The Hedonistic Taster | № 32 | Chapter 24 Vineyards – Willamette Valley, OR.
by L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne + Champagne ML
“Wine should not be regarded simply as a beverage, but as an art of living, a pleasure.” – Henri Jayer
Today’s Tasting: Chapter 24 Vineyards | Willamette Valley, OR.
The story of Chapter 24 Vineyards is a story about coming full circle, a story that begins and ends in Oregon’s bucolic Willamette Valley, but at its heart straddles France and Chile.
A cross-continental collaboration featuring Burgundian consulting winemaker Comte Louis-Michel Liger-Belair of Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair in Vosne-Romanée, Chilean winemaker Felipe Ramirez, and film and TV producer-turned wine impresario Mark Tarlov, the project centers around producing small-lot, ultra-premium pinot noir that reflect a distinctive ‘sense of place,’ or terroir.
Much like a fingerprint, each ‘block’ or site contains its own sensorial imprint discernible through meticulously calibrated mapping devised by international terroir specialist Pedro Parra.
The name “Chapter 24” refers to Homer’s final chapter of his epic “The Odyssey.” The wine’s name “The Fire” Pinot Noir nods to Willamette Valley’s volcanic basalt soil, while the wine label contains a rose and arrow, symbols of “The Odyssey’s” catalysts – women and war.
As Chapter 24 Vineyards advises “Our wines are for those of thinking age.” Indeed. Get your drinking caps on for this one.
Wine: The Fire Pinot Noir – Willamette Valley
Suggested Retail: $60 (NOTE: Only 300 cases produced.)
Robe: Luminous ruby robe.
Nose: Dark cherry, floral, basalt.
Palate: Blackberry, black plum, black currant bouche, light body, tannins+, seamless structure, supple body, subtle textural thru-line, thoughtful finish.
Suggested Pairings: Fire, hot! Antonio Banderas in a bottle.
A smoldering, dark-lidded pour with an undercurrent of tensile dramatics, sparks may fly when paired with well-rested entrecôte and roasted root vegetables.
Chapter 24 Vineyards | 531 OR-99W, Dundee, OR 97115 | 503.487.6341
By appointment only.
In November, I visited Comte Liger-Belair at his estate in Vosne-Romanée. His estate contains some of Burgundy’s most illustrious grand crus and climats, an estate also informed by the work of Pedro Parra. In a ‘full-circle’ story moment, tasting the wines of Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair book-ends a tasting I did last July at Chapter 24’s Witness Tree Vineyard with winemaker Felipe Ramirez while in town for IPNC. In both instances, a remarkable purity of expression carried through, reflective of site and vintage.
Look for more on my tour of Oregon vignerons’ Burgundian cellars in the February 2018 issue of Oregon Wine Press.
Always great to hear from you in the comments below, and on social media.
Copyrighted 2017 L.M. Archer | binNotes. All Rights Reserved.