Great Pinot Noir has been crafted in Oregon for nearly 50 years. Some say it's as close to the Holy Grail of Pinot Noir, Burgundy, as you'll find anywhere. However, almost all the Pinot Noir producers in Oregon are located in the Willamette Valley. Irvine Family Vineyards - now Irvine & Roberts Vineyards - is in the Rogue Valley at the southern tip of Oregon, near the California border.
This area is warmer than Willamette and, thus, has grown non-traditional grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. But Irvine & Roberts Vineyard is 2,100 feet above sea level on a cool mountain that is perfect for Pinot Noir - and perfection is the only goal here.
Doug and Dionne Irvine both grew up in the Rogue Valley. Their mutual interest in wine led them to invest in land with an eye to planting a vineyard. Soon, Doug's sister and brother-in-law joined the company, and they became Irvine & Roberts Vineyards. And while each of them had some agricultural experience, farming is only half of the equation. The wine can't make itself.
They hired Vince Vidrine, formerly of Domaine Serene, one of the top Pinot Noir producers in Oregon. The challenge of working in a different area than the Willamette Valley invigorated Vince and he set out to make his mark here as well. The results speak for themselves.
This is a denser, more fully-packed Pinot than most, yet it still retains lovely, wispish flecks of subtlety and fruit. Oak barrels from 14 separate coopers account for the complex integration of flavors as well as their magnitude and enduring pleasure.