Martin Woods Winery 2017 Pinot Noir

Now that’s a sense of place.

Terroir. That unique set of environmental factors present in a single location that gives a wine its unique character.

Nowhere is that more evident than when you’re at Martin Woods. In the hills outside McMinnville – up a looooong gravel road with barely a sign of other humanity – the hills and valleys of the Willamette Valley stretch out before you. Terroir.

But take a moment, and you’ll notice you’re surrounded by Oregon Oak trees, a unique species, Quercus garryana, native to the Willamette Valley. These are the same Oregon oak trees that Evan Martin is increasingly using to make wine barrels. For Evan, that’s terroir.

Of course, Oregon oak brings its own challenges. Many winemakers were unhappy with the results – with lightly toasted oak delivering strong tannins or deeply toasted oak overwhelming the wine.

Evan’s deep experimentation has revealed the right approach to Oregon oak cooperage – a “low and slow” toast on the oak that gently enhances the wine, rather than overwhelming it.

Terroir from grapes and barrels. Truly a uniquely Oregon wine!

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Martin Woods Winery, McMinnville, Oregon
2017 Pinot Noir

The Van Duzer Corridor is Oregon’s newest American Viticultural Area (AVA) formally recognized by the federal government.

As winemaker Evan Martin likes to say, the Van Duzer is a kind of “air conditioning” system for the Willamette Valley, bringing in cool marine air through a gap in the Coast Range. Wine grapes grown right in the heart of it, as these are, develop thick skins and bright acidity due to the strong winds.

This wine was aged for 22 months in a 50/50 combination of Oregon Oak and French oak barrels.

This is a classic, cool-climate Oregon Pinot Noir. Bright cranberry and cherry flavors mingle with the earthiness and spice so key to Oregon’s Pinot Noir reputation.

A Cellar 503 selection in October 2019, Unusual Vessels Van Duzer Corridor | Pinot Noir

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