Keeler Estate Vineyard 2011 Pinot Noir
The biodynamic power of...manure!
A small, energetic sprite of a woman with a charming European accent, Gabrielle Keeler bought the 200-acre Keeler Estate in 1989 with her husband, Craig. But back then, no one would have called it an “estate”. It was run down and choked with blackberries – but a great place to spread out and raise their kids and a large population of various 4-H animals.
After years of clearing land, research on climate and soils, the Keeler Estate was ready to grow grapes. It’s an ideal location for a biodynamic winery: rolling hills rimmed with dense forest, soils enriched with manure, and people who understood the delicate (and, ahem, indelicate) balance of a vineyard ecosystem in creating great wine.
For years, they sold their grapes to other local wineries, barely keeping up with demand. But never one to stray from a challenge, Gabrielle decided to jump into the winemaking business to help buyers understand the quality of the grapes they were buying.
Working with the highly successful winemaker at nearby Amity Vineyards, Darcy Pendergrass, the Keelers have developed a line of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris wines that are a joy to drink.
Cellar 503 Tasting Notes
Keeler Estate Vineyard, Amity, Oregon
2011 Pinot Noir
The Keeler 2011 Pinot Noir is their very first vintage and it’s a stand-out! The Eola-Amity hills are home to some of Oregon’s most sought-after wines. The unique soil, the rolling hills and chilly coastal winds barreling down the VanDuzer Corridor all year long cause these vines to struggle to survive – a recipe for intense, flavorful wine. (How tough are the winds? The name Eola is derived from Aelous, the Greek god of the winds.)
The health of their land and Gabrielle’s commitment to biodynamic and organic farming have fostered a reputation for high-quality grapes that perfectly express the terroir of Keeler Estate in this wine. It has a delicate, perfumed nose with spice and floral notes around some dark fruit. After the bottle has been open for a bit, you’ll also get some hints of the lush, green forest floor that surrounds the vineyards. Food friendly, this Pinot is light-bodied with plenty of silky tannins, high acid, and relatively low alcohol.