I first sampled Cartlon Cellars’ popular wines last spring on a fantastic wine tasting tour of the Cartlon area. With a huge range of wines and many award winning vintages, I was no stranger to Carlton Cellars wine before tasting these two particular bottles – however each still sent surprises down the hatch.
Located in Carlton, Oregon, Carlton Cellars sources it fruit from several vineyards around the valley. In 2006 they debuted their first Pinot Noir from an estate vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA on the Savannah Ridge. Owned by husband and wife team, Dave Grooters (the winemaker) and Robin Russell, Cartlon Cellars is the acclaimed love child of this couple and continues to grow as a notable winery in the North Willamette.
Cape Lookout: 2009 Oregon Pinot Noir
On first taste I wasn’t too sure about this wine. It started off with a kick of sweetness than turned bitter and alcoholic on the finish like the lingering taste of college party shots. But knowing wine, I had to give it a second try. After waiting an hour I poured another glass of the 2009 Pinot Noir. Once it opened up a bit, the alcohol eased out to show more dark fruits on the finished with a very subtle cherry and the tannins rounded out. Sweetness like white sugar still bit off the bat of each taste but found an easy balance with the fruit and light body of the wine and the bottle significantly improved.
Honestly I think this wine tasted its best a day old!
Sourced from Carlton Cellars own estate vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, the Cape Lookout Pinot Noir is a light, drinkable Pinot with a fruit-driven palate and mild mouthfeel.
Roads End: 2008 Oregon Pinot Noir
A triple vineyard Pinot Noir with a heavy focus on featuring the terroir of the site, Roads End is influenced by both volcanic and sedimentary soils expressing in each vintage its unique characteristics.
The 2008 with its medium-body and ruby color featured a blend of blue and red fruits with its initial sips. It finished with a moderate and smooth texture that showcased its oak aging and notes of black raspberry, prune and a hint of cassis.
When drinking this wine, I anticipated that as 2008 it would be more powerful with heavier earth tones and density, but the light, fruit-rich tones was refreshing and well structured even without the additional body.
These bottles were media samples for review. All opinions are my own.