If you are anything like us, right now the search is on for bright white wines, rosés and sparkling wines to enjoy as summer temperatures soar. Add affordability, sustainability and relatively low alcohol levels and all of the boxes are checked for summertime sipping. Today we have four such wines to share, all of which we received as tasting samples.
Left Coast Estate is located 15 minutes west of Salem, Oregon in the recently recognized Van Duzer Corridor AVA, one of seven AVAs within the larger Willamette Valley AVA. The Van Duzer Corridor is named for an opening in the Coast Range that allows cooling, afternoon breezed to be pulled in from the Pacific Ocean. These cooling breezes creating unique growing conditions in the region.
Family-owned Left Coast Estate was established in 2003 on 490 acres that includes ecological compensation areas, which include old-growth white oak forests that are home to 450-year-old oaks. The vineyards and winery are LIVE certified sustainable and certified Salmon Safe.
Estate vineyards are planted over a variety of terrain and soil types with clonal and rootstock combinations suitable to each terroir. Vineyards were planted between 2001 and 2013 to various clones of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Viognier and Pinot Meunier.
2017 Left Coast Queen Bee Bubbly, Willamette Valley — pale salmon in the glass with generous and persistent bubbles. Floral aromas backed by honeycomb continue into the flavor profile along with berries, earth and citrus. The combination of floral, honeycomb and berry flavors is unique and interesting and finishes with a bit of citrus pith. 12% abv. SRP $36
This unique, 100% Pinot Noir sparkling wine is made with the assistance of estate honey bees. The second fermentation is kicked off with the addition of honey as a source of sugar for the yeast to consume, resulting in those lovely bubbles.
The aromas and flavors in this beautiful sparking wine take me back to watching my grandfather harvest honey from his bee hives. I remember him collecting and unsealing each honey comb with a hot knife before spinning each by hand in a centrifuge. The aromas of the honey and the flavors of chewing bits of honeycomb are very familiar in this wine.
2017 Left Coast Estate The Orchards Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley — pale yellow in the glass with stony minerality and hints of pear. Flavors of stone fruit, pears and dusty gravel follow along with a squeeze of citrus. 13.7% abv. SRP $18
This is a flavorful Pinot Gris that will cause you to give serious consideration to Pinot Gris as a variety and the Willamette Valley as a location in the US that does the variety justice.
2018 Left Coast Estate Rosé, Willamette Valley — pale salmon in the glass with earthy aromas and flavors of blackberries, berry bramble and citrusy acidity. This rosé is lively and relatively complex. 13.7% abv. SRP $24
This is 100% Pinot: 76% Pinot Noir, 24% Pinot Meunier. It was fermented and aged in neutral French oak.
2018 Left Coast Estate White Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley — pale yellow with a slight blush in the glass. Aromas and flavors of crushed berries, citrus, white peach, apricots, citrus zest and dusty minerality are supported by bright acidity. Stone fruit flavors linger on the finish. This is a taste of summer in your glass. 13.7% abv. SRP $24
A mixed fruit salad of berries and stone fruit came to mind as I sipped this lovely white Pinot Noir. The grapes were crushed at a very cold temperature to ensure minimal coloration from the skins in this beautifully-hued wine.
If sustainability, family farming and good value for your dollar are considerations when choosing the wines you purchase, consider Left Coast Estate – they succeed on all counts. And these wines are consistently delicious.
Thanks to Donna White Communications for sending this taste of the Willamette Valley and its newest AVA our way.