Thursday, October 15, 2009

Lange Estate

I've been waiting to post about Lange for some time. It's really all their fault. They sent me a book called The Grail, which is all about a year in the life of Lange Estate. Great read, but I haven't finished it yet.This is the crazy season after all.
Tim Brislin, who we've known since his Anne Amie days a few years ago and now National Sales for Lange reached out for me over the Summer. He was looking for a little help in our neck of the woods. Having been to Pinot Camp,and knowing they were a participant, I rushed home to check my notes. Sure enough, they were a host the year I attended. Oddly enough, I had no notes about them anywhere. I had comments good or bad about pretty much every wine I tasted sniffed or saw, but they were noticeably absent. To this day, I can't figure out how I missed them.
Hidden in plain sight is how I describe Lange. I somehow missed them my entire career. When Tim contacted me over the Summer I was intrigued, and agreed to first taste the wines. I was absolutely blown away. The wines were stunning. Each of the reds displayed a house style of balanced acid/ tannin structure. These were Dundee Pinots for sure, but even more so, showy and from the challenging 2007 vintage. Perhaps most impressive was their Chardonnay. All you cynics can just shut up, I still love great Chardonnay,and so do you. Lange makes good on the promise that Oregon produces the best Chardonnays outside of burgundy. Clearly I had missed something along the way. Proud of my new "discovery" I immediately signed them up. As I began talking with my colleagues that had also been to Pinot Camp, they all went bonkers for Lange. Somehow, I was late to the party, but very lucky to have them on board.
Don & Wendy Lange started the winery conceptually while in California. Their first vintage was 1987,and their lineup hasn't changed much since then, except the addition of Jesse, their son, to the team. The Langes have built a reputation for consistency and a blend of Estate and contracted fruit. Along with our other great Oregon producers, Lange represents another facet of what needs to be considered the true Oregon style (which probably consists of at least 6 different Pinot Noir styles).

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