AWG Correspondent

Rob Boss

Duck Pond Cellars Photos

Duck Pond Cellars Review

Regions: Willamette Valley AVA, Oregon

Reviewed: June 11, 2014 by Rob Boss
Published: November 4, 2014

(Photos by Jai Soots)

Walking into Duck Pond Cellars is something of an explosion of cute. Past the pond and the flowers, past the comfortable chairs on the patio and into the bright, big tasting room…at times it seems overdone but it's never oppressive. For instance, the large gift shop is chock full of every imaginable natural Oregon product—from jams to cosmetics—and it would be total kitsch without the wine glass chandelier. Somehow, that turned out cool.

Mostly it works because the wine is there. However tchotchke-rich the environment may be, Duck Pond delivers glass after glass of everyday, easy drinkers under both the Duck Pond name, and their sister winery, Desert Wind. Jana, our tasting room guide, started a long flight with Duck Pond's 2013 Pinot Gris. Stainless steel aging brought out intense, round apple and pear flavors, good for any summer day. The 2013 Chardonnay followed, also full of apples, pears and star fruit.

Next up, two Pinot Noirs were offered. The 2010 Willamette Valley was light and delicate, typical of the vintage. Mushroom and crushed fruit in the nose was followed by nice cherry and raspberry flavor. The 2012 Fries Family Cellars was interesting: an "Oregon" wine, made from Willamette Valley and Roseburg fruit. It was more robust than a Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, showing raspberries, cherries and plums. While I can't say I liked the style as much as the 2010, it was well played. There's an audience for it.

My favorite of the day was the 2011 Sangiovese from southeast Washington. There was a mouthwatering cherry and raspberry pie nose, followed by delicious, intense, ripe raspberry and strawberry flavors. Quaff away!

The Desert Wind line up comes from Southern Washington. Warmer climate is the domain of Bordeaux varietals, and the 2011 Ruah is a classic Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. There was a nose of dark—really dark—cooked plum, black cherry, blackberry and ripe raspberry. Nice, dusty fruit flavors, too. Last in the flight was the 2010 Tempranillo. It promises to be a great fooder, with a ripe, rich, spicy nose and ripe plums, blackberries and raspberries.

After suffering from sticker shock at so many Oregon wineries, Duck Pond was a refreshing change of price point. While you might not readily associate their wines with "age-worthy" or "award-winning," some of them are. Value is the name of the game here. Your hard earned dollar goes a long way, making Duck Pond worth your time.

Address & Contact Information: 23145 Hwy 99W Dundee, Oregon 97115. Telephone: 503-538-3199, website: Tasting Hours: May-Sep 10:00-5:00, Oct-Apr 11:00-5:00.

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