Acclaim - WildAire
Critical acclaim for our wines from past and present releases.
pinot, noir, chardonnay, Oregon, wine, reviews, points, Acclaim
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WildAire Triskele

Press and critical acclaim

93 Points –  WildAire 2017 – Yates Conwill Vineyard – Pinot Noir – Yamhill-Carlton – Vinous

Shimmering magenta. Highly perfumed red fruit and floral aromas are accompanied by building spice, vanilla and succulent herb flourishes. Sweet and penetrating on the palate, offering appealingly sweet raspberry and cherry cola flavors supported by an undercurrent of juicy acidity. Shows fine definition and spicy lift on a long, smooth finish shaped by well-judged tannins. 50% new oak. – J. R.

91 Points –  WildAire 2017 – Timothy – Pinot Noir – Yamhill-Carlton – Vinous

Brilliant red. Spice-accented aromas of ripe red berries, pungent flowers and succulent herbs are sharpened by a smoky mineral element. Sappy and seamless on the palate, offering juicy raspberry, mulberry and floral pastille flavors that form up through the midpalate. Shows very good clarity and spicy lift on the long, smooth finish, which is framed by even tannins.  – J. R.

91 Points –  WildAire 2017  – Stater Vineyard – Pinot Blanc – Dundee Hills – Wine Enthusiast

Matthew Driscoll’s wines hit a consistently high standard, and this young Pinot Blanc deftly mixes several emerging trends in Oregon: whole cluster pressing, native yeasts and light exposure to all- (or mostly) neutral oak. Apple, peach and pear flavors come with a touch of cinnamon, and the sur lie aging adds a crunchy/creamy texture throughout. – P. G.

93 Points –  WildAire 2016 – Fairsing Vineyard – Pinot Noir – Yamhill-Carlton – Vinous

Deep crimson. A complex bouquet evokes cherry cola, black raspberry and pungent flowers, along with subtle mocha and spice nuances. Sappy and well-concentrated, offering appealingly sweet red and dark berry preserve flavors that smoothly blend depth and energy. The floral and spice notes drive an impressively long, smooth finish framed by velvety tannins. 33% new oak. – J. R.

92 Points –  WildAire 2016 – Yates Conwill Vineyard – Pinot Noir – Yamhill-Carlton – Vinous

Limpid ruby-red. Powerful black raspberry, cherry cola and spicecake scents, along with suggestions of candied rose and vanilla. Concentrated yet energetic in style, offering appealingly sweet red and dark berry, vanilla and floral pastille flavors that show no rough edges. Smoothly blends depth and vivacity, finishing long, supple and sweet, with well-judged tannins and a lingering cola note. 66% new oak. – J. R.

91 Points –  WildAire 2016 – Timothy – Pinot Noir – Yamhill-Carlton – Vinous

Deep, vivid red. Spice-accented cherry and black raspberry aromas show very good clarity and take on succulent herb and floral nuances with air. Smooth and appealingly sweet, offering cherry cola and dark berry flavors that show very good clarity and back-end lift. Velvety tannins add gentle grip to the long, supple finish, which echoes the cherry and floral notes. – J. R.

92 Points –  WildAire 2015 – Fairsing Vineyard – Pinot Noir – Yamhill-Carlton – Wine Enthusiast

This single-vineyard wine is rock solid, with punchy black-cherry fruit, a streak of mineral and a sprinkling of coffee grounds. Clean earth and graphite add more complexity, and the tannins—ripe and sturdy—provide a perfect foundation. The wine was aged for 17 months in one-third new French oak, and should drink well into 2028. – P. G.

91 Points –  WildAire 2015 – Timothy – Pinot Noir – Yamhill-Carlton – Wine Enthusiast

A solid effort, this brings plum and blueberry, black cherry and baking spices together in a substantial, even muscular style. Earthy tannins form a strong base, and the overall sturdy character, along with the balance and texture, suggest that this will age nicely over the next decade. Drink now through the late 2020s. – P. G.

91 Points – WildAire 2015 – Chardonnay – Willamette Valley – Open Claim Vineyard — Wine Enthusiast

A bright gold color, this appealing wine keeps the alcohol down and maximizes the impression of aging in one-sixth new oak barrels—just enough to butter up the melony fruit. It’s smooth and supple with a lingering toasty finish. Drink now and over the next few years. – P. G.

