I don’t see the term ‘wine excellence’ used that often or if even at all–and it should be used. I have been critical in the past about the word “Excellence” and I had to decouple that from the word “Perfection” as it is not a subset of the phrase ‘Wine Excellence.’
I was delighted to visit Lange Estate this year in January–a nice escape from California’s non-stop rain for Oregon’s rain which tends to start and stop (during atmospheric rivers–the rain never stops–I never thought I would have to distinguish rain in that fashion!). While I never built my ark (it seemed we were headed for that need); I am ready for a true four seasons in my future with a terroir including snow, heat, a delightful rebirth of earth in spring and autumn’s goldenness. It was joyous to put foot-on-ground in the Dundee Hills.
Wine Excellence is not just a term that is easily applied to all wine producers: it is a quest, hard won and done by intention. The wines of Lange Estate reflect place but specifically a place that can cultivate cool climate varieties and to do so compellingly and ultimately with Wine Excellence.
I sat down to taste through Lange Estate wines with Don, Wendy and Jesse Lange and assistant winemaker Daniel Papa. Before sitting down I was able to taste their Lange Estate Mia Mousseux Blanc de Blancs Dundee Hills Sparkling Wine 2018 which is one of the best Blanc de Blancs wines in not just Oregon but new world Blanc de Blancs wines.
Here are the wines tasted:
- Lange Estate Mia Mousseux Blanc de Blancs 2018
A lustrous and wine of complete elegance–while ideal with food it can be best appreciated and approached by sipping in contemplation. Nose: passionfruit, sea spray, pine nut and delicate brioche note; polished and finessed wine. Palate of autumnal-winter fruit, crushed oyster shell, and delicate floral finish. Price Point: $85.
- Lange Estate Reserve Pinot Gris 2022
The fruit comes from Yamhill, Tukwilla, and Lange Estate Vineyards. 600 case production, 13.3% ABV, fermentation and aging French oak puncheons and concrete. Price Point is $32. A fresh and clean wine; nose of apple, crushed sea shells, dried yellow citrus and white flower bunch. Vibrant acidity accented with green apple, fresh zest of Meyer lemon, mineral and sapidity on finish. Video review listed below.
- Lange Estate Classique Chardonnay 2021
This wine has a clonal selection of traditional Dijon clones. This wine is 13.3% ABV, 1,450 case production, Price Point is $25. Nose of Comice pear, Meyer lemon zest, and crushed minerals; palate of Granny Smith apple, quince, sea shell, and fennel.
- Lange Estate Three Hills Cuvée Willamette Valley Chardonnay 2021
This wine has a clonal selection of traditional and Dijon clones, 13.4% ABV, 800 case production. The Price Point is $40. Nose: autumnal & wintery fruit of quince and green apple, just picked flowers and crushed seashells and hint of mild herbs. Sophisticated palate; white fleshly fruit of apple, Comice pear, quince, mid-palate of oyster shell (salinity and minerality) and mild hint of hazelnut. Video review listed below.
- Lange Estate Reserve Pinot Noir 2021
This wine has a clonal selection is traditional and Dijon clones. Fruit sourced from Freedom Hill, Mistletoe, Durant, Yamhill, Hirschy, Madrona Hill, and Lange Estate Vineyards. The wine is 13.5% ABV, 2,350 cases, fermentation and aging: new and neutral French oak. Price Point is $45. Nose: Morello cherry, mouthwatering crushed red candy, sanded cedar, Douglas fir forest and violets. Acidity is vibrant and bold; initial palate has a pleasing tart cherry note, core of spice and pepper, and an enduring graphite character, a developed and a highly optimized maceration. Video review listed below.
- Lange Estate Three Hills Cuvée Pinot Noir 2021
This Cuvée has been produced since 1997. This wine has a clonal identity of traditional and Dijon clones, 13.5% ABV, 450 case production. The price point is $55. The fermentation and aging is neutral and new French oak. Nose of raspberry and Boysenberry, cherry, clove, and autumnal orchard. Palate highlight abundant acidity, early season red cherry, pepper, mineral and savory finish.
- Lange Estate Yamhill-Carlton Assemblage Pinot Noir 2021
Fruit is sourced from Yamhill and Hirschy Vineyards. Clonal selection is Dijon clones 115, 667, and 777. Price Point is $80. The sites are primarily on Jory soil series. Nose presents with delicate fragrance of red and black bramble, fresh red rose petal, spice and autumnal evergreen forest. Palate presents with blue and black fruit, freshly ground spice, a mid-palate of graphite and red floral for an expansive and lingering finish.
- Lange Estate Dundee Hills Pinot Noir 2021
This wine has a clonal selection of Pommard, Wädenswil, 777, 667, and 115. 13.5% ABV, 575 cases. Fermentation and aging is new and neutral French oak. Price Point is $80. Nose of Boysenberry, spice, autumnal orchard and violets. Palate is framed with blue fruit, bramble, dried herb, mineral and red floral.
- Lange Estate Freedom Hill Mount Pisgah Pinot Noir 2021
The fruit comes from southern Willamette Valley almost most southern sub-AVA Mount Pisgah. The wine has a clonal selection of traditional and Dijon clones. 13.5% ABV, 250 case production. Price Point is $80. Nose: red and black bramble, violet, leather/suede, dense forest. Palate of black fruit, spice, violet and mineral. A wine that is quite nice to enjoy now and I can imagine developing further. A completely elegant wine showcasing Willamette Valley and in particular Mount Pisgah.
The Lange family wines present a beautiful capture of fruit, vintage, site and terroir in the most authentic expression. I love wines that express themselves with a sense of personality. Willamette Valley Pinot Noir wines, in general, are distinguishable Pinot Noir that does not taste like another new world regions Pinot Noir. I have yet to be tested but I do think I could distinguish Oregon from other new world Pinot Noir.
I appreciate Lange Estates iconic fishing flies that are different on each label and the certainly rolls up to the families appreciation of not just fishing but it represents a love and commitment to food and wine.
If you have haven’t tasted Lange Estate wines I do recommend starting off with the reserve wines and certainly tasting all of their wines – Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Their wines represent a hallmark of Willamette Valley
I recommend a visit to Lange Estate when you are in the Willamette Valley and delve into the beauty of their assembly of wines that represent the delicateness and beauty of Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (be sure to make a reservation).
18380 NE Buena Vista Drive
Dundee, OR 97115
I have two sets of videos – shorts (under 1 minutes) and regular videos. I want to alert you that you are not seeing pure duplicates in terms of videos as each format is different. Please select which would like to view. I did not get to produce a YouTube Short for the Pinot Gris or Rosé of Pinot Noir but have a longer format video.
Short format videos (YouTube Shorts):
Longer format videos:
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