blackberry, and cherry fruit. The finish is exceptional, long and complex, with subtle hints of coffee and caramel. Give this wine your full attention, and see how long it lingers.
"The 2014 Pinot Noir Block B3 Old Vines is a new addition to the range, the vines planted in 1968 by Richard Erath. It was picked on 1 October and includes 5% whole cluster, matured for 15 months in 36% new French oak. The nose is vivacious and expressive with cranberry and wild strawberry scents, a fine sense of mineralité immediately apparent. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp and fine tannin, quite tertiary and masculine with touches of dried herbs, and tobacco towards the finish. This has real personality and character, and should age with some style."