Located in the Yamhill-Carlton district of Oregon's Willamette Valley, Belle Pente is a state-of-the-art operation committed to the guiding principle that great wine is made in the vineyard and merely nurtured in the winery; standard practices here include organic and biodynamic viticulture, carefully managing vineyard quality and yields, and meticulously hand sorting the grapes that arrive at the winery to remove all under-ripe or damaged fruit. The winery was founded in 1992 by Brian and Jill O’Donnell. Their “Estate Reserve” label is the signifier of what they consider “the best of the best” from the estate vineyard, a selection of outstanding individual barrels from the best parts of the vineyard, including the original 1994 planting next to the winery and the steep section just above it planted in 1998. This 2017 version includes around 12% whole bunches, providing more aromatic complexity and slightly more pronounced tannins. Juicy and energetic, the wine has bright berry flavors with floral notes, good acidity, and an impressively long finish.
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