Nicole Reese Wines 2015 Pinot Noir

Who is that mystery woman?

Nicole Reese. Nicole Reese. I kept hearing rumors of this amazing new winemaker in Southern Oregon who had won a silver medal at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition with her very first wine. But I couldn’t find her anywhere.

Surprise! Nicole Reese doesn’t exist. At least, not outside of the bottle. Winemaker Elisabeth Grunwald named it after her children– Sierra Nicole and Braedon Reese.

Once I tracked down a bottle, I learned that Nicole Reese may be a new venture, but Elisabeth has been working as an assistant winemaker for custom crush powerhouse Linda Donovan for years. Many of Southern Oregon’s most-coveted wines are produced by Linda and Elisabeth.

Of course, by the time I found her, her award-winning first vintage had sold out. The even worse news? She hadn’t produced a second vintage, unsure about whether the first would be well received. Finally, Nicole Reese is back – and it’s so, so good. She continues to work with Linda Donovan at Pallet Wine Company and wine bar Urban Cork, but we’re thrilled that she’s got an outlet for her personal passion projects.

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Nicole Reese Wines, Medford, Oregon
2015 Pinot Noir

Shhh… Don’t tell anyone. There’s a lot of fabulous, affordable Pinot Noir grown in Southern Oregon. In fact, it’s the most widely-planted grape in the region. It’s just that much of the tonnage is shipped north to Willamette Valley wineries looking to punch up the fruit in their cool-climate Pinots.

And that’s just it: this 100% Rogue Valley Pinot Noir is bolder and more fruit-forward than its northern cousins. A beautiful ruby color, this wine smells of raspberries and currants and tastes like rhubarb pie. And then, right at the finish, you’ll get that explosion of tart cherries to bring in those classic Pinot Noir flavors. Pairs well with grilled pork, pizza, and yes, my favorite strawberry spinach salad (maybe a little goat cheese and balsamic...)

Then again, maybe take Elisabeth’s advice: “I was pouring some samples recently and a lady asked what I like to pair with the wine. I said, ‘What are you doing this afternoon?’ She said, ‘I’m going home to pay bills.’ I said, “A glass of wine works really great with that.”

A Cellar 503 selection in February 2018, We Love Southern Oregon! Rogue Valley | Pinot Noir

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