Artisanal Wine Cellars Tasting Room Review
Address: 614 E 1st Street Newberg,Oregon 97132.
Phone Number: 503-538-1146
Tasting Hours: See website for details.
Region: Willamette Valley AVA, Oregon
Reviewer: Rob Boss
Review Date: 9/14/2013
Reviewer: Rob Boss
(Photos by Jai Soots)
Downtown Newburg, Oregon is becoming a wine and food lover’s dream, with tasting rooms and good restaurants sprouting up all along the street. Artisanal Cellars is next door to Fox Farm’s tasting room and around the corner from the Painted Lady restauranttwo must see places in town. Winemakers Tom and Patricia Feller make their wine in August Cellars’ new facility, just outside of town.
The first pour was a brightly acidic 2011 Pinot Blanc. Like most Pinot Blanc, the higher acidity insists on food and the ripe pear and apple flavors make for a versatile wine. Next up was the 2011 Dovetail, a blend of Viognier and Roussanne. This one offered a light lemon peel nose, with pear and lemon flavors on the palate. This was an easy to drink wine, accessible to a broad audience (read that, when youre not sure what to serve varied tastes).
Moving on to red wines, the next pour was a 2010 Gamay from the Umpqua Valley. The nose was Gamays distinct bubblegum note (a dead giveaway in any blind tasting) and crushed strawberries. The acid was very high and the wine would benefit from another few months more time in the bottle (we tasted in July, so Thanksgiving), but it was still showing strawberry and raspberry flavorsdry and dusty fruit, like it was straight off the vine. The flavors were integrating, just coming into focus.
On to Pinot Noir now, with the 2010 Dundee Hills. This one showed dried fruit in the nose and well-defined, round cherry flavors on the palate. Good, but upstaged by the 2010 Adams Vineyard from the Chehalem Mountains AVA. Cherries and a hint of sage wafted to the nose, followed by ripe, dusty cherries on the palateincluding the unmistakable Chehalem cherry notemade for an elegant Pinot Noir, worth keeping awhile.
Last was the 2009 Tempranillo from the Rogue Valley; a little darker than its Willamette Valley cousins, both in color and flavor. This one offered cooked blackberries and cherries in the nose (coulis, not jam). From there, dusty, ripe blackberry, boysenberry and black plums spilled onto the palate. It was still wanting more time in the bottle (maybe winter 2014) but the quality was excellent. In fact, looking back over the notes, most of these wines were just short of ready. Not a bad thing; all are of the caliber that would hold for the short term of 1-3 years, which is also reflected in the price.
The tasting room is a slender but deep room in a charismatic older building. The days selections are on a blackboard and also set out on the bar. Comfortable chairs are in the back corner and they keep later hours with the intention of you ending the day with them. Artisanal Cellars offers glass pours and even sells beer so you can take a load off after a day of strenuous wine tasting. Its a pleasant place to pause, process and wrap up a visit to Willamette Valley wine country.