Home > Handpicked > 2009 Phelps Creek Pinot Noir Estate Reserve

My Personal Recommendation For You

Vie di Romans Chardonnay 2011 Friuli Venezia Giulia; Italy Regularly $39.99 NOW $34.99

90pts Robert Parker!

One advantage of being a professional pilot is having the ability to choose where you might want to

live from a “birds-eye point of view”. As a (former) Delta Airlines pilot, Bob Morus, owner of Phelps Creek Vineyards, did just that in the late 1980’s. “Portland presented a better basing option for me than San Francisco, at the point I joined Delta. I was married and originally living/flying out of Chicago. We began a process of researching Oregon (1989), thinking it would be a slow, gradual process to find a perfect place and transfer my base of operation - I drew a radius of 90 miles from PDX (Portland International Airport)”

Every great story has a novel beginning!

Phelps Creek Vineyards is small boutique winery that focuses on estate grown Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (Burgundy) varietals; only producing 5,000 cases annually in total. The vineyard management takes center stage in every step of their wine production. Sustainable agricultural practices, combined with careful oversight of the fruit yields on the vines, leads to the noted intensity of their wine portfolio.

Twenty-five of the steep, high-elevation 30 vine acres on Bob Morus’ Phelps Creek property in the Hood River Valley (Columbia Gorge A.V.A.) are devoted to Pinot Noir – which he began planting a year after his 1989 arrival – and virtually all of the rest to Chardonnay. Incrementally, the vineyards now expand and nurture 30 acres (25 Acres of Pinot Noir, 4.5 acres of Chardonnay and 1/2 acre of Pinot Gris).

Foremost, the experience with winemaker, Alexandrine Roy, has been more than wonderful for Phelps Creek. The total relationship to the wines and her story as a fourth generation winemaker, producing acclaimed wines in both Gevrey-Chambertin (Burgundy, France) and the Columbia Gorge, has brought much media attention. Her passion for winemaking matches and pairs with the vineyard field employees’ devotion to growing the finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the state.

“I don’t make wines, I work on growing fruit,” says this dynamo-winemaker, who’s articulate English comes from working at Phelps Creek Winery in Oregon. Her approach in Oregon sums up Burgundy. “My wine is classic in style with acidity—not overripe—delicate and balanced,” she says. “It’s all about the palate.” She shocked the resident team at Phelps Creek by picking a week earlier than they did, de-stemming and using natural yeasts. “Americans like control,” she says. “I leave it up to nature.” So for Alexandrine Roy, the intermittent work as a consultant and guest winemaker easily secured her as Phelps Creek’s overall Director of Winemaking.

Just 60 miles east of Portland, the Columbia Gorge Wine region lies in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge, a dramatic river corridor that straddles the Columbia River for 15 miles into both Oregon and Washington. This region, which encompasses 40 miles, includes both the Columbia Gorge AVA and part of the Columbia Valley AVA. Lewis and Clark first made the Columbia Gorge famous when they passed through on their way to the Pacific Ocean in 1805!

The winegrowing region, the climate in the Columbia Gorge appellation changes drastically. To the west is a cooler, marine-influenced climate where it rains 36 inches per year; to the east it's a continental high desert climate with just 10 inches of annual rainfall. This extreme variance of climate means this area can successfully grow a wide range of classical varieties. The Columbia Gorge wine region soils are generally silty loams collected over time from floods, volcanic activity and landslides. The Gorge is the only sea-level passage through the Cascade Mountain Range. From north to south there are two iconic geographical features: Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood, both part of the central Cascade Mountain range.

“I am delighted to report that Phelps Creek’s 2009 Pinot Noir Estate Reserve delivers an impressive combination of juicy fresh dark cherry fascinatingly and alluringly allied to smoky black tea, bittersweet citrus oils, and the musky prickle and bite of rose radish. There is a positive sense of chew yet an underlying hint of creaminess, as well as sappy vivacity. The addition of strong cherry pit piquancy and saliva-liberating salinity to the aforementioned litany of sensory characteristics makes for a finish of whose highly distinct traits it is impossible not to take notice. I’d plan on following this for half a dozen years and am quite confident that its versatility at table will prove evident at table.” – 90 pts. Robert Parker

This hand-picked wine is ready to ship. To see other personal wine recommendations we are offering customers CLICK HERE Each wine has been carefully selected to recommend. You might want to mix and match. Need help? Call 1 800 434 9463 (WINE) and ask for your Wine Advisor, Ty.
My job is to learn your palate. Please tell me what you are looking for, i.e., specific grapes, countries, and/or price points. We guarantee all wines we recommend, you never get stuck with wine you do not enjoy. Simply let us know if you are not happy and we will pick up the wine at our cost and put you into something else. I will also always match a legitimate price. We stand behind our customers 100%.