Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bergström Winery Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir (2007)

Bergström Winery is a relative newcomer to Willamette Valley, making wine since 1999.  Bergström combines old world philosophy with new world techniques to produce a range of wines, from Chardonnay to Pinot Noir.  The winemaker has its own vineyards which includes three different plantings in two American Viticultural Areas.  From this vineyard, as well as using grapes from other vineyards, Bergström makes a wide range of wines, including the 2007 Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir, which my beautiful wife and I picked up during our honeymoon.

Many winemakers have used grapes from the Shea Vineyard to make wines.  I've previously reviewed one of those wines, the Panther Creek Cellars Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir (2006).  Like Panther Creek Cellars, Bergström obtains grapes from thirteen dedicated acres at the Shea Vineyard.  These acres are planted with five different clonal varieties of Pinot Noir, namely the Pommard, Wadenswil, Dijon 115, 777 and 828.

Both Clare and I visited the Bergström Winery tasting room in Willamette Valley during our honeymoon.  It was an impressive tasting room, perched on a hill overlooking acres of grape vines.  We sat out on a deck, looking at those vines and a neat little barn (pictured right).  We tasted some great wines while relaxing on that deck.  Ultimately, we purchased a couple of bottles to take home with us, including the Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir. 

The Pinot Noir pours a crimson and ruby red, which I thought was a shade darker than an average Pinot Noir.  After a few minutes, I took in the aromatic elements of the wine.  The aromas of this wine were rather interesting, including wood and earth, with some fruit.  These aromas were pleasant to me, because I prefer earthier Pinot Noirs over lighter ones.  As I sipped this wine, I could get the sense of some spice on the tip of the tongue, which was quickly followed by the taste of full, dark fruit, such as blackberries and dark cherries.    

As with red wines generally, the Bergstrom Pinot Noir can be paired with red meats and hard cheeses.  Clare and I paired this wine with Clare's Salmon Burgers with Ancho Guacamole.  The earthiness of the Pinot Noir was a good complement to the spice in the burgers (which was from the Lusty Monk mustard).  I think this wine would pair well with most other salmon dishes.

The Bergström Shea Valley Pinot Noir was one of the more expensive wines that we purchased on our honeymoon.  The wine sells for about $48.00 per bottle.  I have seen Bergström wines at some larger wine and beer stores, like Binny's in Chicago; however, the wine is available from Bergström's website.


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