SavorNW Wine Awards 2019 Winners Announced (March 2019)

Panther Creek Cellars 2016 Kalita Vineyard Pinot Wins Best of Class

The SavorNW Wine Awards competition featured more than 750 wines from throughout the Northwest and was conducted February 24-27 in Cannon Beach, Oregon. The competition included 80 Pinot Noirs. Two judging panels each nominated a single wine for Best Pinot Noir and a final judges' evaluation declared co-Best of Class winners. When the winners of the blind competition were revealed, the co-Best of Class awards went to Willamette Valley's Panther Creek Cellars 2016 Kalita Vineyard Pinot Noir and to Southern Oregon's Rellik Winery for their 2016 Pinot Noir.



Et Fille Wines Launches Guest Winemaker Series with Burner Wines, another Kalita Vineyard Client on April 13, 2019

Two Kalita Vineyard clients, Jessica Mozeico and Lisa Burner will pour their wines at the Et Fille Tasting Room in Newberg, Oregon on April13th.  Here is Jessica’s invitation to the event.

Et Fille & Burner Wines

Et Fille & Burner Wines

Et Fille Tasting Room

Et Fille Tasting Room

Guest Winemaker Series: Burner Wines

  • Saturday, April 13, 2019

  • 12:00 PM  6:00 PM

We operated by appointment only in the winery for 13 years before we opened our tasting room. During that time, we were invited to pour in the tasting rooms of other wineries from time to time. We met some great Friends of Et Fille that way. Now it is time for us to pay it forward and welcome our winemaker friends that don’t have tasting rooms in the valley to share their story and pour their wines. That means you get to taste beautiful wines from two wineries- it is an opportunity to taste an old favorite and discover a new one. No appointment is needed- simply stop by on the day they are our guests and taste wines from both wineries for $15 (waived for Et Fille Club members).

On 4/13, join Lisa Burner of Burner Wines to hear how Lisa decided to start her own winery and taste her beautiful wines. Hint: Like us, Lisa started by making wine in her garage. Jessica met Lisa through Arthur Kalita when Lisa started working with Kalita Vineyard.



Domaine Divio’s 2017 Les Perles Noires Kalita Vineyard Pinot Noir Fetches $7,000 in the 2019 WVWA Pinot Noir Auction

Bruno Corneaux, owner/winemaker for Domaine Divio, made a special 5 case lot of the 2017 “Les Perles Noires” Kalita Vineyard Pinot Noir for the hugely successful 2019 Pinot Noir Auction of the Willamette Valley Wineries Association. The Auction on April 5-6th raised a record-breaking  $1,016,000 to support the educational and marketing initiatives of the Association.

Here are the details for Bruno’s 2017 Les Perles Noires Kalita Pinot.


LOT 37

ALCOHOL | 13.2%

Les Perles Noires is a hand selection of the most pristine Pommard clusters shaped with beautiful black pearl-like berries, fermented in a small tank with 50% whole clusters. It was then aged in a once-filled French oak barrel for 14 months. The aromas reveal elevated spices and red fruit, dark cherries, cedar and cranberry notes. The very vibrant mouthfeel is elegant and refined with its crunchy small red fruit flavors that roll under the palate like thousands of precious aroma pearls.

Domaine Divio’s name comes from the early designation of the town of Dijon, France, where Bruno Corneaux, a fourth-generation grape grower from the Beaune region in Burgundy, received his master’s degree in enology and viticulture. Working harvest in the Willamette Valley in 1996, Bruno fell in love with this part of Oregon.



Wine Spectator Retrospective on the 2008 Oregon Vintage

In the June 15th issue of the Wine Spectator long-time reviewer of Oregon wines, Harvey Steiman, returned to the great 2008 vintage of Oregon Pinot Noir and concluded ten years on that the wines are even better than he thought when he originally reviewed the vintage. Among the boosts in ratings Mr. Steiman raised his rating of the 2008 Et Fille Kalita Vineyard Pinot Noir from a spectacular 92 to a stupendous 94. He also extended the drinking window to 2023.  If you can find the 2008 Et Fille Kalita Pinot Noir put a few bottles away for 3-4 years.




Et Fille Wines Kalita Vineyard Pinot Noir Vertical tasting

On May 12th I had the pleasure of joining Jessica Mozeico of Et Fille Wines for a vertical tasting of Et Fille Kalita Vineyard Pinot Noir ranging from the 2004 to the 2014 vintage with Et Fille Wine Club members. The tasting was on the second anniversary of the Et Fille Tasting Room in Newberg where my wife and daughter’s design firm Common Bond Design assisted Jessica in the Room’s design. 

It was fascinating to see and taste the evolution of the wines in both warm and cool vintages. It was hard to pick a favorite I was most pleasantly surprised with the 2007 Kalita, a vintage that has been overshadowed by the iconic 2008 vintage in Oregon. This is what Jessica had to say about the 2007 Et Fille Kalita when the wine was released. 

"This year’s Kalita brings Clint Eastwood to mind…. You see its boldness at first, but it reveals complex depth over time. The dark blackberry color leads to a multi-dimensional flavor profile. The front palate is dominated by bright red fruit, while a depth follows of chocolate and caramel.” 

As noted in the Wine Spectator Retrospective on the great 2008 vintage the Oregon Pinots are showing their “ageability.”The 2007 Et Fille Kalita Pinot still has a few years of life left. 

