Attorney-turned-winemaker Dave Specter is into the second decade at his Chehalem Mountains winery north of downtown Newberg, Ore., and he’s helped cast a spotlight upon several emerging small vineyards along the way. For his Villanelle tier, it’s been Tonnelier Vineyard, a 4-acre Pinot Noir project by Mike Slater in a neighborhood that includes McCrone – a renowned site in the Ken Wright Cellars constellation. From Tonnelier’s Dijon 115 and 777 vines, Specter produces perhaps his most impressive Pinot Noir. Fanciful aromas of chokecherry, Montmorency cherry and crushed brick lead into a fruity and finesse-filled Pinot Noir that’s so easy to enjoy it might be mistaken for Gamay. Flavors of boysenberry and cherry pie filling pick up a pinch of chai spices and lead into a tiny tug of tannin that provides just enough tension. Club members earn the first crack at the Tonnelier, and alas, the 2018 vintage marks the penultimate production of Villanelle as a result of Slater selling the vineyard in 2020.
Production: 53 cases