Wine Enthusiast Ratings and the NEW Laurelwood AVA!

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Three Feathers Cuvee Virginia Pinot Noir 2017 vintage
Three Feathers 2017 Cuvée Virginia
Three Feathers Blanc de Noirs 2018
Three Feathers 2018 Blanc de Noirs

Three Feathers Wines rated by Wine Enthusiast

Three Feathers Estate submitted a selection of wines to critics at Wine Enthusiast for their rating this spring.

Their response was an 89 point rating for our 2017 Cuvée Virginia Pinot Noir and an 86 point rating for the 2018 Blanc de Noirs.  Although we would love to have been in the 90’s, we are happy to figure in the category of “Very Good – a Wine with Special Qualities” along with other more famous vineyards in our region.

Contributing Editor and wine critic, Paul Gregutt, described our 2017 Cuvée Virginia Pinot Noir as “A pretty purple-red color, the flavors push Marionberry fruit up against astringent black-tea tannins….” and found “… autumnal fruit flavors of apricot and peach, playing out broadly across the palate….” in our 2018 Blanc de Noirs.

Three Feathers Estate is part of the NEW Laurelwood AVA!

We are also pleased to announce, in the wine-making news department, that on June 3, 2020 the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) approved a new American Viticultural Area (AVA) that encompasses our vineyards; the Laurelwood AVA – a sub AVA of Chehalem Mountains.

New Laurelwood District AVA approved June 3, 2020
© Oregon Wine Board

The designation is named for the unique Laurelwood soil profile of our area and its contribution to the characteristics of our wines. 

During the Missoula Flood period, dating back more than 10,000 years ago, strong winds blew in an exceptionally fine soil, known as Missoula Flood loess, to this area.  Loess is silt-sized sediment formed by the accumulation of wind-blown dust produced by the grinding down of basaltic and other volcanic rocks by glaciers during the last ice age. It is particularly rich in iron, giving the Laurelwood soil a reddish color and contributing to the particular flavor of our Pinots.

Laurelwood soil produces more Burgundian style Pinot Noir wines – light and elegant in style and texture with well-defined tannins, whereas Oregon’s sedimentary soils typically produce earthy, robust and black fruit centered wines. 

Wines from young vines grown in Laurelwood soil will have bright, spicy flavors such as cherry, blackberry and white pepper.  As the vines age, the wines will take on deeper notes of dark fruit, violet and black tea, as confirmed by Paul Gregutt in his review of our 2017 Cuvée Virginia Pinot Noir.  A rainy and cooler growing season on Chehalem Mountains will also contribute to darker fruit flavors and violet or lavender aromatics.

Three Feathers Estate as situated in the Laurelwood AVA
AVA Map © Ponzi Vineyards

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