One of the most famous houses in Willamette Valley is Willakenzie Estates. This winery is unique in that it produces Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris with small amounts of Pinot Meunier, Gamay Noir and Chardonnay. The tasting room has received a facelift in the past few years and the views from the expansive tasting room are some of the best in the valley.
I was pleasantly surprised with the 2011 Pinots as they were pretty much on-par with the 2012 Pinots, despite being a more challenging vintage. Willakenzie has produced quality and consistent wines for many years. I've enjoyed older vintages of their wines, including the 2006 Terres Basses and the 2003 Pierre Leon. Their wines are made for long-term aging. Their whites are very consistent as well. I find their 2012 Pinot Gris is one of the best values in Willamette Valley.
Here are some of the impressive wines that I recently tried from Willakenzie Estates
2012 Pinot Gris- This wine has a bright nose with lemon and grapefruit. Palate has mango, papaya, cantaloupe and lemon meringue pie. Delicious. -90
2011 Clos Marco Chardonnay- estate grown. stainless fermented. Cantaloupe and pear on the nose with vanilla. Palate has pear, red apple and minerals. Very nice, lighter style. -89
2010 Clos Marco Chardonnay- pear and grapefruit on the nose. More depth and richness than the 2011. Pear and starfruit with red apple and mushroom. Fruit has integrated better than the 2011. Nice minerality. -90
2011 Blanc de Pinots- This is 95% Pinot Noir and Gamay as well as Pinot Menuier. Cantaloupe, pear and starfruit on the nose. Palate has grapefruit, orange peel, starfruit and pear. Highly acidic and a bit lean, but novel. -89
2012 Pinot Menueir- Smoky nose that has oak with blackberry and raspberry. Palate has nice mouthfeel. Red cherry, red currant, smoked meats and vanilla. Tasty. -90
2012 Giselle Pinot Noir- This is their estate cuvée. Oak and red cherry with guava on the nose. Palate has nice balance. Medium weight. Pomegranate, guava, cherry pie and smoky oak. Very tasty now so drink now. -91
2011 Aliette Pinot Noir- This wine is from the oldest vines, planted in 1992. Very translucent color. Pommard clone. Smoky nose with red currant and white pepper. Palate is light bodied and bursting with acidity. Raspberry, guava and red cherry with white pepper. Tasty and refreshing. Would like more richness, vintage made this slightly diluted. -90
2011 Pierre Leon Pinot Noir- Nutmeg and white pepper with red currant on the nose. Palate has guava, pomegranate and red cherry. Slightly diluted, from a difficult vintage. Nice minerality. -91
2011 Terres Basses- Rich nose with cinnamon, white pepper, and anise. Palate has nice cherry pie, pomegranate, and guava on this fruity wine. Very solid, nice balance- 91