It was on a trip to Oregon with a fellow vinophile in 2008 and an afternoon at the Cristom Winery that lead to Sedimentary’s discovery of White Rose Estate. After tasting through Cristom’s 2007 line-up the talk soon turned to other wines, both from Oregon and abroad. We asked the staff what they were drinking at home right now and Jeri, Cristom’s tasting room manager, said we must check out White Rose as she couldn’t keep her hands off their current releases. Never ones to ignore sound advice, we hopped in the car and soon found ourselves gazing across the valley from the foot of the White Rose Vineyard (pictured above). Of course, the story here is not about the view, it’s about the wines. And that stunning view quickly became an afterthought as we put that first Pinot to our noses. These wines were the real deal. There was something special here. How had we never heard of them?
Tucked behind the famous and much more glamorous Domaine Serene, White Rose is often overlooked by the tour buses and casual drinkers that roam the Willamette Valley during the summer months.
It’s small and quaint and they don’t make very much wine. The tasting room is manned either by Gavin Joll the focused, professional but ever accommodating General Manager or by the winemaker Jesus Guillen whose quiet, unassuming demeanour somehow bellies the profundity he expresses through Pinot Noir. On this day we found Gavin doing tasting duty (while simultaneously filling orders to New York and L.A.) and tasted through the 2007 lineup. Thinking this must be a fairly new winery we started asking questions. Turns out the White Rose Vineyard itself was founded and planted in the 1970s and has grown and supplied some of the Willamette Valley’s most prized fruit for more than four decades (St. Innocent made one of their top wines from White Rose fruit). In 2000 the White Rose Winery was built and started to bottle and produce their own wine from the highly respected fruit they had previously sold off. The rest, as they say, is history and the wines from White Rose winery are now counted amongst the absolute best in Oregon and the world.
Three trips back, dozens of e-mails and countless phone calls later Sedimentary Wines is very proud to be able to offer the wines from White Rose to the Canadian market. Our allocations are very small and after some chart-topping reviews from the Wine Advocate last year we’re not sure they will ever get bigger.
But that’s just fine as White Rose is like a precious gem; small, beautiful and hard to find. We hope it never changes.
“The 2008 Pinot Noir Appellation Series Dundee Hills offers a more fragrant, complex bouquet with notes of smoke, cinnamon, incense, cherry, and raspberry. Made in a racy, elegant style with plenty of succulent red fruit flavors, lively acidity, and precision, it has the balance and structure to unwind for several more years. It will deliver prime drinking from 2013 to 2020.”
– 91 points Wine Advocate Ed. #191