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Carlton Cellars

Carlton Cellars 2015 Robin’s Block Field Blend

When Dave met Nick...

Just 12 years old, the Carlton Cellars winery was a lifetime in the making. Way back in 1968, a couple of guys became fast friends in the Army. One grew up to be Nick Peirano, the proprietor of Nick’s Italian Café in McMinnville. The other? Dave Grooters, a technology entrepreneur famous for his infectious enthusiasm.

Over the years, they stayed in touch. And as Nick’s became “the winemakers’ clubhouse” (as James Beard called it), Dave started flying across the country to hang out. Before long, he knew he wanted to join the club. “Every time I’d visit Nick, there’d be these great winemakers, there’d be dancing on the counters, there’d be food and wine and frolicking, and I thought this is how Oregon was all the time.”

By 1995, he’d sold the software business and pitched in at crush with winemaker Ken Wright. For the next eight years, he commuted back and forth from Pennsylvania learning the wine business – even meeting his wife, Robin, on a plane! Before long, he (and she) were hooked. Grapes were planted in 2003 on the famed Savannah Ridge east of Carlton and a winery built in 2007.

As Dave likes to say, wine is about friends – after all, that’s why it comes in a bottle too big to drink by yourself!

Carlton Cellars

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Carlton Cellars, Carlton, Oregon
2015 Robin’s Block Field Blend

This is a unique blend of white grapes - 44% Pinot Blanc, 33% Pinot Gris and 22% Auxerrois. (Say that with a hard X and a soft R, “ox-uh-wah”.)

These three grapes, plus a little Sauvignon Blanc, are planted together on a block of their vineyard called Robin’s Block (named for Dave’s wife). Carlton Cellars does make single varietal bottlings of these grapes, but they discovered after planting the block in 2004 that a field blend of these grapes was something special. (We featured the 2016 Auxerrois two years ago and it was a hit!)

As the wine hits your glass, aromas of melon, peach and honeysuckle immediately capture your attention – you’ll want to drink it just based on the aromas!

When you finally take a sip, you’ll taste apricots and pears with a hint of watermelon rind. This wine is just slightly off dry – not sweet – but with enough fruitiness to please everyone at your table and to cut through the richness of Thanksgiving foods.

A Cellar 503 selection in November 2019, Thanksgiving Wines Willamette Valley | Auxerrois, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris