Continuing to Celebrate Oregon Wine Month with an Introduction to Alexana Winery in Newberg, Oregon.
Alexana Winery began with the purchase of 80 acre property in the Willamette Valley by Dr. Madaiah Revana in 2005. With a love of the great wines of Burgundy, Dr. Revena set out to produce a Pinot Noir that would match those wines from Burgundy. With the perfect location discovered, the story of Alexana Winery, named after Dr. Revana’s daughter Alexandra, began. Dr. Madaiah Revana is a cardiologist based in Houston, Texas and originally lived in Bangalore, India.
Located in the heart of the Willamette Valley, Alexana Winery overlooks the 80 acre property and allows for some magnificent views of the vineyards and valley. The building that houses the winery is a three story gravity flow building housing an inviting tasting room, beautiful outdoor spaces and is a perfect setting to discover Alexana’s esteemed wines. On the property the building is LEED-Certified and the vineyards are L.I.V.E. certified, demonstrating Alexana’s commitment to sustainability. Nestled in the Dundee Hills American Viticultural area, the vineyards are planted to take full advantage of the 18 different soil types found on the property, ideal for the Pinot Noir planted there. In the Tasting room an impressive 20-foot bar’s front panel showcases the layered soil, this display is both an educational experience and a work of art.
A 10th Anniversary Vintage, this Alexana Dundee Hills Estate Reserve Chardonnay began the Spring Release Party tasting flight and for me it was the shining star of the tasting. Bottled as a Member Exclusive Wine in which only a limited number of cases were still available at the time of the tasting, this Gold Label Chardonnay is 100% estate grown.
Beautiful floral and honey notes escape from the glass with each swirl, like discovering a broken honeycomb in the middle of a wild flower field, alive with honeysuckle. The first sip of the Chardonnay was like a slice of Buttercream Bundt Cake melting on your tongue, not overly buttery just flawless and creamy. My husband and I both took our time talking about the finishing flavor and what we finally agreed on was that it was like a smooth sip that wrapped around your tongue and finished with a silky wild fennel soft licorice flavor. Just a hint but enough to make it one of the most delicious Chardonnay wines that I had tasted. I completely fell in love with the texture, flavors and balance of this wine. Luckily, I was granted permission to purchase one bottle of this Member Only Reserve Chardonnay. It now sits in my wine cellar awaiting a very special occasion to be opened and enjoyed.
Not surprisingly during the Release party I heard more than one person requesting a case of the Alexana Rosé of Pinot Noir. With only 130 cases left at the start of the Release Party it was a much sought after bottle. Alexana makes their Rosé with whole clusters of fruit that is immediately pressed and stored with barely any to juice contact in an aged barrel of 100% French Oak for 4 months. An eye catching display during the Release Party was a limited number of large format 2018 Rosé of Pinot Noir that were available.
Do you know the smell of a Creamsicle Cream Bar on a stick when you are eating it. You get the smell of the orange and cream but also a light wood scent from the popsicle stick from this Rosé , a dreamy aroma. On the palate the Rosé was like tasting honey and citrus soaked edible flowers, a lovely wine that even my “not a big fan of Rosé” husband approved of. This wine also found a spot in my car for the return trip home.
Alexana Winery did a great job with the Spring Release Party, three tasting stations were set up inside and outside the winery allowing guest to walk around and enjoy each wine, mingle and talk before the next pour.
The Alexana 2017 Fennwood Vineyard was the first Pinot Noir of the Spring Release tasting and although it tasted a little young to me, I did appreciate the soft tannins and lasting finish. On the nose it is a mixture of sweet blueberries and strawberries swirled in a soft chocolate cream. On the palate the blueberry flavor is more pronounced like a deep cooked compote that has warm spices added to it. I found this wine enjoyable but thought that it needed a little bottle time to mature.
Alexana’s 2017 Zena Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir is produced with grapes from the much sought after Zena Crown Vineyard located in the beautiful and rugged Eola-Amity Hills. This Salmon Safe Vineyard since 2013 has continued to supply grapes that are continually earning top ratings. In this wine Alexana has taken these popular Pinot Noir grapes and produced a wine that is as beautiful in color as it is in taste. Ruby jewel tones shimmer in the glass of this velvety Pinot. Notes of dark cherry and a sweet light smell of a chocolate covered peppermint patty greet you before the first sip.
This medium bodied Pinot is easy to love with it’s deep cherry and berry flavors and a chocolate sea salt covered truffle finishing the flavor explosion in your mouth. Stored for 6 months in oak this Pinot was less acidic and although it sipped heavier than the Fennwood Vineyard Pinot it felt softer with a longer finish. The length of the finish on this wine calls for a great pairing, like a roasted rabbit stew or a Coq Au Vin. I really enjoyed this Alexana vintage.
Many words can describe this Pinot Noir, however, the one word that came to me right away was; Spirited. This wine seemed to have a mind of it’s own, in color, aroma and flavor it flashed a spirit of uniqueness and independence. Rippling in the glass was a softer red color that proudly glimmered and demanded your attention. Both on the nose and palate this wine had a lot going on with beautiful layers of rich blueberry and spice, along with a peppery wisps that surprised me. Impressively soft on the tongue with a wonderful slightly acidic dryness, led to a promise that this Pinot would be a great wine to cellar for a couple of years. This wine is feisty, spirited and a truly unique Pinot Noir from Alexana Winery.
During our visit to Alexana We definitely considered becoming Wine Club Members, there was so much to love about the wine and the great benefits of a Club Membership. Ultimately we decided to wait but I would highly recommend looking into one of the three club membership packages available; https://www.alexanawinery.com/wine-club
An inviting, educational and delicious experience Alexana Winery should be a must on your Willamette Valley wine country tasting list! With outstanding wines, friendly hosts, and one of the best views in the area, we had an amazing time and will definitely be returning for another wine tasting experience.
To learn more about Alexana Winery: https://www.alexanawinery.com/
Images © Drink In Nature Photography and Drink In Life Blog.