After early bud breaks and warmer than average vintages in 2015 and 2016, expectations for 2017 were more of the same. Surprisingly, bud break came in the second half of April, two to three weeks later than 2015 and 2016, but typical timing for the northern Willamette Valley. May and early June wavered between showers and sun, which kept us guessing where 2017 was headed. Late June brought sunshine, clear skies, and warm temperatures that were ideal for flowering. By late July, crop estimates were showing that the average cluster was 25-30% larger than normal. This was the result of a warm initiation period in the summer of 2016, when the flowering structure is forming inside the bud, and the warm and dry flowering of 2017 that allowed for all the flowers to fertilize. August was busy with the crew reducing the crop, a heat wave in the 100s, and smoke hanging in the stratosphere from forest fires in the Columbia gorge. It looked like another hot end to a season and a sprint to harvest. However, temperatures returned to the low 80s and 70s in September, allowing flavors to build as Brix levels stabilized. Our sparkling blocks were picked in early September and still wine grapes were harvested from the end of September into the third week of October, just before the rains.
Grapes were brought directly to the winery in 1/2 ton totes in perfect condition. They were carefully sorted by hand; whole cluster pressed and placed into temperature controlled stainless steel fermenters. Each varietal was paired with a suitable yeast and slowly fermented at 45°F for maximum varietal character. The wine aged on its lees for four months before blending and bottling. Wine is then infused with CO2 to preferred pétillance.
2017 Cuvée A Amrita, Willamette Valley
The name Amrita comes from the Buddhist equivalent of ambrosia, or a wine of the gods. Our Amrita is a unique inspiration each harvest, crafted from different varieties to be an effervescent, fruit-forward wine. It makes a delightful aperitif and is our favorite match with Pan-Asian foods.
Our estate-grown Müller-Thurgau comes from vines first planted in 1979. Crisp, fresh, and dry, it is a charming example of the variety at its best. From chicken to shellfish, this wine is a versatile match for mildly spicy foods like Thai, Creole, or Mexican.
When Dr. Robert Pamplin, one of Oregon’s most forward-thinking philanthropists and businessmen, purchased the historic Chateau Benoit Winery in 1999, his vision was to create wines of the highest quality to reflect his passion for excellence. To this end Dr. Pamplin has charged winemaker Thomas Houseman and winegrower Peter Ebbers with the task of crafting extraordinary pinot noir. Thomas, Peter, and the rest of the crew are absolutely passionate about producing wines of the finest quality and have dedicated their lives to this quest.
Pinot reigns supreme at Anne Amie Vineyards with Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc forming the heart of our production. Complementing the pinot family is Old-Vine Estate Müller Thurgau, planted in 1979. As with all great wines, our’s start in the vineyards. We are fortunate to have some of Oregon’s best sites, all of which are Salmon Safe and LIVE certified. Our estate vineyards, along with those we purchase from, receive only the minimal required treatments and yields are dramatically reduced in order to give fruit with great depth and complexity.
Our estate vineyards are located in the rolling hills of the Yamhill-Carlton District and on the steep hillsides of the Chehalem Mountains, both nestled in Oregon’s verdant Willamette Valley. Our LIVE certified winery is located on our Yamhill-Carlton property, a few miles from both Lafayette and Carlton, Oregon.
AZ, CA, CO, DC, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, MD, MA, MN, MO, MT, NV, NH, NM, NY, NC, OH, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY
Had these last time-The Müller-Thurgau was VERY acidic, to the point where for my household’s tastes it was only fit for sangria. The Amrita was yummy,but as far as fizzy options go, there are better at this price point. Though I do appreciate the convenience of the top on that vs dealing with a cork at brunch when I’m starting to get hangry.
@cole103 Off the top of my head, Lindeman’s-my local liquor store usually has them for $6.50/bottle. There’s one that starts with an A too-Andre maybe? Something like that. Also Verdi, though I find their caps really annoying (super smooth plastic can be hard to get open at times) Then again, they almost always have a decent cheap sparkling wine on sale for <8, so I don’t pay as much attention to the labels.
I bought the 2016 version of these two wines last year. I thought the Müller-Thurgau was very good and as it warmed it got better. Four of us tasted it for my son’s wedding and everyone loved it. I gave it a 90 and so did 2 other people on CT with another person giving it an 89. To my advantage, the bartenders didn’t see the case that was under the table because they were busy serving wine and beer. The last tally was about 70 btls of wine and a keg of Bud Light (yuk) and two qtr kegs of local IPAs (FatHeads Hop JuJu and Head Hunter) all emptied!
