"Goodbye to an Oregon Star" the final reviews for the WildAire 2019 wines - WildAire
"Goodbye to an Oregon Star" the final reviews for the WildAire 2019 wines
Pinot, Noir, Yates, Conwill, Fairsing, Timothy, WildAire, Norma, Blanc, Chardonnay, Open, Claim
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“Goodbye to an Oregon Star” the final reviews for the WildAire 2019 wines

2018 Norma Pinot Blanc

“Goodbye to an Oregon Star” the final reviews for the WildAire 2019 wines

“Goodbye to an Oregon Star” the final reviews for the WildAire 2019 wines

From Paul Gregutt,  Editor, Wine Enthusiast “Rocky Pond Wines From An Important New AVA/Goodbye To An Oregon Star

Goodbye WildAire Cellars

WildAire co-founder and winemaker Matt Driscoll is retiring. These 2019s are his final vintage. The remaining 2019s, along with rare library wines, can be ordered here.

I asked Matt to share some parting thoughts and this is what he wrote:

“I’m still processing everything. It’s a mix of great times and not so great times. We had a dream and now it’s gone for a myriad of reasons. Financially it was very difficult to continue this venture at our current production levels. While I love the process of making the wine I’m not as good of a salesman as I’d like to be. This biz is mostly about selling and marketing more than anything else. When the pandemic hit in early 2020 our sales nosedived as most of our placements were at restaurants. In the fall of 2020, we did entertain lowering our volumes for the 2020 vintage and continuing but the wildfire smoke ruined our chances to proceed. We decided it was just as good a time as any to retire from winemaking and to focus on selling our inventory. We made some gorgeous wines and some lifelong friends along the journey. That’s not too shabby!”

PG:  I’ve had the pleasure of tasting numerous vintages of WildAire right up to the final releases profiled here. They are reliably well-made and at times exceptional. Past favorites include the Open Claim Vineyard Chardonnays, the Fairsing and Yates-Conwill Vineyard Pinot Noirs, and all of the Pinot Blancs.

WildAire 2019 Norma Pinot Blanc

Less fruity, more tart and tangy than the 2018, but definitely a zippy, zesty tongue-snapper of a white wine. Lemon, lime and a touch of pineapple, with crisp citrus acidity. Definitely should be tried with fresh oysters.

129 cases; 13%; $25 (Willamette Valley)

WildAire 2019 Fairsing Vineyard Pinot Noir

WildAire’s 2019s are lighter overall than the 2018s but nicely balanced and detailed. This Fairsing has brambly strawberry and thistle notes, almost peppery in the mouth.

50 cases; 13.5%; $45 (Yamhill-Carlton)

WildAire 2019 Timothy Pinot Noir

Three vineyards featured individually combine forces here for this excellent and affordable cuvée. I wouldn’t hesitate to call this a winemaker’s reserve were I the winemaker. It’s seamless, grounded lightly in accents of herb and moderate tannins, lifted with medium acidity and replete with a mix of red and blue fruits. Highly recommended for exceptional value!

100 cases; 13.5%; $30 (Willamette Valley)

WildAire 2019 Yates Conwill Vineyard Pinot Noir

This is a single block, single clone expression, aged 10 months in one third new French oak. As always the winemaking is sensitive, balanced and designed to show the best of the fruit and the site. It’s precise, sculpted, with blood orange and tart raspberry fruit. It has the structure to age and should be set aside until the mid-2020s at least. This is my favorite among the winery’s 2019 Pinots.

75 cases; 13.5%; $45 (Yamhill-Carlton)

WildAire 2018 Summit Series – Three Fingered Jack Pinot Noir

Totally delicious, robust, with a mix of berries, cherries and citrus. It fairly bursts with fruity goodness, backed with substantial tannins and a frame of phenolic herbs. No surprise as virtually all of the 2018s from WildAire were knockout successes.

25 cases; 14.1%; $70 (Willamette Valley)”

 

Thank you so much for these kind words, Paul Gregutt!

You can find these all of these wines in our online shopping cart.  Order yours now before they disappear.

Stay safe and be well…….we’ll see you on the trail……

Slainte,

Matt Driscoll