Domaine Danielle Laurent vineyard is Laurent Montalieu’s home vineyard at Solena Estate. It’s a special, special vineyard that runs on a severe slope and shares the same hill as Shea Vineyard. But unlike the Shea Pinot which required a favor from Anne to secure, Laurent is Anne’s boss – so securing a few choice plots to further her Single-Vineyard Trousse Chemise project was “no big deal”. But, in fact it really was.
No doubt Anne’s tireless dedication to Hyland and Solena over the past decade plus earned her a chance to make a single-vineyard off this special sentimary soiled vineyard along Y-C’s rolling hills. But she’s the first one to do it!
Founded in 2000 by Laurent Montalieu and Danielle Andrus (Gary’s daughter), the 80-acre vineyard has long been a particularly sweet spot on winemakers’ radars. But for the past twenty years, Danielle and Laurent have turned down dozens of requests for fruit off the vineyard, opting instead to use it for their perennial Wine Spectator Top 100 feature, Solena Estate’s Grand Cuvee as well as the crown jewel of the Solena lineup, the DDL Vineyard Pinot.
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Now some of the best Pinot Noir in the world comes from the Yamhill-Carlton District (this small neck of the woods has earned its own AVA) and specifically from Shea Vineyards. Big name wineries clamor for fruit: Antica Terra, Beaux Freres, Bergstrom, Penner-Ash, & Sine Qua Non, to name a few. This Pinot is lights out and even given the pedigree, drinks several echelons higher. Blueberry, Blackberry, Blue Cheese (?!?), chanterelle mushrooms, lavender, mint – I could go on. It’s literally got it all, but I won’t spoil it for you.
92 Points, James Suckling
Since the late 1990’s Penner-Ash has been viewed as one of Oregon’s top wineries making gorgeous wines in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA. In the 2021 vintage considered to be one of Oregon’s all-time great years, the 2021 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir that Lynn crafted is gorgeous, a silky tightly woven number that mixes red and black fruits with some sage and baking spices and a savory finish. It’s got some nice weight to it and structure which suggests it’ll age well for the next 10-15 years though it’s already drinking beautifully in its youth.
92 Points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate – 91 Points, Wine Spectator – 91 Points, Wine Enthusiast
That ‘Top 100’ tally may very well be going up after the 2021 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir hit the market. It’s simply outstanding and every single critic who has gotten their hands on this wine has gone completely gaga for it. Wine Spectator included them in their ‘Top 8 Pinot Noirs From Oregon Under $35’ piece a few weeks ago. Wine Enthusiast gave it a 91 and called it “fresh and fragrant”. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate took it a point higher and called it, “light on its feet with generous, floral fruit”.
Once again dialing up fruit from 1000-1500ft in elevation in the Dundee Hills, Chad’s 2021 is juicy, laser focused and roaring out of the gates. Chad tells me that similar wines (very similar wines) off this vineyard are raising their prices up to $55/bottle from $45 this year due to 2020’s lost year. But where most people are raising prices to recoup last year’s losses, the CHAD Pinot Noir price is somehow lower. A true gift from our favorite winemaker.