Must-Try Wine of the Week: 2012 Formaglini Vineyards La Quercia Block Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Those who read my Thursday post on Santa Ana wine grower David de Lancellotti know that today’s Must-Try wine is the inaugural 100-case release from his Formaglini Vineyards in the Chehalem Mountains appellation of Oregon’s northern Willamette Valley. The ideal 2012 growing season resulted in phenomenal Oregon pinot, boosting the interest in this introductory release.

David waited five long years before releasing his first wine, having planted the vines in 2007, but the harvested grapes did not meet his stringent demands until the 2012 vintage. His vineyard is biodynamically farmed under the direction of noted Oregon viticulturist, Sterling Fox, but David plays a very active role in the vineyard management, traveling to Oregon every three to four weeks from his home in Santa Ana, to walk the land and kick some dirt.

This medium-weight wine has plenty of concentration to satisfy, with both a fruity (black raspberry, boysenberry) and savory (savory herbs, bramble) component. It is elegant, with a silky texture, suave tannins, and enough juicy acidity to make you want another sip.

The bright acidity makes it a good accompaniment with foods from the “land” (roast leg of lamb with morel mushroom sauce), “water” (dark balsamic, soy-and-honey-glazed grilled King salmon) and “air” (pan-seared duck breast with red wine-raspberry sauce).

It retails for $42, and is available at in Santa Ana, and at Robin’s Nest Wine Bar and Little Sparrow Restaurant, both also in Santa Ana. Since David resides in the Floral Park community of the city, it makes sense for him to place his wine with local merchants.

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