Region: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Tasting Notes: Aromas of ripe plum, nutmeg, cigar box, and vanilla bean leap out of the glass. The perceivable fruit on the palate, cherry torte, tamarind paste, strawberry jam, anise, nutmeg, and cinnamon spice, help develop a balanced and weighted mouth feel with good acidity and smooth velvet tannin that lingers.
Pairing: Rack of lamb, rare fillet steak and carpaccio. Beef Wellington. Roast pork with herbs and fennel. Chicken or turkey sausages. Dishes with morels and other wild mushrooms. Stews, and root vegetables also make good pairings with this Pinot Noir. A classic pairing is Beef Bourguignon. Or, try a fun pairing with char siu pork or crispy duck pancakes. This Japanese-Style Beef Stew by Mark Bittman is an amazing twist of the standard recipe, and oh so yummy with the Illahe Pinot!
About: Pronounced Ill-Uh-Hee, is a local Chinook word meaning “earth” or “place” or “soil” .
Illahe’s vineyard is on an 80-acre, south-facing slope that was first planted in 2001 with 22 acres of Pinot Noir. The vineyard now has a total of almost 60 acres, planted with seven varieties; Pinot Noir dominates, accounting for 50 of those acres. They also use estate fruit from their family vineyard Glenn Creek, located near West Salem.
Illahe Vineyards is one of nine vineyards situated in the Mount Pisgah area. In this prime grape-growing region, the majority of the vineyard lies on marine sediments atop ancient siletz rock.
Illahe is a warm site that experiences slightly earlier budbreak and flowering than many vineyards in the Willamette Valley. The southerly aspect of the vineyard and the moderate elevation mean that grapes will achieve maturity even in cooler vintages. Moreover, the vineyard has excellent drainage (which is good for the vines) and because it catches the Van Duzer winds, the vineyard cools in the evening, pacing the maturation of the grapes.
The soils at Illahe give the wine complexity. Their overall characteristic is Willakenzie-type sedimentary clay – specifically Bellpine, Wellsdale, Dupee, with patches of volcanic Jory.
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