by Tom Joe The “Hops ‘R Better” Winer
More like an A than an F!
Fullerton Wines is a Willamette Valley, Oregon producer. The Fullerton family started making wine in 2012 and began with a production of 300 cases that first year. As of 2018, they’ve grown to 5,000 cases annually and distribution in about 15 states.
The 2016 Pinot Noir we tasted was released in September 2018 with just 100 cases produced and 90 of those cases were already sold at the time of the pouring. After tasting this wine, I realized that this is a MAJOR benefit of attending these types of events: you get to taste wines that may never be produced again.
They make eight Pinot Noirs. This particular pinot noir is the only one that’s 100% de-stemmed – so no whole clusters go into this wine. The wine is very clear & the fruit is beautiful, sexy, and has this silkiness which the Dundee Hills is known for. Other whole cluster wines with stems bring a kind of rustic, herbal edginess to the wine which you won’t find in this 2016.
Fullerton Wines make single vintages from all six of the sub AVAs in the Willamette Valley – Dundee Hills, Eola-Emity Hills, Chehalem Mountains, Yamhill-Carlton-McMinnville Foothills – and one can taste these vintages alongside each other in the tasting room. I’m pretty sure that my wife will be putting this on her to-do-list as she marks-up and corrects this article!
Winemaker Alex Fullerton “cut his teeth” with Penner-Ash Wine Cellars and at Bergström Wines. He then went to New Zealand picked up his viniculture enology degree and then launched his winery in 2012 with his parents. It’s just Mom, Dad, and son as the winemaker – he’s only 30 years old so still pretty young for a winemaker, but with mentors like Lynn Penner-Ash and Josh Bergström who have helped him along, I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about him and Fullerton Wines in the future.
Remember, it’s all about having FUN with wine!
Drink Wine – Drink Wisely!