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Kalita Vineyard Pinot Noir Featured in the 2018 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Auction

The Willamette Valley Wineries Association held its third annual Pinot Noir Auction on April 6-7, 2018.  Bruno Corneaux, Winemaker for Domaine Divio in the Ribbon Ridge AVA in Newberg, Oregon blended a special 2016 cuvee with whole cluster fermentation of 50% Pinot Noir from Kalita Vineyard and 50% from Hirshy Vineyard, a neighbor in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA.  The fruit was harvested on September 17, 2016. Bruno selected small whole clusters (petits morillons) from each vineyard and blended them in a single French oak barrel for 16 months.  The five cases of wine sold for $5,500, a very strong result for the first time that Domaine Divio has participated in the auction.  Overall the 2018 Willamette Valley Auction raised  a record $800,000.

Bruno Corneaux has worked for several years making wine with Pinot Noir from Kalita and Hirshy Vineyards at the Northwest Wine Company.  In 2012 he created his own winery, Domaine Divio, in Ribbon Ridge. Divio refers to the ancient name of the town of Dijon, the capital of Burgundy where Bruno grew up. Bruno, a fourth generation Burgundian vintner, fell in love with Oregon while working in an internship at Domaine Drouhin in 1996.

This is not the first appearance by Kalita Vineyard Pinot Noir in the Willamette Valley Auction. In the 2016 event Big Table Farm, one of our clients since the 2014 vintage, made 5 cases of a special cuvee of 2014 Pinot Noir with fruit from Kalita, Bieze and Wirtz Vineyards. Kalita Vineyard fruit comprises 50% of the 2015 Big Table Farm Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir. Available now in the marketplace.

The trade-only auction honors the pioneering spirit of the Willamette Valley and, for two days, offers industry influencers a series of special tastings and gatherings, culminating in a live auction.  All proceeds from the event support the marketing, branding and education efforts of the WILLAMETTE VALLEY WINERIES ASSOCIATION.




Pacific Northwest Tour | April 28 - May 15, 2017

I had the opportunity over a two week period to taste a wide variety of Oregon Pinot Noir vintages.  First up was the Northwest Wine Encounter at the Semiahmoo Resort in Washington State just over the border from Canada. It was a focused wine event with 80 or so enthusiasts in attendance and a small number of winemakers from Oregon, Washington and British Columbia pouring.  I went because Consulting Winemaker Tony Rynders was pouring the 2014 Panther Creek Cellars Kalita Vineyard Pinot Noir. Since 2013 when the Bacchus Wine Fund acquired the iconic winery founded by Ken Wright in 1986 and Tony Rynders took over the winemaking duties, the Kalita Pinot Noir has become one of the featured single vineyard wines in the Panther Creek lineup.

The Northwest Wine Encounter was a real treat because we were joined by a few noted Washington winemakers pouring their wines made with Bourdeaux grape varietals – Chris Figgins of Leonetti Cellars, Chris Upchurch of De Lille Cellars and David Merfeld of Northstar Winery. The food and service at Semiahmoo were noteworthy as well.

During the next week I was able to stay at Kalita Vineyard where Bud Break had just occurred perhaps a week earlier. After three consecutive warm and early vintages, the 2017 vintage at this stage is tracking the glorious 2008 vintage. I was able to barrel taste the 2016 Kalita Vineyard Pinot Noir with several of our winemaker clients. These wines will be wonderful when bottled, approachable in their youth as well as age-worthy.  

I also had the opportunity to taste for the first time since bottling the recently released 2013 Et Fille Kalita Vineyard Pinot Noir and the 2014 Van Duzer Kalita Vineyard Pinot Noir, each evocative of their vintages with the 2013 showing complex flavors and the 2014 bursting with the dark fruit flavors typical of the Kalita Vineyard Pinots in a warm vintage. 

Sherry and Alex joined me in Oregon on May 7th. Just a year ago their New York firm Common Bond Design collaborated with Jessica Mozeico in the design of the new Et Fille Tasting Room in downtown Newberg.  This May Sherry and Alex brought in a local photographer to shoot the Tasting Room for their portfolio prior to our trip to the Et Fille Vintner’s Weekend at the Triple Creek Ranch in Darby, Montana. And what a weekend we had. The Triple Creek Ranch was recently ranked #22 in the Travel + Leisure magazine’s list of the Top 100 hotels and resorts in the World. 

Et Fille has been doing an annual Vintner’s Weekend at Triple Creek Ranch for many years and since this was our first opportunity to participate Jessica and Jeremy White, the TCR Sommelier, featured Et Fille Kalita Vineyard Pinot Noir from the 2005, 2010, 2011 and 2012 vintages along with several othert Et FillePinots from the 2012 and 2013 vintages. All beautifully complemented the meals turned out by the Triple Creek kitchen and Dining Room teams. The famed Bitterroot River, fueled by the mountain runoff, was too high for fly fishing but we did experience snowfall in the middle of May on two evenings.

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During our travels we were in and out of Portland a few times, taking the opportunity to have some spectacular meals at Afuri, the first international outpost of the renowned Tokyo ramen house of the same name, Spanish restaurant Chesa  - go there and have any dish done in the Josper charcoal oven - and old standby Tasty n Alder, which never fails to please with friendly service and the only secreto Iberico I have had in the USA.  

In sum, we had quite sybaritic week of fine food and wine, sharing tastings and meals with good friends in the wine business, meeting interesting new people, celebrating Sherry’s birthday and Mother’s Day along the way.