WildAire was selected to be one of the featured wineries at the 2017 Oregon Chardonnay Celebration

92 Points – 2014 WildAire Timothy Yamhill-Carlton Oregon Pinot Noir – The Pinotfile

14.5% alc., pH 3.71, 293 cases, $35. Released April 2016. Named to honor Matt Driscoll’s father. The wine is composed of the cellar’s best barrels and varies from year to year. Sourced from Yates Conwill Vineyard (Pommard and 777) and Beacon Hill Vineyard (Pommard). Harvest Brix 25.0º. 100% de-stemmed, 10-day cold soak, both native and inoculated yeasts, 25 days on the skins, aged 14 months in 33% new French oak barrels.·Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Very shy aromas of cherry, woodland and spice. Much more expressive in the mouth, with an explosion of blueberry, pomegranate and marionberry fruit flavors that invade and saturate the palate. Accents of oak-driven spice and vanilla add interest. Toned tannins and spot-on acidity hold the fruit in check, creating a seamless impression. The finish is immense in this joyful wine.  Reviewed July 9, 2016

92 Points – 2014 WildAire Beacon Hill Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Oregon Pinot Noir – The Pinotfile

14.5% alc., pH 3.71, 97 cases, $45. Released April 2016. The Beacon Hill Vineyard is located southeast of Gaston and certified LIVE. 29- acres are planted to multiple clones of Pinot Noir in marine sedimentary soils. This wine comes from an own-rooted block of Pommard clone that was planted in 1988. Harvest Brix 25º. 100% de-stemmed, 10-day cold soak, more than 22 days on the skins, aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. ·Moderately light cherry red color in the glass. Outstanding nose with bright aromas of cherry, strawberry and herb field. This mid weight wine is primarily red fruited, offering seductive flavors of cherry and strawberry accented with savory herbs, baking spice and smoky, toasty oak. Impeccable balanced, with fine-grain tannins, juicy acidity and a persistent finish. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the oak overlay had lessened and one can expect this to occur with more time in the bottle as this is a young wine.  Reviewed July 9, 2016

93 Points – 2014 WildAire Yates Conwill Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Oregon Pinot Noir – The Pinotfile

14.5% alc., pH 3.79, 99 cases, $45. Released April 2016. This LIVE certified vineyard is located just west of Carlton and shares a fence line with the famed Resonance Vineyard. 13 acres of high density plantings of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Willakenzie soils. Pommard and 777 clones. 100% de-stemmed, 10-day cold soak, inoculated with several types of yeasts, more than 28 days on the skins, and aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. ·Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. This wine is blessed with plenty of luscious black raspberry, blackberry and purple grape aromas and flavors with just the right compliment of oak-driven vanilla and spice. Haunting and fruit-laden, with a velveteen mouthfeel, and supportive tannins, all adding up to one seductive Pinot Noir. Reviewed July 9, 2016

94 Points – Editors’ Choice– WildAire 2014 Yates Conwill Vineyard – Pinot Noir – Yamhill-Carlton – Wine Enthusiast

This vineyard, often featured in the Sineann lineup, moves over to WildAire for this sensational debut. The blend is a two-clone mix of 777 and Pommard, and it captures a range of delicate, well-defined flavors. Raspberry, cherry, light char, smoke, pepper, bitter herb, vanilla and camomile tea come rolling through. The prime location, which borders on Jadot’s Résonance vineyard, contributes a great deal, but the winemaking brings it on home.  —P.G.

93 Points – Editors’ Choice – WildAire 2014 Timothy – Pinot Noir – Yamhill-Carlton – Wine Enthusiast

Scented with crushed raspberries, this exceptional value carries that same intensity and freshness etched deeply into the palate. Some darker fruits hang around the perimeter, as the wine lingers through a graceful, slightly warm finish.  Residual hints of sea-salt caramel wrap it up nicely. Editors’ Choice. —P.G.

92 Points – Cellar Selection – WildAire 2014 Beacon Hill Vineyard – Pinot Noir – Yamhill-Carlton- Wine Enthusiast

Coconut scents convene around ripe purple fruits—blueberry and plum—which abound here. Lovely and seductive, this has the potential for long-term aging, which should bring additional layers of complexity. Drink now through 2028. – P.G.

