Not only is Oregon one of the premier winemaking destinations in the United States, the wines have earned global acclaim in recognition of their exceptional quality. Stoller Family Estate is a name that you're bound to see on any list of excellent wines from Oregon. The largest contiguous vineyard in Oregon’s Dundee Hills, Bill Stoller founded the vineyard in 1993 on property that has been in his family since 1943. Stoller wines are produced from 100% estate grown fruit and their sustainably built and environmentally friendly winery was the first in the world to receive LEED Gold Certification. Described as authentically Oregon, I found the Stoller wines that I sampled to be quite expressive and elegant. Cheers to winemaker Melissa Burr!
"I strive to make wine that exemplifies the uniqueness of the vineyard and reflect the vintage with balance and elegance. Our Pinot Noir characteristically expresses a combination of red to darker fruits, spice, and fine-grain tannins. The volcanic soil, elevation, exposure, and weather of our Dundee Hills site all combine to create the perfect conditions for growing cool-climate wine grapes." - Winemaker Melissa Burr. She joined Stoller in 2003.
Image credit: Carolyn Wells-Kramer
Stoller 2013 Reserve Chardonnay ($35)
Aromatic and vibrant, this expressive sip shows that Chardonnay does not have to be boring. Barrel fermented and aged in French oak, this medium-bodied wine is complex but not overwhelming. Lively notes of lemon, persimmon, and apple are balanced by a subtle touch of vanilla and minerality. The finish is long and smooth. Suggested pairings include seafood or poultry with cream-based sauces.
Stoller 2013 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir ($30)
A truly enjoyable wine, this pretty Pinot Noir has incredibly expressive flavors of red cherry with a touch of cinnamon and cola that make it quite intriguing. Elegant but not fussy, it is easy to pair with a wide array of foods from salmon to pork.
Stoller 2013 Reserve Pinot Noir ($45)
Produced from a selection of their best vineyard blocks and barrels in the cellar, this beauty is barrel aged in French oak for 10 months. I shared this bottle with a notoriously picky friend and he was absolutely enchanted. Refined but not fussy, I loved the flavors of ripe raspberry and roses that were balanced by a wonderful earthiness. Suggested pairings include roasted salmon, filet mignon, and soft cheeses.