De Ponte Cellars is the home of one of the oldest vineyards in the Willamette Valley. This scenic property up in the Dundee Hills was acquired by the Baldwin family in 1999 the winery later became De Ponte Dellars. De Ponte is named after the matriarch of the Baldwin family, Shirley Baldwin. De Ponte, her maiden name which is of Portuguese origin, honors her father who grew grapes and made his own wine in California's San Joaquin Valley.
De Ponte released its first Pinot Noir in 2001, and utilizes French Winemaker Isabelle Dutartre to craft their wines. Dutartre studied in the Burgundy region of France and makes Pinot Noir, as well as Melon, which is very rare in Oregon as well as the United States. The vineyard is set on red clay-loam soils deposited by ancient floods which is mineral driven volcanic soil.
I was very impressed with the last set of new release wines by De Ponte cellars. Their 2014 De Ponte Cellars ‘D.F.B.’ Melon de Bourgogne (WWB, 91) was lithe, deep and incredibly layered. This one of a kind wine will cellar well into the next decade. The best Pinot Noir wine that I sampled from this estate was their 2014 ‘Estate’ Pinot Noir (WWB, 93) which shows wonderful dark and red fruit flavors as well as a silky texture. Learn more about these outstanding wines at https://www.depontecellars.com Here are the great new wines by De Ponte Cellars.
2014 De Ponte Cellars ‘D.F.B.’ Melon de Bourgogne- The 2014 De Ponte 'D.F.B' Melon de Bourgogne is a fantastic and bright release from this estate. This was aged in stainless steel with the exception of one used French oak barrel in the final blend. As this slowly opens it begins to release aromas of pear, starfruit, and jasmine flower with honeydew. This leads to light flavors of red delicious apple, starfruit and a touch of green papaya. This is lithe and lovely wine that is a great summer value buy. Drink 2017-2025- 91
2014 De Ponte Cellars 'Estate' Pinot Noir- This wine is an excellent effort from this Dundee Hills estate. There are lovely aromatics of baked goods, vanilla, anise and strawberries. The tension is marvelous delivering red fruits, as well as hints of cassis and spice. This finishes silky and will cellar beautifully but it is nearly impossible to resist this delicious wine now. Drink 2017-2029- 93 (S.D.)
2014 De Ponte Cellars 'Dundee Hills' Pinot Noir- This dark colored Pinot begins with a nose of vanilla, sour cherry and raspberry. The first sip does not disappoint with a delightful marriage of cherry pie, terroir and sexy tannins that lead to a strong finish towards the back end. Drink 2017-2027- 91 (S.D.)
2014 De Ponte Cellars 'Lonesome Rock Ranch' Pinot Noir- A surprisingly deep bolt of stewed fruit. wet earth and rose petal which gives way to a distinct palate of stewed fruits, wet rock, anise and a long, lingering finish. The weight of this earthy wine is awesome and the plush texture is inviting. This will cellar marvelously for a decade or more as it is another outstanding effort from this Dundee Hills estate. Drink 2017-2028- 92 (S.D.)