Un Autre Monde…translated means “Another World”…which is about how I’m feeling right now about this wine. Another world meaning, oh, say, buying Oregon pinot noir in the early to mid-1990’s. If you want to skip the long-winded version of why you have to take advantage of this wine then go right to the bottom “how to order” part and reply with a “yes, please” to grab some of this unbelievable pinot for just $10.41 a bottle by the case. For the rest of you, the rest of the story….
n/v UN AUTRE MONDE Pinot Noir “Willamette Valley”
$12.95 bottle/ $125.00 case
Right off the bat I have to tell you this is one of the most exciting wines I’ve written about, EVER. Long time VINO-philes know one of my biggest gripes has been, with world class vineyards an hour or less away from us, why the h*ll can’t we buy quality Oregon pinot for around the $10-$15 price point. Yes, I know there are these mass produced brands out there called Rascal and Underwood, but remember I said “quality”, not “innocuous and boring”. That’s why this is simply an astonishing buying opportunity in very good quality local pinot noir.
I did an FB post about this last week comparing this wine to the the non-vintage (n/v) ACME pinot noir that John Thomas used to make about 10 years or so ago, which in its short history was the best value Oregon pinot going. Now, thanks to winemakers Joe Swick (Swick Wines) and Chris Berg (Roots Wine Co./Klee) the past has come roaring deliciously back. I took a bottle of Autre Monde home over the weekend, and Saturday night was able to drink it over the course of 2-3 hours (I know, pretty patient, aren’t I?!) and must have said to Wendy about ten times, more emphatically with each taste, “I cannot believe how good this is!” and “Man, I can’t wait to write this up next week!” I can hardly express how amazing this is for the money. So how did these two young, handsome, and talented small scale winemakers achieve something that I’ve been led to believe was near impossible?
According to Joe, he and Chris were offered barrels of excess 2011 and 2012 pinot noir by a couple different Oregon winemakers. When I inquired who he coyly wouldn’t divulge the producers, but said I carry their wines on my shelves, which was reason enough for me to think he and Chris got some quality juice. So the deal is, this is about half 2011 Yamhill Carlton AVA pinot mixed with half 2012 Dundee Hills AVA pinot. Joe said they went through a lot of barrels rejecting some, keeping others. He told me the 2011, which had sat in barrel, was quite broad yet full, and was a perfect match to the higher acidity and rich, somewhat tannic fruit in the 2012 Dundee Hills pinot. I would have to agree. This was absolutely wonderful. It revealed spot on Oregon pinot noir aromatics and flavors, which to me are ripe Hood strawberries and dark plum, light violet scents, flecks of fresh ground pepper, and allspice, with a finish of bing cherry and wild flowers. This is über-drinkable pinot noir right now, yet underneath that near-term approachability are some balanced, textured tannins and acidity that ensure you’ll be able to enjoy this over the next 3-5 years, at least.
Lastly I asked Joe what’s up with the price, when this would have been an amazing deal, even for several dollars more? His simple reply was that they were offered an incredible buy on the wine, and both he and Chris felt that people deserved to drink affordable pinot noir that rose above what one would normally get for these prices. A “wine for the people” approach that I can only applaud and admire.
If you need further convincing about the value here, go price out some Dundee Hills or Yamhill Carlton AVA pinots. If you find anything less than $25 I’d be surprised. Again, this an exceptional quality Oregon pinot the likes of which I haven’t seen, and thought I’d NEVER see again, at an absurd price. I am such a believer here that I could go on and on about this. Just trust me when I say, if you care about both your wallet and your future happiness, you have to take advantage!
One final word: there are only 400 cases of this available and it will vaporize very quickly once word gets out. Take heed!
To order, and you really, really should, just reply with an email (or call, but email is better) and let me know how much I should set aside for you. The wine will be coming in over the next couple of weeks, as it gets labeled. Why the possible delay? Those crazy masochists are hand labeling each bottle, that why!