We tried the 2016 Amrita, but I have no notes. We had other bubbly types for the wedding. Looks like 2 ratings on CT, One 88 and the other 89. The 2017 has a slight variation in composition from the 2016 plus it includes a small amount of Pinot Gris.
For $7/btl, this is a great deal and I’m mainly a dry red guy. My boss turned me on to Anne Amie about 5 yrs ago. When my son was working a project in Portland, he flew me out to fish the Columbia River. On a day that he was working, I drove to Anne Amie, Lange, and I think the other winery was called Torri Mor. At Anne Ami, I bought Prisme’, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Gris and I paid a heck of a lot more than what is being offered here on Casemates.
The wife and I are not big white wine drinkers, but picked this up last time it was on. We were quite pleased, and it has paired well with some Asian and some seafood. If I didn’t have most of the case left, I’d order more. To better frame these comments, we had a wine advent calendar ( @winedavid49 this is a GREAT idea if you can swing it) where we gave away all but one of the whites because they were…well awful.
@KCountry Just for clarification for everyone, this offering was really good, and great QPR. We still have most of the case left, and generally speaking don’t drink white wines, but if we were low I would buy this offering.
One thing I do want to note is that both of these wines seemed to open up after a slight warming of the wine. Popping the top right out of the cooler, they were not as good, the flavors and aromas were muted.
My comments on the whites being awful were the white wines in our advent calendar. We had a wine advent calendar from Aldi, and the majority of them were bad. Glad we did it once, but we won’t be doing that again.
Hey guys, is the Amrita sweet? I mean, in the proper scale, is it an off dry or sweet? Any comparison?
Also, I got that is fizzy too: very fizzy like a prosecco, or just a bit fizzy (what in Italy they call “vivace”)?
@salpo I bought this last time it was on here and both are thoroughly enjoyable, especially at this price. Honestly, these are some of the best QPR wines I’ve purchased on here. I would call the Amrita semi-sweet and frizzante, definitely not Spumante. The Müller is dry, crisp, and minerally. Both are wonderful in the right settings.
@salpo We opened a bottle of the last offer with my son, his future wife and her Bridesmaid, and myself in late November. Everyone liked it. I just opened another 2016 about 45 minutes ago. My 1st sample was just after pulling the cap. It was too effervescent to pull any fruit and the mouthfeel was dry and mineral. A half hour later the effervescence balanced out and I found the Amrita dry with kiwi and green apple fruit with a mineral finish. Now after and hour in the glass, it’s very balanced and the early rough effervescent edges have dissipated. This is still a dry wine, not pucker dry, just nicely dry. Going for another pour…
@salpo Ok, finished the 2nd pour with a crab cake then a piece Belgian chocolate. The Amrita definitely settled down from the first taste. It went well with the crab cake; the Belgian chocolate coffee backbone muted the Amrita flavors. The last bit in the glass went down “too easy”! Remember, this was the last offer - the 2016 and be sure to let it sit for a bit after pulling the cap.
Bought this the last time it was on offer. Both are very good, especially at this price point. The Amarita is a delight, effervescent and lively–somewhere between frizzant and full-on sparkling. The Muller-Thurgau is an easy-drinking, flavorful white that is perfect chilled for sipping on warm summer afternoons. Both pair well with a variety of foods. I’m in for a case!
Looks like these are worth a try. Not familiar with them, but having gone to winemaking school in Germany they look interesting. The German wine law for labeling a wine dry (troken) is for the RS to be within 2 points of the residual sugar. i.e. the Muller-Thurgau is dry with the RS being below the acidity. This wine could be labeled dry (troken) as long as the RS is below 2 points higher than the acidity or less than .88% sugar.
The Amirita does not fall into these parameters. For it to be labeled dry it would have to be less than .82% residual sugar. Since it is above 2 points and below 14 points more than the acidity it falls into the half dry (halbtroken) category. The added CO2 will make the perceived acidity seem higher, so the wine will taste dryer than it is. Both styles of white wine (Troken and halbtroken) are my favorite styles of German wine. I’m in. I look forward to trying them both.
Got half case last time and was very disappointed when they were gone. Was able to find some at the NH state liquor store at a reasonable price, but now I can have them shipped to me and no stops required!