Oregon wine country revisited, part 12
Westrey is a small winery (5000 cases) based in McMinnville. It was
founded in 1993 by Amy Wesselman and David Autrey
(above), who make the wines together.
David Autrey first got into wine in 1987.
He was deep in the middle of studies at Reed College, and John Paul
of Cameron Winery moved into the house next door. 1987 was a big
harvest, and John Paul pulled David in as temporary help. He went on
to do more vintage work with Cameron and Adelsheim in subsequent
In 1991 Amy and David went to Burgundy to work the harvest. She did
vintage with L’Arlot, and she did it with Dujac. In 1992 Amy began
working with Bethel Heights, and David did some pick-up jobs, as
well as working part time in wine retail.
Bethel Heights proved to be good mentors to Westry, whose first
vintage was in 1993. Amy and David ended
up working 10 vintages with Bethel Heights while building up their
own project. Amy did a stint as executive director at the
International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC) between 1998 and 2007.
In 2000 Westry bought a vineyard called Oracle, and
built this up to 19 producing acres. But
running a vineyard is expensive, and in 2011 Amy returned to her
position with the IPNC in order to help with the finances.
Interesting fact: David says that heat-treated virus-free clones of
Pinot Noir can lose some of their character. You can go from a
fantastic clone that is slightly virused to one that produces too
much when its clean. Sometime stem pit or
leaf roll virus isn’t a problem.
Winemaking is quite natural with all indigenous yeasts and no
temperature control. David says he’s looking for an aqueous
extraction, not an alcoholic one, so doesn’t do post-ferment
Westrey Pinot Noir Rosé 2013 Oregon
Saignée rosé. Lively, fresh and dry with some texture. Bright
cherries and herbs. A rich style. 87/100
Westrey Pinot Gris 2012 Oregon
This comes from a 35 year old vineyard, and it’s aged in
stainless steel on gros lees. Lively and textured with nice bright
lemon notes as well as rich apples. There’s some fine spiciness,
too. Broad in the mouth with lots of dimensions. 91/100
Westrey Chardonnay 2010 Oregon
Six barrels, one new. Complex, lively and expressive with ripe
apples and pears, peaches, nuts and complex dough and honey notes.
Real personality: has richness and maybe even a hint of raisin.
Westrey Chardonnay Reserve 2012 Oregon
35 year old vines, a selection massale from Draper Ranch in
Calistoga. Powerful, rich but fresh with spicy, ripe apple fruit,
subtle toast, some citrus and a distinct nuttiness. Rounded and
mealy with real finesse. 93/100
Westrey Reserve Pinot Noir 2010 Oregon
Lively, fresh and vivid with cherries and plums and a savoury,
spicy edge. Really sappy and bright with lovely focus. Ripe yet
restrained, this is lively and expressive. 94/100
Westrey Reserve Pinot Noir 2011 Oregon
12 year old vines, 777 clone, 7 barrels. Lovely focus here with
bright cherry and raspberry fruit. Lovely grip, good acidity and
some stern raspberry notes with structure behind. Fresh and linear
with great purity. 94/100
Westrey Oracle Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010 Oregon
Some earth and spice savouriness leads to structured raspberry
and cherry fruit. Distinctive, savoury and a bit earthy. 93/100
Westrey Oracle Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011 Oregon
Bright fresh cherries and spice with some herbs. Tannic and
lively with some grip and attractive red cherry and raspberry fruit.
Needs time. 93/100
Westrey Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2010 Oregon
Usually a declassification, this is 100% Oracle in 2010, mainly
from five year old vines. Focused and lively with cherries and
herbs, and nice chalky structure. Nice weight with good acidity.
Supple and elegant with a hint of pepper. 93/100
Westrey Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2012 Oregon
Vivid, fresh and ripe with sweet cherries and berries. Very
forward and juicy with good structure and density. Lively and spicy
with keen acidity. This has purity and structure. 92/100
Westrey Justice Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 Eola-Amity Hills, Oregon
This is from a 1.4 acre block planted with 777 clone on volcanic
soils. Very focused, lively and linear with lovely cherry and
raspberry fruit. So fine and expressive with good tannins and
amazing precision and concentration. Real potential. 95/100
Westrey Abbey Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 Dundee Hills, Oregon
Vineyard planted in 1977 with Cory clone. Ultrafine particle
clay soils with lots of iron. Fine, pure aromatics with lovely
texture on the palate. Supple, bright red fruits with some sappy
hints. Elegant, graceful and quite lovely, with a taut personality.
Oregon, July 2008 (series)
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