Pinot Noir – Abbey Ridge
Planted in the Red Hills of Dundee in 1977 by Bill and Julia Wayne, Abbey Ridge is one of Oregon’s oldest producing vineyards and one of the very best. Also Westrey’s highest elevation vineyard, the fruit has ample time at this cool site to develop true varietal character. Abbey Ridge fruit is consistently elegant and complex, with truly incredible aging potential. The Wayne’s farm the vineyard using only organic sprays on the grapes. The vines’ 30-year-old roots tap water from deep within the soil making irrigation unnecessary, a big advantage in an area where water is becoming more and more scarce. The vineyard’s natural balance generally yields only 2 – 2.5 tons per acres, contributing to excellent concentration in the finished wine.
In 2014 Abbey Ridge produced an extraordinary wine! Harvested on October 4th under beautiful skies, the fruit was ripe with silky tannins, terrific acidity and huge, effusive fruit flavors. On the nose there is the signature of Abbey Ridge Vineyard: high tone crushed-raspberry, bright red current fruit with a layering of a floral lavender/lilac, and an undercurrent of earth. On the palate the wine continues to show massive fruit expression for a wine as elegant and age-worthy as this one. Raspberries and sweet-exotic spice are complemented by a subtle hint of vanilla and coffee from the oak. The balance and completeness of this wine is expressed from the very first sip through to the last drop. A wine truly distinguished by it’s terroir. After eighteen days in the fermentor, the must was pressed, and racked directly to barrel. Of the ten barrels, two were new (20% new oak) and the remainder was a blend of one-year-old and neutral wood. After an indigenous malolactic, the wine was lightly sulfured and racked to the bottling line after 12 months in barrel, without fining or filtration. Total production was 251 cases & four cases of magnums.
About the Producer
Westrey Wine Company was founded in 1993 by co-winemakers Amy Wesselman and David Autrey, along with David’s father, Robert Autrey, in Oregon’s burgeoning Willamette Valley. While getting Westrey off the ground, Amy was the General Manager and Assistant Winemaker for David Lett at the Eyrie Vineyards and then the Executive Director at the International Pinot Noir Celebration, a position to which she has recently returned. Amy and David focus on crafting elegant Pinot Noir wines, fruit-driven "Burgundian"-style Chardonnay and crisp, refreshing Pinot Gris. The wines are designed to be balanced and ageworthy, always complementing and enlivening the food with which they are served.
Sourcing fruit both from the vineyards of long-time and well respected friends in the Willamette Valley and from their own Oracle vineyard in the Dundee Hills AVA, Amy and David use these various puzzle pieces of fruit to build complexity into their wines. Vineyard-designated bottlings are designed to showcase the connection between the individual farms where the grapes are grown and the final personality of the wine.
Farming practices: Amy and David strive to grow their grapes and make their wines using a sustainable approach. The vineyard is LIVE Certified, a credential that is earned by taking into account not only organic approaches to farming but also by considering the inputs and outputs of the farm as a whole. Through their commitment to the !Salud! program Amy and David help to provide healthcare to vineyard workers who are otherwise uninsurable. The winery currently produces approximately 4,000 to 5,000 cases annually.
MATT KRAMER: “Westrey is an exemplar of Oregon pinot noir perfectionism. Few, if any, Oregon wineries exceed Westrey in pinot noir quality, even when their prices are well in excess of anything Westrey asks.”