AWG Correspondent

Rob Boss

Anne Amie Vineyards Photos

Anne Amie Vineyards Review

Regions: Willamette Valley AVA, Yamhill-Carlton AVA, Oregon

Reviewed: July 27, 2013 by Rob Boss
Published: September 29, 2013

Photos by Jai Soots

It’s a stunning view in reverse, rolling up Anne Amie Vineyards’ lloooonng driveway through the meticulously manicured vines. Looking back down the hill from the parking lot is spectacular. Inside, the tasting room is spacious and well appointed, full of stuff to buy but not full of gadgets, tchotchke and fluff (“gifts”) that other wineries foist on their customers.

Wine is what this is about after all, not accessories, and there’s a confidence that imbues the Anne Amie tasting room that many Oregon wineries can’t show. This is not misplaced. An engaging staff greets visitors and also offers tours of the sprawling facility. The best tasting room crews know enough about wine to talk about their products, but also know when to let the products speak for themselves, and this was certainly the case.

Anne Amie’s Cuvée A wines are entry level and meant to be drunk promptly and with gusto—a “cellar buffer” while your other Anne Amie bottles mature. The 2011 Cuvée A Pinot Noir was a simple pleasure; white pepper and hint of cedar on the nose, nice cherry and raspberry on the palate. Amrita is a blend of seven varietals, although the lion’s share is Riesling and Viognier. It’s a delicious summer quencher with a very fruit forward palate of white peaches, apricots, lychee nuts and strawberries. There’s just a hint of effervescence to tickle the tongue.

Thanks to leftovers from a sales presentation, we received a bonus pour of 2007 Willamette Valley Blend, which upon release was probably an entry-level wine. At this stage in its life, it’s glorious. The nose is full of 2007’s signature briar notes, with white pepper and crushed fruit. The palate was a lovely presentation of cherries and raspberries, focused and defined. It was a beautiful example of how great this oft-maligned vintage really was, as well as a good indicator of how well these wines will age.

Up next was the company’s top tier Pinot Noir, the 2008 L’Iris. This wine offered plenty of structure with dark, dense, rich cherry flavors and a clear, focused cherry nose. Although there was an underlying vibrancy to this wine, it was also shy and polite: it definitely needs a good half hour open before drinking (ours was opened in front of us). It’s beautifully balanced now but will still benefit from aging.

Still, for all the excellent quality of the reds, Anne Amie’s brightest stars are their whites. Perhaps unusual—and maybe it was the hot day—but starting with the 2012 Dry Riesling, the reds were almost upstaged. The Riesling showed a tart, lemony acidity with a nose chock full of pears, peaches, nectarines and mangoes. Next, the 2011 Mae’s Vineyard Viognier showed a nice rose petal, citrus and peaches in the nose. On the palate there were apricots and peaches, with a stony finish but the acidity brought a wink to the eye; another few months’ bottle age should tame that.

On to Pinot Gris, starting with a 2011, an austere beauty with a nose of wet stone, pear and apple. Crisp and dry, with pear and apple flavors fresh as a farmers’ market and no nonsense finish made for a great food wine. The 2012 was more forward with the same flavors, with a little star fruit, limes and a slightly stony finish. But the best was yet to come.

Prismé is winemaker Thomas Houseman’s favorite product, and also the winery’s most labor intensive. This fascinating wine is a Pinot Noir Blanc; if it were a sparkler, would be called Blanc de Noir. After sorting, the wine is immediately pressed, before the juice has time to take on any color from skin contact. The result is an astonishing white wine with all the complexity associated with red. The closest I’d ever come to something like it was a venerable Montrachet—but that’s still Chardonnay and nothing like this. The nose was a catalog of spices, with butterscotch, caramel and honeysuckle all vying for attention. The palate offered up buttered toast, crème broulé, ginger and melon. This one was worth the trip all by itself.

Not that it’s hard to find reasons to visit Anne Amie; the staff is delightful, the grounds are gorgeous and the wines are world-class. This is a top flight Oregon wine operation, and the people who work here have good reason to be proud of their work.

Address & Contact Information: 6580 NE Mineral Springs Rd. Carlton, Oregon 97111. Telephone: 503-864-2991, email:, website: Tasting Hours: Mar-Dec 10:00-5:00; Jan-Feb: Fri-Sun 10:00-5:00 and by appt..

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