Pali Wine Co Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012

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I tasted my first Pali Pinot Noir earlier this week. The Pali Alphabets is
a Pinot Noir made with Willamette Valley fruit. I highly recommend it. One of the best $20 value Pinot Noirs out there right now. I would hunt down the 2012 which was a premier vintage for Willamette Valley. I love the bright strawberry/soft cherry fruit & mild baking spice on the palate.

I am totally jealous of the owners of Pali Wine Co., Tim Perr & Scott Knight. These guys caught the Pinot Noir bug & decided to start a winery in 2005. They set a goal of tracking down the best fruit from various regions in California to create top notch Pinot Noir. They later branched out to make Oregon Pinot Noir. Can you imagine having a bottle of Pinot Noir with your dinner and saying
“hmm wonder where that fruit comes from? Shea Vineyard? Where is that? Oregon?” Google Shea Vineyard. Pick up the phone: “Hello, is this Dick Shea? I just had a bottle of Bergstrom Pinot Noir and it was stunning. I have a winery in Lompoc, CA & would love to make a Shea Pinot Noir. Can I buy some of your grapes?”

Shea Vineyard has been described as a “Grand Cru” vineyard in Oregon. The US does not actually classify vineyards. France is the only country that does. The French Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) oversees the Vineyard Classifications. The various grape growing regions in France have regional classifications: Burgundy has Premier Cru & Grand Cru at the highest level. It doesn’t necessarily indicate wine quality but it defines a vineyard with great potential. The condition or terroir of the vineyard is extremely favorable for grape growth. Shea Vineyard is one such vineyard in Oregon. The grapes from Shea are highly sought after by some of the premier winemakers in the US.

There is an organization called the American Grand Cru Society. Their website states “Our purpose is to offer consumer wine education based on vineyard and varietal place of origin, and the specific wine qualities and characteristics that are so expressed.” The organization is spearheading a movement to classify vineyards in the US. A group of wine industry leaders and experts have nominated vineyards that they feel qualify for Grand Cru status. It seems like a admirable movement to me.

Pali Alphabets Pali Shea

Let’s try this again

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Once again my New Year’s resolution…post on wineblurbs. I think my problem in the past was a lack of a theme. I have found my theme!! Oregon Pinot Noir. Anyone who know me, knows that Pinot Noir flows through my veins…especially Oregon Pinot Noir. I was fortunate to be invited to attend Pinot Noir Camp in 2007. It was a life changing experience for many reasons. Most significant was my Mother passed away suddenly just days before I left for Camp. I know it seems crazy that I would head to Pinot Noir Camp immediately after my Mother died. In fact it was a fabulous diversion. I fell in love with Oregon, the Willamette Valley and Pinot Noir! It will never replace my love for my Mother but I always think of my Mother when I drink Oregon Pinot Noir.

I have always been intrigued by one particular vineyard, Shea Vineyard. While the owners of Shea Vineyard make wine under their own label: Shea Wine Cellars, they also sell 75% of their harvest to 23 different winemakers. I have tasted a few different Shea Pinot Noirs over the years. I find that I have now become obsessed with learning everything I can about Shea Pinot Noir. I have been trying to accumulate wine from all 23 winemakers. I believe I am up to 15 now. This is not an inexpensive commitment. They average around $55/bottle. I plan to focus on Shea during my posts going forward. I will post about the history of the vineyard and try to determine what makes its grapes such a hot commodity.