Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
There is a subtle Burgundy influence behind these wines that for the most part I found impressive. There are even better things to come, but otherwise Lavinea is a new name to look out for within the Oregon winemaking scene.
A native of Quebec, Isabelle studied winemaking and viticulture at the University of Dijon and in New Zealand at Lincoln University before cutting her winemaking teeth in Burgundy, under the watch of fellow French-Canadian Pascal Marchand at Domaine de la Vougeraie, and at New Zealand’s Felton Road, with Blair Walter.
Marchand recommended her to Dominique Lafon to oversee winemaking at his then-new Oregon consulting project, Evening Land, in 2007.
Isabelle quickly became of one of Oregon’s most acclaimed winemakers. Her wines were selected for the Wine Spectator Top 100 wines of the Year from 2009 through 2015, including producing the highest rated Oregon Pinot Noir and highest rated Oregon Chardonnay ever, culminating in WS recognizing her 2012 ‘La Source’ Pinot Noir as the #3 wine in the world in 2015. Recognition for her wines has continued with the inaugural release of Lavinea’s 2014 vintage.
94pts Vinous: Pale yellow-gold. A highly perfumed, complex bouquet evokes ripe citrus and orchard fruits, iodine, brioche and white flowers, and a hint of smoky lees emerges with air. Sappy and expansive on the palate, offering intense Meyer lemon, pear nectar and buttered toast flavors that pick up mineral and floral nuances on the back half. Powerful and deeply concentrated yet vibrant as well, finishing extremely long and sappy, featuring impressively persistent floral and mineral flourishes.
94pts Wine Enthusiast: Lush and lovely fruits highlight this wine. White peaches, lemon curd, sweet pineapple, quince and a dash of honey all combine gracefully, with a nice kick of fresh acidity. A light touch with new French oak (20%) adds a hint of vanilla and Key-lime pie to the finish. On the second day, it's just as good, if not even better.