2003 REAL B-Side Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

REAL B-Side Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Great wine is made in the vineyards, not the cellar.

This fact is not lost on the producers of REAL Wine Pinot Noir, who scored a major coup when they were able to source their grapes from Chehalem's Stoller, Ridgecrest, and Corral Creek Vineyards--three of the most famous Pinot parcels in Oregon's Willamette Valley.

Bill and Cathy Stoller's vineyard has been coined "Oregon's Corton" by some industry experts (a reference to the great winemaking village in Burgundy). Stoller Vineyard is a 373-acre parcel located on the southern slopes of the Dundee Hills. The Stollers realized in the 1990s that the farm's volcanic soil, steep hillsides, and favorable microclimate made it an excellent place for the planting of Pinot Noir.

Paving the way for the Stollers was their friend Harry Peterson-Nedry, the region's Pinot pioneer who first planted his famous 37-acre Ridgecrest Vineyard in the 1980s in the Ribbon Ridge district at the western edge of the Chehalem Range and Valley. Ridgecrest benefits from its volcanic substrate that's composed of basalt and siltstone. Harry's Corral Creek Vineyard is another acclaimed Pinot Noir source. Most of the grapes from Corral Creek go into Chehalem's single-vineyard bottling. While the best known wines from these world-class vineyards are highly structured and ageworthy (often needing several years in the bottle to reach their stride), the 2003 REAL Pinot Noir is all about easy drinking. This is a dark, aromatic wine that sings of red fruits and cut flowers. It was aged without using any new oak, keeping the wine bright and fresh--as well as keeping the price reasonable.

Note: REAL didn't want to risk ruining a single bottle with a tainted cork, so they bottled this Pinot with a Stelvin cap.