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Belle Pente Vineyard & Winery

Belle Pente Vineyard & Winery Belle Pente (bell-pont') means "beautiful slope" - a perfect description for our hillside vineyard site overlooking the misty shrouds of Oregon's Coast Range mountains in the North Willamette Valley. Our inspiration comes from the exquisite wines of Burgundy and Alsace, and follows the guiding principle that great wine is made in the vineyard and merely nurtured in the winery. Our standard practices include carefully managing vineyard quality and yields, coupled with hand sorting the grapes that arrive at the winery to remove all underripe or damaged fruit. Our 3-level, gravity-flow winery is designed for gentle, natural winemaking in small lots, with minimal handling and manipulation, to produce premium wines of character and distinction. Belle Pente is owned and operated by Jill & Brian O'Donnell. The 70 acre property is located 2 miles east of the historic town of Carlton. The vineyard and winery are on one of the oldest farms in Yamhill County, the heart of Oregon's wine country. The vineyard site rises from 240' to 500' with south, south-east, and south-west exposures. The first vineyard was planted in 1994, and now includes 16 acres of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay. We also lease seven acres of "old vines" Pinot Noir at Murto Vineyard (est. 1978) in the Red Hills of Dundee. Our estate vineyards are supplemented with high quality fruit from carefully selected Yamhill County vineyards. The winery is open on Memorial Day and Thanksgiving Weekends, and at other times by appointment.

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Address Web Social
12470 N.E. Rowland Road, Carlton, OR, US, 97111 Email: wine@bellepente.com
Phone: 503-852-9500 Web: www.bellepente.com
Fax: 503-852-6977
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Products



  2001 Estate Reserve Chardonnay
The proverbial "horse of a different color", this is a rich, ripe, bold, take no prisoners Chardonnay. The 3 barrel selection exclusively from our Dijon clone Belle Pente Estate vineyard has it's 2/3 new oak very well integrated. Our last Reserve Chardonnay (1998) was rated one of the top Chards of the vintage by Wine Spectator, and one of the top dozen Oregon Chardonnays ever! We think this one is even better!
  2001 Pinot Noir – Estate Reserve
This is the second year of "significant" production from our young estate vineyard as the blocks planted in 1998 come into production. Prior to 2000, we yielded a mere barrel per year of Estate Reserve Pinot Noir (from the original 1994 planting). The second vintage (1998) met with considerable critical acclaim, and was included on the Wine Spectator's list of the best domestic Pinot Noirs of all time. This 2001 version is a barrel selection from the best lots from what we believe to be the best sections of the vineyard. The wine was debuted to rave reviews at the Int'l Pinot Noir Celebration this summer, and is probably the most approachable version of this well structured wine that we've crafted so far. This is truly the "dark side" of Pinot Noir, with black currant, wild black cherry, and black plum flavors and aromas, accented by spice, licorice, and mocha. It is the biggest, boldest, most intense Pinot Noir in our line-up, and although it is very enjoyable now, we recommend holding it for at least another year or two.
  2001 Pinot Noir – Murto Vineyard
This is the second vintage from Murto as an "Estate Bottled" wine for us, and we're thrilled with the results! True to it's Red Hills of Dundee location, the wine explodes with ripe, bright red fruit, accented by the signature Murto spiciness & clean, fresh earthiness. It shows plenty of old-vine (planted 1978) character on a wiry, but muscular, frame. It should be a relatively early bloomer, but wants another year or two to show it's best.
  2001 Pinot Noir – Wahle Vineyard
The old vines (planted in 1974) at this fine Yamhill-Carlton District vineyard delivered the goods once again in 2001! This wine shows classic herbal/floral aromas (lavender and rose petal) with plenty of ripe blue/black fruit (especially blueberry). With a bit more tannin and structure than recent vintages, it is a good candidate for 3-5 years in the cellar.
  2001 Willamette Valley Chardonnay
The 2001 version of our Willamette Valley Chardonnay is a 50/50 blend from Yamhill vineyard (young vines, Dijon clone - located 1/2 mile north of the winery on the same hill) and Rivenwood vineyard (old vines, 108 clone - immediately adjacent to our estate vineyard). It is a crisp, light, Maçon-style wine, unencumbered by too much new oak or over-ripeness. 100% barrel fermented in French and Oregon oak, it is ready to enjoy now with a wide range of lighter dishes.
  2001 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Our "entry level" pinot for 2001 is a combination of purchased and estate grown fruit from Bella Vida (37%), Murto (26%), Maresh (22%), and our Belle Pente Estate vineyard (15%). With most of the blend coming from vineyards in the Red Hills of Dundee, it displays many of the characteristics typical of the area: bright red fruit with a clean, fresh earthiness. This wine is light in color, but packs good intensity on it's wiry frame. It is perhaps the most "Burgundian" of our recent pinot noir offerings, and is ready for enjoyment over the next year or two.
  2001 Yamhill County - Estate Bottled Pinot Noir
This is a brand new wine in our line-up! Since we started leasing a portion of the Murto vineyard in 2000, wines from the grapes that we grow there are eligible for the "Estate Bottled" designation. This wine is 70% from Murto and 30% from our main Estate vineyard on the winery property - 100% grown, produced, and bottled by us! The wine is deeper and darker than the Willamette Valley bottling, with a medley of small red and black fruits and a silky texture. It's plush, ripe, and ready to enjoy over the next few years.
  2002 Cuvée Contraire - Rosé
This is the third vintage for our proprietary blend of Gamay Noir and Pinot Noir. The Gamay was fermented as a red wine, and was aged for a few months in older barrels. The Pinot was made as a white wine from juice drained from the vats immediately after de-stemming (a process known as saignée). The two lots were blended together just prior to bottling to create this unique, dry, rosé-style wine. The wine has a fresh, spicy aroma with plenty of red fruit that carries through onto the palate. Crisp and clean like a white wine, but with the weight and complexity of a red. Very Limited!
  2002 Reserve Pinot Gris
This is our fourth vintage for this wine, with the 2002 version more similar stylistically to the 2000 than the 2001. It includes grapes from the best blocks of our best vineyards (including our Estate vineyard). Half of the fruit comes from Whistling Ridge, which produces herbal, mineral, and spice aromas. Vines from our young Estate vineyard, and from neighboring Walker vineyard, contribute tropical fruit, backbone, and structure. The stylistic model for our Reserve Pinot Gris is unashamedly Alsace Grand Cru. The grapes are harvested very ripe, and the wine is fermented & aged in 35 year old 1200 liter foudres and neutral oak barrels. Although the wine is dry, it is rich and complex from the long, slow fermentation and extended sur lie aging. This wine was bottled last fall, and is showing beautifully right now. It should also continue to gain complexity for the next few years.
  2002 Willamette Valley Riesling
Our quest for great American Riesling continues! This is our fifth vintage from Yamhill Vineyards, and this year's version is a fascinating chameleon of a wine. Explosive aromatics of apple and pear hang on a steely, mineral laden frame that sends your mind to the Mosel, while the richness & depth on the palate takes you to Alsace. We think it may be the ultimate expression of a world class Oregon dry Riesling. Enjoy now and over the next few years.

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