As part of Oregon wine month we bring you a great historic Oregon winery first founded in 1971. Adelsheim’s roots began in the northern portion of the Willamette Valley in the Chehalem Mountains AVA. Visionary David Adelsheim had previously worked in Beaune as well as The Eyrie Vineyards before starting his own winery in Oregon. Having spent time in Burgundy, he saw the potential for producing Pinot Noir in Oregon. Today Adelsheim now owns nearly 200 acres of land, with 180 acres of vineyards as they produce a brilliant range of wines — from Rose to stony Pinot Noir. Vineyard sites range from high elevation to low elevation, as well as volcanic and sedimentary soils.
Last year I visited with their head winemaker, Gina Hennen, who has been at Adelsheim for 11 years, starting in the cellar and working her way up. Gina previously worked as semiconductor engineer for seven years in both Oregon and Dublin, Ireland. A former graduate of Reed College, Gina knew that her roots were in the Pacific Northwest and found her calling in winemaking.
Her new wines were brilliant across the board. I was very impressed with her 2018 Adelsheim Rose (WWB, 90) which shows delicate red fruits and tons of brilliant acidity on the mid-palate. I was really impressed by her 2015 Adelsheim ‘Zenith Vineyard’ Pinot Noir (WWB, 93) which has incredible terroir from this wonderful vineyard owned by St. Innocent’s Mark Vlossak. Learn more about these beautiful new releases at http://www.adelsheim.com Here are the excellent new release wines by Adelsheim.
2018 Adelsheim Rose- The 2018 Adelshiem Rose shows off a brilliant salmon hue and opens with bright melon and wet stone tones with lighter red fruits that fill the nose. The palate takes on a ton of lip-smacking acidity, revealing bright cranberry and honeydew melon flavors that connect with the good sense of minerality. Drink 2019-2023- 90
2017 Adelsheim ‘Willamette Valley’ Chardonnay- This opens with aromas of baked apple, citrus zest and hints of vanilla cream that all fill the nose. The texture is inviting, as is the enticing mouth-watering acidity that builds in the mouth. Delicious now, this would pair beautifully with fresh oysters. Drink 2019-2025- 90
2016 Adelsheim ‘Staking Claim’ Chardonnay- The 2016 ‘Staking Claim’ opens with wonderful toasted hazelnut, vanilla cream and banana tones that round out the seductive nose. The palate has good ripeness and texture, unveiling banana, wet stone, lemon zest and Pink Lady apple flavors. Delicious now, this will cellar well over the next decade. Drink 2019-2029- 92
2016 Adelsheim ‘Ribbon Springs Vineyard’ Chardonnay- Sourced from the Ribbon Springs Vineyard in the Ribbon Ridge AVA, this opens with an intense aromatic profile of lemon zest, Japanese pear and undertones of hay and wild mushroom that all connect in the glass. The palate has great intensity with orchard fruit flavors, leading to an exceedingly long and mineral driven finish. This is a seriously good effort. Drink 2019-2029- 92
2015 Adelsheim ‘Caitlin’s Reserve’ Chardonnay- The ‘Caitlin’s Reserve’ Chardonnay is a fantastic barrel-selection bottling from this storied estate. On the nose this takes on marvelous richness with nutmeg, toasty brioche, baked apple and suggestions of white truffle. The earthy tones awaken the senses as the wine has a wonderful mouthfeel and a seamless texture throughout. A stunning wine, the ‘Caitlin’s Reserve’ will have a long life ahead of it — but is marvelous in its youth. Drink 2019-2033- 93
2017 Adelsheim ‘Willamette Valley’ Pinot Noir- This bottling stats off with red currant and citrus rind on the nose with lighter wet stone undertones. The palate has good freshness with medium bodied red and dark fruit flavors with hints of damp earth. Drink 2019-2023- 89
2015 Adelsheim ‘Breaking Ground’ Pinot Noir- First made in 2014, this Pinot Noir is sourced from the Chehalem Mountains and is 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 red fruit flavors come together nicely in the glass. Drink 2019-2029- 92
2015 Adelsheim ‘Boulder Bluff’ Pinot Noir- This is the youngest of the plantings 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 2019-2029- 92
2015 Adelsheim ‘Winderlea’ Pinot Noir- The Winderlea Vineyard is a 20 acre parcel of land and Adelsheim sources from one acre which is planted to Dijon clone 667. The nose evokes dark fruit aromas with lighter earthy undertones that all collide in the glass. The silky texture entices as the wine yields bright dark fruit, red fruit and citrus rind flavors that connect with the peat moss and wet stone accents of this beautifully layered Pinot Noir. Drink 2019-2033- 93
2015 Adelsheim ‘Nicholas Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- Sourced for the Nicholas Vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains AVA, this Pinot Noir opens with intense aromas of wild mushroom, peat moss and wild blackberry preserves that all build in the glass. Smooth and refined, the wine delivers a good combination of dark fruits with blood orange zest and peat moss flavors. Delicious now, this will evolve well for the next fifteen plus years. Drink 2019-2033- 93
2015 Adelsheim ‘Ribbon Springs Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- Set in the Ribbon Ridge AVA, the Ribbon Springs Vineyard is a 60-acre Adelsheim estate which as first planted in 1996. The nose is bright with red fruits and citrus rind accents adding the the intrigue with undertones of cardamom. The palate has a good combination of weight and freshness as guava, red currant and blood orange zest with peat moss undertones all collide in the mouth. Delightful now, this will continue to develop over the next two decades. Drink 2019-2033- 93
2015 Adelsheim ‘Calkin’s Lane Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- The Calkins Lane Vineyard is perched in the Chehalem Mountains AVA as this vineyard is set on marine sedimentary soils. On the nose this shows cloves with red currant and red cherry preserves that round out the nose. The palate has good weight as bright red fruits connect with a good salinity that runs through this beautiful wine. Drink 2019-2033- 92
2015 Adelsheim ‘Temperance Hill Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- One of the great Willamette Valley Vineyards, the Temperance Hill Vineyardis located in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA. The nose delights with bright red fruits, kumquat and wet stone accents that connect in the glass. The palate has a good combination of freshness and poise as the wine delivers medium-bodied red fruit and citrus flavors. Drink 2019-2029- 91
2015 Adelsheim ‘Bryan Creek Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- The 2015 ‘Bryan Creek Vineyard’ Pinot Noir opens with bright red fruits with citrus and peat moss tones on the nose. The palate shows off a silky texture with ripe guava and citrus zest flavors alongside the earthy undertones. Drink 2019-2029- 91
2015 Adelsheim ‘Zenith Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- The ‘Zenith Vineyard,’ owned by St. Innocent’s Mark Vlossak, has become one of the great vineyards in the Willamette Valley. This Pinot Noir slowly unveils wonderful aromatic range, from smoked meats to volcanic earth to ripe cranberry and wild blackberry tones that shine on the nose. The palate is elegant and rich, showing enticing red and dark fruit flavors with blood orange and a dusting of volcanic earth. Deep and layered, this beautiful wine will cellar well for decades. Drink 2019-2035- 93
2015 Adelsheim ‘Elizabeth’s Reserve’ Pinot Noir- The 2015 ‘Elizabeth’s Reserve’ Pinot Noir is another outstanding bottling from this famed Oregon estate. Bright red fruits, cinnamon, peat moss and toasty oak line this expressive nose. The texture to this wine is seriously good, as is the floral tones and bright acidity that races through this excellent Pinot Noir. While delicious in its youth, this will cellar well over the next two decades. Drink 2019-2035- 93