Thursday, April 21, 2011

Erath Winery Nierderberger Pinot Noir (2006)

Erath is a well established vineyard and winemaker in Willamette Valley, Oregon.  Dick Erath was one of the original winemakers in the Valley, and his winery has flourished for more than forty years.  I've previously reviewed their Pinot Noir (2006), which is a very good and reasonably priced Pinot Noir.  More recently, Clare and I were able to enjoy one of the winemaker's single vineyard offerings ... the Niederberger Pinot Noir (2006). 

The Niederberger Vineyard is located in the Dundee Hills AVA.  This AVA prides itself on its soil ... which is more than eighty percent Jory volcanic soil, full of minerals that help to grow some very good vines and produce some excellent grapes.  These soils were formed by volcanic activity more than fifteen million years ago.  The vineyard is on the southern slope, surrounded by tall fir trees.  Erath first planted Pinot Noir grapes in this vineyard in 1988.  Now, more than twenty years later, the vineyard is producing single-vineyard Pinot Noir wines that are especially good.

The Niederberger Vineyard Pinot Noir pours a nice crimson red.  The nose of this wine is full of blackberries and dark cherries, along with hints of earth and spice.  These aromas carry over to the taste of the wine, which is full of the blackberries and dark cherry fruit.  This wine is also fairly earthy for a Pinot Noir, bringing with it some spice and a little vanilla.

This wine, like most Pinot Noir wines, can be paired with a wide variety of foods.  Personally, I paired this wine with the Cedar Plank Salmon and Stuffed Tomatoes Provencal, both of which are based upon The Paley's Place Cookbook.  The pairing created a classic Pacific Northwest meal that both Clare and I really enjoyed.  

We purchased this wine during our honeymoon at Erath's tasting room.  The bottle sold for about $35.00.  More recent vintages should be available.

For more about the Dundee Hills AVA, check out this website.

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