Saturday, April 4, 2009

Anne Amie Vineyards

Every now and then, you come across a winery that is just doing everything right. Not flashy, no gimmicks, just really cool people making and selling great wine. That describes Anne Amie Vineyards to a "T".
Anne Amie is the baby of Robert Pamplin, Philanthropist, Author, Minister, Environmentalist, Educator, and much more. He purchased Chateau Benoit in 1999 in Willamette Valley. I can't speak to the quality of the wine prior to his purchase, but my understanding is that there was a lot of unfulfilled potential. He changed the name, and began bringing in some pretty key personnel. They kept one vineyard with Muller Thurgau, and pretty much replanted, grafted and generally changed everything else. They also purchased 3 additional estate vineyards. Most plantings are as recent as 2000-2001. Benoit had been producing every wine imaginable, but now, Anne Amie would, appropriately, focus on the 3 Pinots. L.I.V.E. and Salmon Safe practices were instituted, and Anne Amie was eventually certified.
With prime vineyards containing a diversity of Clones and Soil types, blending would be key. Single Vineyards bottlings can show great style, but many believe that blending different elements can result in a superior wine. The answer is there's no right answer, just style preferences. The results of Anne Amie are hard to argue against though. Using the right amount of age, and master blending results in very complex refined Pinot Noirs. The whites show the only flashiness, with rich Pinot Gris and racy Muller Thurgau, the whites have found thier own cult. As the wines gather age, and the winemaking and winegrowing team continues to flesh out the nuances of the grapes, this is a winery that is already making great wines, but has an even brighter future!

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