Irvine Roberts Vineyards Archives - Please The Palate
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When I tasted the Irvine & Roberts Pinot Meunier last month, I was smitten and selected it as the Please The Palate Wine of the Week. But, I loved their Chardonnays and the Pinot Noirs, as well as the story of owners Dionne and Doug Irvine, which I wrote about in the Napa Valley Register and am sharing here. When thinking about wines from Oregon, the Willamette Valley is what first comes to mind. But located in Oregon’s southernmost grape-growing region in Oregon, near the California border, is the Rogue Valley.
There are three grapes grown in Champagne but most people are aware of two of the grapes - Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The third grape is Pinot Meunier, a grape that gets less acclaim. I have tasted a few Champagnes that are predominantly, or exclusively, Pinot Meunier, but I had never had a still red wine made from 100% Pinot Meunier until now. And that is why the Irvine & Roberts 2016 Pinot Meunier from the Rouge Valley in Oregon is the Please The Palate pick of the week. Pinot Meunier is a clonal mutation of the Pinot group, which means that it is related to Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and others. Pinot Meunier is considered a quiet workhorse in Champagne and is not as challenging to grow as Pinot Noir. It is also a rather "ugly duckling" in the vineyard. The vines can look sickly at first glance as the underside of the vines' leaves are covered with a white fur. This is what inspired the name, Meunier, which is French for "miller".