The Odyssey, the final chapter, Chapter 24 is the origin of this relatively young vineyard and winery’s name. Why? “Contrast drive the story to its conclusion…anticipation, tension, release,” (from the tasting notes) could there also be the romance of the wine vs. the toil in the vineyard and cellar? Oregon’s geologic history based upon the igneous and sedimentary based soils, one of fire, volcanic, and the other flood deposits, glacial and river, could also be considered contrasts at play in the wines, especially since two of the four wines are named for their soil types, ‘Fire’ and ‘Flood’. Certainly wine, consumed since antiquity, is juxtaposed within the ultra-modern, minimalist tasting room in Dundee, Oregon.
Two vignerons, raised in Oregon along with the state’s wine industry, Mike D. Etzel, Jr. and a Burgundian, Louis Michel Liger-Belair as a consultant, collaborate on these Pinot Noir wines. Biodynamic vineyard management, gentle handling of the grapes, long cold soaks, semi-carbonic maceration, pump-overs rather than punch downs, native yeast, temperature control within the stainless steel tanks before barreling in French oak (varying percentages of new between the wines) are the shared philosophy.
The four award-winning wines from the 2012 vintage were poured for us by Jessie Gordon, tasting room manager.
Two Messengers: a Pinot Noir blend from various vineyard sites has a floral, bright red fruit nose following through on the palate where mushroom and forest floor joins them in the 13.6% ABV wine.
- The Fire: a bright, light-bodied Pinot from four vineyards located on the volcanic soils of the Eola Hills AVA with 13.3% ABV and lots of raspberry and pie cherry with a clean, tart finish.
- The Flood: a deeper, darker, Pinot from four vineyards in the Yamhill-Carlton’s Ribbon Ridge AVA featuring the sedimentary soils of the glacial lake Missoula floods and associated loess soils blown from one place to another after the waters receded with 13.3% ABV, darker fruit and more earthiness.
- The Last Chapter: fruit from four vineyards blends both the volcanic, the bright red cherry, red currant, and acidic nature, and sedimentary, the darker, richer plum and pomegranate, together with 75% new French oak for a 13.1% ABV wine.
There are lots of cases produced, possibly with the intention of distributing, the Two Messenger and not a small amount of the Fire and Flood. I believe you can purchase from the Chapter 24 website as well as several online wine sale sites.