One of the great historic wineries in Oregon, Adelsheim was started in 1971 in the northern point of the Willamette Valley in the Chehalem Mountains AVA. David Adelsheim was the visionary behind this project as he previously had stints in Beaune as well as The Eyrie Vineyards before starting his own winery in Oregon. He was one of the first persons to see the potential for producing great Pinot Noir in Oregon. Fast forward nearly 50 years, Adelsheim now owns nearly 200 acres of land, with 180 acres of vineyards. Vineyard sites range from high elevation to low elevation, as well as volcanic and sedimentary soils. A few weeks back I had the opportunity with the Oregon Wine Board to try some of their new releases with their current winemaker, Gina Hennen, who has been at Adelsheim for 11 years, starting in the cellar and working her way up. Like many people in the wine industry, Gina started with another career before coming into wine. Gina attained a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Reed College and an AAS in Winemaking from Chemeketa. Before transitioning to a career in winemaking, she worked as a semiconductor engineer for seven years in both Oregon and Dublin, Ireland. She knew that winemaking was the correct career choice for her and returned to Oregon in early 2006.
The new releases by Adelsheim were fantastic across the board. One of the great wines of their collection is the gorgeous 2014 Adelsheim ‘Elizabeth’s Reserve’ Pinot Noir (WWB, 93) a barrel selection wine which showed gorgeous range and tension from this exciting vintage for Pinot Noir. Nearly as good was the 2015 Adelsheim ‘Breaking Ground’ Pinot Noir (WWB, 92) which showed really good range and beautiful poise considering the heat of the vintage. Learn more about these exciting wines at http://www.adelsheim.com Here are the new release wines by Adelsheim.
2016 Adelsheim Vineyard ‘Willamette Valley’ Chardonnay- The wine is sourced from estate fruit as well as a few outside properties. There is a touch of new oak blended in. This wine begins with aromas of toasty oak with pineapple, and banana on the nose. The palate shows some good balance with medium weight tree and citrus fruit flavors. Forward and delicious, enjoy this in its youth. Drink 2018-2022- 90
2016 Adelsheim ‘Chehalem Mountains’ Chardonnay- This wine was sourced from five different vineyards and was aged in 19% new oak. The wine begins with aromas of brioche, toasted macadamia nut and suggestions of Meyer lemon cream. The palate shows good tension and a lithe minerality. Lemon curd, brioche and roasted pineapple flavors come together in the glass, leading to a long, cream and mineral driven finish. Drink 2018-2024- 91
2016 Adelsheim ‘Barrel Fermented’ Chardonnay- Roughly 25% new French oak, the wine shows most toasty oak on the nose out of the Chardonnays, this was sourced from the Stoller Vineyard where they have sourced their Chardonnay since 1998. The palate shows nice viscosity and wonderful minerality. Vanilla cream, Meyer lemon zest and Pink Lady apple flavors all mingle nicely in the glass. Drink 2018-2024- 91
2014 Adelshiem ‘Elizabeth’s Reserve’ Pinot Noir- The ‘Elizabeth’s Reserve’ is a barrel selection Pinot Noir wine. This deeply colored Pinot Noir starts off with aromas of black raspberry cordial, smoke, wet earth and a touch of toasty oak. This takes on a slightly smoky edge automatically. The palate shows good acidity and balance with gorgeous red fruits that dance with the minerality. A long ager, this will cellar marvelously for the next fifteen plus years. Drink 2018-2033- 93
2015 Adelsheim ‘Breaking Ground’ Pinot Noir- This wine was first made in 2014. It is Pinot Noir sourced from the Chehalem Mountains which was blended from vines planted on loess, sedimentary and volcanic soils. The nose takes on nice terroir with earthy tones and wet stone character alongside some dark fruits. There is nice mid-palate poise as the mouthfeel and tension drives this wine. Red currant jelly, orange rind, and gran-cherry flavors come together in the glass. Drink 2018-2028- 92
2013 Adelsheim ‘Calkins Lane’ Pinot Noir- This site was picked before the weather event during harvest. This shows good teaberry and cran-raspberry aromas on the nose. The palate shows good astringency and tension with wild thyme, black raspberry and cigar ash flavors. This shows a good salinity. Drink 2018-2028- 92
2014 Adelsheim ‘Zenith Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- Adelshiem sources from five different blocks in the vineyard. The nose takes on wonderful black fruits with teaberry and forest floor aromatics shining brightly. Black tea, lavender and blackberry cobbler flavors mingle with nice minerality. Drink 2018-2028- 91
2014 Adelsheim ‘Bryan Creek’ Pinot Noir- This is a high elevation site in the Chehalem Mountains AVA. This starts off with intense aromas of teaberry, Asian spice and red cherry candy. The palate takes on a silky texture with black raspberry cordial, black tea and white truffle shavings coming together. Mineral driven and downright delicious, enjoy this over the next ten plus years. Drink 2018-2028- 92
2015 Adelshiem ‘Boulder Bluff’ Pinot Noir- This is the youngest of the plantings (2003) that are estate owned by Adelsheim. Peat moss and smoky accents with dark fruits build in the glass aromatically. The ‘Boulder Bluff’ Pinot Noir has a silky texture and ripe mouthfeel. The wine shows off red fruits like guava and cherry that dance with the strong minerality. This is another excellent bottling by Adelsheim. Drink 2018-2028- 92