WildAire was selected to be one of the featured wineries at the 2015 International Pinot Noir Celebration

91 Points – WildAire – Chardonnay – Willamette Valley – Open Claim Vineyard – 2014 — Wine Enthusiast

Two Dijon clones went into this tasty Chardonnay, which is rounded out and easily accessible upon opening. Smooth tree-fruit flavors are set in a lightly buttery frame, with nutmeg spice. As it rolls along the impression of fresh-baked brioche is undeniable. Delicious and ready to enjoy immediately, this should hold up in the cellar through 2021 or so.

WildAire – Pinot Noir – Willamette Valley – Timothy – 2012 – 93 points | $25 | 260 cases made |  Wine Spectator

Focused, expressive, deep, dark and generous, with a mouthful of black licorice–accented blackberry and currant flavors that jet through a lithe, deftly balanced and long finish. The fine tannins stay out of the way. Drink now through 2022.—H.S.

WildAire – Pinot Noir – Willamette Valley – Reserve – 2012 – 91 points | $35 | 250 cases made | Wine Spectator 

Has terrific presence, playing the orange peel and mineral aspects against ripe, focused black currant and blueberry flavors. Comes together harmoniously against refined tannins on the long finish. Drink now through 2022.—H.S.

94 Points – Cellar Selection – WildAire – 2012 – Shea Vineyard – Pinot Noir – Yamhill-Carlton — Wine Enthusiast

Many of Oregon’s best winemakers are scrambling to acquire Shea grapes. This small-scale producer does a fine job. Its Shea designate is a captivating wine loaded with blueberry, blue plum, black raspberry and a touch of violets. One-third new French oak brings a vein of chocolate. The balance is impeccable. Drink this with enjoyment immediately, or cellar it through 2025. Cellar Selection. —P.G.

92 Points – WildAire – 2012 Zenith Vineyard Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills — Wine Enthusiast

In the world of rare, single-vineyard Oregon Pinots, this is a relative bargain. The vineyard adjoins the St. Innocent winery, in a prime Eola-Amity location. The fruit delivers the subtle complexity and detail you hope for but don’t always find in single-vineyard bottles. Brambly and floral with subtle notes of violets, rose petals, cured meat, orange rind and more, it’s a dense and thought-provoking wine that rewards close attention. —P.G. 

91 Points – Editors’ Choice – WildAire 2013 Steelhead Run Vineyard Viognier Applegate Valley — Wine Enthusiast

Spicy, punchy and pungent, this bright and crisply defined effort displays a riot of orange and apricot fruit flavors, morphing into a Grand Marnier finish. It’s deep and persistent, fully ripe but neither hot nor bitter. Editors’ Choice. —P.G. 

91 Points – WildAire 2012 Reserve Pinot Noir Willamette Valley — Wine Enthusiast

This is a barrel selection, with the majority of the barrels from Shea, Zenith and Illahe vineyard fruit. Toasty, smooth, supple and pleasing, it begins with tart red fruits framed by citrusy acidity. It breathes open and stays fresh for more than a day, with light red fruits, milk chocolate, and firm, balanced tannins. —P.G. 

90 Points – WildAire – 2012 Ellis Vineyards Tempranillo Rogue Valley — Wine Enthusiast

Dark, sappy and smoky, this engaging wine offers substantial cassis and blueberry fruit, dotted with highlights of caraway and dark chocolate. The tannins are beautifully polished, and the wine should have further improvement ahead as it ages through 2020.—P.G. 

90 Points – Editors’ Choice – WildAire 2014 Chehalem Mountain Vineyard Old Vine Riesling Chehalem Mountains — Wine Enthusiast

These vines date back to the mid-1970s and were originally planted by Dick Erath. This is their final vintage, as they’ve been removed. As a last hurrah it’s a fine one, an intriguing melding of floral, mint and citrus components. With 13g/L residual sugar, it’s just slightly off dry, with good palate penetration and superior length. — P.G. (8/1/2015)

2012 WildAire Shea Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir– The Prince of Pinot

Very engaging aromas of dark cherry pie glaze, spice, violets and smoky oak. Delicious core of nicely ripened black cherry fruit with a hint of mocha and spice. The fruit really attracts attention as it is vivid and juicy. There is a good amount of fine-grain tannins for structural integrity and noticeably intense finishing presence. I am not usually a fan of single clone Wädenswil Pinot Noir, but this beauty bursts my bubble. A standout.Score:94

