The Hedonistic Taster: Willamette Valley Wines

The Hedonistic Taster

 Willamette Valley Wines

LM Archer is a fine wine, food and travel writer specializing in Bourgogne, bubbles and the business of wine.

by L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne + Champagne Master Level

Some timely tasting notes on a few Willamette Valley wines.

Disclaimer: No compensation is received; all opinions expressed are that of the author.



Wine:  Megan Anne Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Vintage:   2016

Alcohol:  14.3%

Link to Producer Specs here.

Suggested Retail: $40 

Robe:   Dark garnet robe.

Nose: Heady aromas of spice, peat, juniper.

Bouche: Dark red fruit on the approach  – pomegranate, red currant, and dark cherry; medium body, supple tannins, balanced acids, velvety finish.

A blend between fruits sourced from Dundee’s spice-box Jory and  Eola-Amity Hills brooding basalt, the wine pours out restrained, well-structured, sure to gain in complexity with cellaring.

More about Megan Anne Cellars here.

Bells Up 2017 Rosé of Pinot Noir is sourced from Chehalem Mountain in Oregon's Willamette Valley.


Wine:  Bells Up Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir

Vintage:   2017

Alcohol:  13 %

Link to Producer Specs here.

Suggested Retail: $22  (Note: Only 96 cases produced.)

Robe: Translucent, raspberry hue.

Nose:  Savory, white pepper and red fruit aromas.

Bouche:  Bright red fruits: red cherry, apple, currant notes; light body, bright acids, clean finish.

Former french-horn player and attorney turned award-winning micro-boutique winemaker Dave Specter named this wine for Franz Liszt’s “Symphonic Poem No. 3: Les Preludes.”

A versatile, lilting quaff suitable for a sweltering summer evening on the patio, yet savory enough to compliment a fall or winter meal over game or fowl.

Bells Up Titan Pinot Noir is sourced from Chehalem and Yamhill-Carlton in Oregon's Willamette Valley.


Wine:  Bells Up Titan Pinot Noir

Vintage:   2016

Alcohol:  13.1 %

Link to Producer Specs here.

Suggested Retail: $40  (Note: Only 131 cases produced).

Robe:   Semi-transparent raspberry hue.

Nose:  Rustic, red fruit and black pepper aromas.

Bouche:  Ripe red apple, currant, Rainier cherry bouche, bright acids, silky tannins, light body.

Named for Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 in D Major, “Titan,” this wine speaks softly, but carries a powerful reverb. An artful blend of fruit sourced from Yamhill-Carlton marine sedimentary soils and Chehalem Mountain wind-blow loess, the wine delivers immediate red-fruited satisfaction, but with enough tannic gravitas to grace the cellar for years.

More about Bells Up Winery here.


Dubbed ‘the playful little sister’ of Tony Rynder’s Tendril Wine Company, Child’s Play wines are total tricksters. From the whimsical labels designed by the wine maker’s daughters Madeline and Audrey, to the accessible price points and unconventional food pairing suggestions, these wines aim to amuse. It’s just wine.

Wine:  Child’s Play Pinot Chardonnay Willamette Valley

Vintage: 2017

Alcohol:  13.5 %

Link to 2016 Producer Specs here. Note: 70% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir

Suggested Retail: $30

Robe:  Pale straw robe.

Nose:  Lychee, stone fruit, fennel aromas.

Bouche:  Grapefruit, golden apple, bosc pear bouche; bright acids, light body.

According to the wine maker, this wine represents the only known still blend of chardonnay and pinot noir in the United States. A French-inspired experiment worth trying for its utter uniqueness.


Wine:  Child’s Play Rosé of Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

Vintage:  2017

Alcohol:  14.1%

Link to Producer Specs here.

Suggested Retail: $ 30

Robe:  Appealing cherry robe.

Nose:  Rainier cherry, quince, baking spice aromas.

Bouche:  Ripe red cherry, lingonberry and currant notes, decent acids, light body.


Wine:  Child’s Play Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

Vintage: 2015 

Alcohol:  13 %

Link to Producer Specs here.

Suggested Retail: $30

Robe:   Dark ruby robe.

Nose: Dark florals, plum, exotic spice notes.

Bouche:  Plush bramble, spice and hint of anise bouche; light-medium body, breezy, uncomplicated approach, structure and finish. Great value wine.


Wine:  Child’s Play Zinfandel Columbia Valley

Vintage: 2015

Link to Producer Specs here.

Suggested Retail: $30

Robe:  Deep garnet hue.

Nose:  Black plum and cherry, black pepper aromas.

Bouche:  The black fruits and savory notes carry through on this deceptively nimble-bodied wine that pairs well with casual, tomato-based meals.

Excellent quality for the price point. 

More about Child’s Play Wines here.

More of The Hedonistic Taster here. 


Leave your comments below. Cheers!

Copyrighted ©2018 L.M. Archer. All Rights Reserved.


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