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Westrey Wine Company - A gem in Oregon's Dundee Hills (April 25, 2001)

I had lunch recently with winemaker David Autrey (the last four letters of whose last name join with partner Amy Wesselman's first three letters to spell out the winery name).

This is a small operation dedicated to making no more than 6,000-8,000 cases at their limit. They make Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir and they're worth searching out.

Westrey Pinot Gris 2000: This wine is given a warm fermentation and is made without recourse to oak or malolactic fermentation. The result is a lovely crisp wine with a peachy, green nut nose; elegant and well balanced, the flavour is white peach which lingers long on the palate thanks to the lively acidity. A great food wine ($19.95 ****)

Westrey Chardonnay 1999: "1999 is the best vintage I've ever seen working in Oregon for 13 vintages," says Autrey. Partially barrel fermented in french oak, the wine is light straw in colour with a greenish tint. Butter and vanilla on the nose and spicy apple flavours, quite sweet with lovely balance and length ($21.95 *****)

Westrey Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 1999: Purple colour; vanilla, peppery black cherry nose; earthy with simple fruit flavours; hefty on the palate, tannic with a hot finish. A little ungainly. ($27.15 ***1/2)

Westrey Pinot Noir Croft-Bailey Vineyard 1999: Pommard clone - deep purple colour; blackcurrant, black cherry, floral and mint bouquet; sweet black cherry fruit, elegant with a silky mouthfeel, quite soft and forward. ($36.95 ****1/2)

Westrey Abbey Ridge Pinot Noir 1998: Quite forward, showing some maturity of colour; Burgundian nose, barnyard notes with sweet rhubarb; soft and spicy raspberry with a floral top note, good acidity and length, lovely structure. ($50.00 *****)

Westrey Pinot Noir Temperence Hill 1999: Purple colour; spicy vanilla and caramel notes on the nose; sweet black cherry and plum flavours; firm and muscular with lively acidity and a tannic lift on the finish. Needs a couple of years to really show its paces. ($36.95 *****)

These wines are available through Du Chasse Wines - 416-598-9859 or email: doublehorn@sympatico.ca.

Westrey's home page is at http://www.cse.ogi.edu/~tito/westrey/.

 

 

 

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