2012 WildAire Zenith Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir– The Prince of Pinot

Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of cherry, sarsaparilla, and forest floor are inviting. Juicy and easy to like mid weight core of fresh cherry goodness with a hint of boysenberry. Nicely integrated oak, mild tannins and good finishing power.Score:92

2012 WildAire Reserve Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir– The Prince of Pinot

Medium reddish purple color in the glass. Appealing aromas of black cherries, loganberries and loamy earth. Relatively approachable for a reserve wine, with tasteful notes of black cherry, boysenberry, plum and spice. The tannins are balanced and the wine finishes with a moderately intense charge of cherry fruit. The wine improves over time in the glass indicate age worthiness.Score:91

2012 Reserve Pinot Noir – 90 Points – Wine Advocate

The 2012 Pinot Noir Reserve is a blend of the best barrels. It comes from four vineyards and sees ten months in one-third new French oak. It has an attractive bouquet with clean dark cherry, cranberry and raspberry preserve aromas that are well defined. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp tannin, well-judged acidity and a pretty, quite elegant finish that lingers with a savory aftertaste. Very fine.

2012 Zenith Vineyard Pinot Noir – 90 Points – Wine Advocate

The 2012 Zenith Vineyard Pinot Noir was cropped October 10, destemmed and matured in 33% Damy new oak barrels for ten months. It has a focused and precise, tightly-wound bouquet with blackberry, boysenberry and violet scents that unfold gently in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy red and black fruit, fine salinity and respectable concentration on the finish without overpowering the senses. Give this 12 months in bottle and you will have yourself a fine, quite “gutsy” Pinot Noir.

2011 Timothy Pinot Noir – 90 Points – Wine Spectator

Sleek and refined, with pretty cherry, spice and loamy earth flavors set on a narrow-gauge frame, lingering intently.
Drink now through 2017.

2009 Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir – 91 Points – Wine Advocate
The 2009 Pinot Noir Shea Vineyard was sourced from two blocks planted to Dijon clones 114 and 777 and aged for 18 months in 33% new French oak. It came in at 15.1% alcohol providing the wine with a rich, full-bodied character but not the elegance or complexity of a more medium-bodied wine. Even so, it is a succulent, friendly, pleasurable wine akin to a big wet kiss rather than a peck on the cheek.

2009 Clay Court Vineyard Pinot Noir – 89 Points – Wine Advocate
The 2009 Pinot Noir Clay Court Vineyard is sourced from a site owned by Elk Cove and was aged for 10 months in 33% new French oak. Aromas of spice box, incense, rose petal, cherry, and raspberry inform the nose of a sweetly-fruited, savory, nicely proportioned wine with adequate concentration and good length.  Drink this flavorful effort over the next 6-7 years.

2009 Reserve Pinot Noir – 90 Points – Wine Advocate
The 2009 Pinot Noir Reserve is a selection of the best barrels in the cellar and was aged for 10 months in 33% new French oak. It offers up an enticing nose of anise, cinnamon, clove, floral notes, and assorted red fruits. In the glass it reveals a forward personality, sweet fruit, a supple texture, and good balance. This medium-long effort will have a drinking window extending through 2019.

2009 Timothy Pinot Noir – 89 Points – Wine Advocate
WildAire’s new releases begin with the 2009 Pinot Noir Timothy, a three vineyard blend utilizing a variety of clones and 5% whole clusters with aging for 10 months in 5% new French oak. It offers up an alluring perfume of spicy red fruits, floral notes, and damp earth.  This sets the stage for an intense, layered, easy-to-understand wine that offers great value in Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. Drink it over the next 5-6 years.

2008 Reserve Pinot Noir – 90 Points – Wine Advocate

The 2008 Pinot Noir Reserve is a blend of 2 vineyards aged for 10 months in 33% new oak. It delivers a similar aromatic and flavor profile to the Timothy but with greater richness, succulence, and complexity. It is likely to evolve for 2-3 years and will offer prime drinking from 2012 to 2020.

2008 Timothy Pinot Noir – 87 Points – Wine Advocate

The 2008 Pinot Noir Timothy is a blend of 4 vineyards aged for 10 months in 20% new oak. It gives up a pleasing perfume of cedar, clove, cinnamon, rose petal, and cherry. This is followed by a forward, fruity, easygoing wine with plenty of concentration, good volume, and a moderately lengthy finish. Drink this very good value over the next 4 years.

2008 Timothy Pinot NoirPinotfile