Last Friday we had the rare opportunity to taste through the Shea Wine Cellars 2013's with none other than proprietor Dick Shea himself. He brilliantly purchased land (cow pasture) and planted vineyards (on marine sedimentary soils) over twenty years ago with the plan to sell the fruit to other wineries. It proved to be a smart move; so sought after were his grapes that he ended up starting his own winery! He now supplies fruit for more than twenty of the Willamette's best producers, including St. Innocent, Bergström and Ken Wright. This is arguably the most famous vineyard in Oregon.
Although we have lately been touting the Willamette 2014's, here is a perfect example of an elegant, so-called 'lighter' vintage that has now blossomed with time in the bottle. We could see how thrilled Dick was with how well all of these wines were showing. Beginning with the2013 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir you could sense the quality of the vintage. The acidity has integrated and the fruit has really fleshed out. On display were the hallmark Shea elements; deep blue & black fruits combined with seductive floral and spice notes. This is a truly elegant, balanced wine that is stunning right now, (Thanksgiving) and will continue to improve with age.
The 2013 West Hill Pinot Noir is a single vineyard bottling that shows
deeper florals, highlighted by hints of blueberry, savory spice and wonderfully smooth tannins. This will cellar beautifully for 3-5 years.
Always dramatic, the 2013 Homer is a blend of all their best barrels. It shows a deeper concentration of the black fruits, enticing spice and compelling length for a wine at 13.7 alcohol. This is pure Willamette hedonism, and it's incredibly food friendly.
Perhaps the nicest surprise of the tasting was the 2014 Chardonnay, a perfect example of what this grape is capable of in Oregon. It really compares more to the style of white Burgundy, with a subtle richness balanced with finely etched acidity.
Shea 2013 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Estate
e-mail special: $39 by the bottle - Reg. $47
2014 Shea Wine Cellars Chardonnay - $38
2013 Shea Wine Cellars West Hill - $65
2013 Shea Wine Cellars Homer - $100
Offer closes two weeks from posting.