Argyle Winery Review
Address: 691 Highway 99W Dundee,Oregon 97115.
Phone Number: 503-538-8520
Tasting Hours: 11:00-5:00. Closed major holidays
Region: Willamette Valley AVA, Dundee Hills AVA, Oregon
Reviewer: Rob Boss
Review Date: 11/1/2012
Reviewer: Rob Boss
Often underrated, always understated and wonderfully accessible, Argyle is a great starting point for tasters who want to try Oregon wine. With a tasting room right in the middle of Dundee, on Highway 99, its also a great starting point for a tour (or a good place to end one, for the same reason, plus later hours).
Pinot Noir and Chardonnay might be what put Argyle on the map, but their sparkling wines are what keep them there. Lovely as their still wines areand they are lovelyArgyles bubbles swing with the big boysparticularly from California. They winemaker, Rollin Soles has had his wines in Wine Spectators Top 100 Wines of the World eleven timesand with good reason.
Our flight began with the 2008 Blanc de Blanc, which means white from white, or sparkling wine made from Chardonnay. The nose was full of flowers and cookies. There was a fine mouse and fresh, bright apple flavors.
The 2002 Extended Tirage was even more interesting. This wine sits in steel tanks, aging gracefully for years until its finally put into a bottle and given a dosage (dose AHZH) of sweet wine to finish the bubbly fermentation processclassic Champagne Method. But only really great years get this treatmentmost sparkling wines are non vintage, in the interest of consistency. The nose offered up crème brullee and pie crust, with pear and fresh bread flavors on the palate. Visions of a lovely Sunday Brunch
On now to still wines, starting with 2010 Nuthouse Chardonnay. There was a bright, effusive white peach aroma, followed by flavors of butter, oak and hazelnuts. This ones OK and certainly has its devotees, although its upstaged by Argyles sparkling offerings.
Theres a great story that Argyles Nuthouse Pinot Noir was selected for a State dinner during the Bush administration. However, before the wine could be served, the name had to be changed and the label replaced, so as not to put a bad light on the White House. This story is apocryphal (2003 Brut Rose was actually served with dessert), but it was fun to bring it up, and be set straight, as we tasted the 2010 Nuthouse Pinot Noir.
Just saying the wine had a nose of dusty fruit and berries seems like selling it short. Whats not explicit in the days tasting notes is how long we lingered over our glasses before actually tasting. Fine wines beg your attention but the finest seem to demand it, and this was one of those experience. But Soles style is so understated and elegant that the wine seems to whisper, rather than hit you in the head. Likewise, the beautiful silky cherry flavors stretched endlessly into a luscious finish. It must have taken a full fifteen minutes to get through a one ounce taste. In a word, their wine is exquisite.
And then, alas, the tasting session at Argyle was over. Theres always the possibility of another flight, since they have four or five to choose from, and there are tables and chairs in the next room for friends who want to stay and chat over a glass, with no shortage of encouragement from the fun loving staff. Theres a good reasonseveral, actuallywhy Argyle has one of the most popular tasting rooms in the Willamette Valley. Its definitely worth a repeat visit, maybe even becoming a regular.