As we continue our jaunt into Oregon Wine Month we share one of the great boutique producers set in the Dundee Hills. I have long enjoyed tasting at De Ponte, first visiting them in 2007. A laid back, relaxed atmosphere to taste their wines, De Ponte produces a range of great Pinot Noir bottling and one of the best Melon de Bourgogne wines in North America, their ‘D.F.B.’ First started by the Baldwin family in 1999, 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, as it leans on the talented Isabelle Dutartre for all winemaking. Dutartre is originally from Burgundy in France and you will find that no surprise when you taste these highly Burgundian wines. Vines planted are set on ancient volcanic soils with clay loam influence.
I was very impressed with the range of wines that Dutartre has crafted. Look to her refreshing 2017 De Ponte ‘D.F.B.’ Melon de Bourgogne (WWB, 90) which is lithe and highly refreshing, showing a really good texture and poise. I was really impressed with her 2016 De Ponte ‘Lonesome Rock Ranch’ Pinot Noir (WWB, 93) which has wonderful red fruits and a great sense of place with its volcanic earth influence. Learn more about these outstanding wines at https://www.depontecellars.com Here are the exciting new releasees by De Ponte.
2017 De Ponte ‘D.F.B’ Melon de Bourgogne- The ‘D.F.B’ Melon de Bourgogne opens with bright pear, lychee and kumquat aromas with lighter damp earth accents that build in the glass. The palate has good freshness with bright citrus and orchard fruit flavors that connect with the good sense of minerality. Drink 2019-2023- 90
2016 De Ponte ‘Dundee Hills’ Pinot Noir- The 2016 De Ponte ‘Dundee Hills’ Pinot Noir opens with ripe dark fruits with shades of damp earth and citrus blossom that connect on the nose. The palate is refined with good freshness and verve, delivering dark fruits that connect with lighter earthy undertones. This is a terrific new effort by De Ponte that will cellar well for a decade or more. Drink 2019-2029- 91
2016 De Ponte ‘Estate’ Pinot Noir- The 2016 ‘Estate’ Pinot Noir has a beautiful bouquet of black truffle shavings, black tea and blackberry jam that all connect in the glass. The silky texture impresses in this elegant Pinot Noir. Black fruits mingle with the damp earth and peat moss tones on the palate. With great structure and weight, this great new effort will cellar well over the next fifteen years. Drink 2019-2033- 92
2016 De Ponte ‘Lonesome Rock Ranch’ Pinot Noir- The 2016 De Ponte ‘Lonesome Rock Ranch’ Pinot Noir shows a wonderful bouquet of volcanic earth, red fruits and citrus rind undertones that persist in the glass. With a brilliant, plush mouthfeel, the wine delivers downright sexy red fruit flavors that mingle with the minerals and earthy undertones. Lithe and outstanding now, this will continue to cellar well over the next fifteen years. Drink 2019-2033- 93
2016 De Ponte ‘Baldwin Estate Reserve’ Pinot Noir- The ‘Baldwin Estate Reserve’ Pinot Noir starts off with a bright bouquet of citrus zest that combines with forest floor and wild blackberry, with wild mushroom undertones. The palate shows good freshness and verve, with medium-bodied red and dark fruit flavors that connect with the lighter orange zest and peat moss accents. Drink 2019-2029- 92
2015 De Ponte ‘Butcher’s Block Reserve’ Pinot Noir- The ‘Butcher’s Block Reserve’ Pinot Noir by De Ponte opens with serious range on the nose from ripe red fruits to citrus blossom and peat moss with wet stone undertones. Silky smooth through the mid-palate, this unveils beautiful red and dark fruits with shades of citrus rind and bulls blood. Complex and delicious, this will continue to evolve well over the next fifteen years. Drink 2019-2033- 93