Pommard Clone Pinot Noir

As the wine maturates in barrel, we are continually “thieving” and evaluating each barrel. While written records are very important, especially as we age, our mental and physical impression of each wine drives us.  As each sample is tasted and re-tasted, we begin to better understand what each blend represents and the promise it holds for future development.

While The Reserve is a blend of our very favorite barrels from the vintage, the Pommard clone blend represents our very best expression of vintage and vigneron.

As is the case with all of our Pinot Noirs, this bottling is 100% Estate grown and hand harvested fruit. The individual blocks were fermented with whole clusters and indigenous yeast from the vineyard. In the cellar, we aged the individual lots in French oak barrels for a minimum of 18 months. The blend is a reflection of our soils, microclimates and stewardship of the land.

The Vintage: The 2014 vintage will be remembered as the (lucky) 13th harvest at Amalie Robert Estate. The controlled chaos known as “The Great Cluster Pluck” began, as it always does, in “Earnest,” on Monday, September 29, 2014. Harvest operations continued through October 19th when we brought in the buxom berries of block 13 (Syrah.) Home at last.

The 2014 vintage caps the run of three warm vintages in the Willamette Valley. Once again this year we were faced with the dilemma of when to harvest. The growing season was warm and the vines built sugars quickly in response to the heat. However, flavor development is more a function of time on the vine and was lagging.

While harvesting on flavor is the ideal situation, once sugar development reaches a certain concentration, you have to bring them in. Or, you can wait for the pre-harvest rains to replenish the soil moisture and rehydrate the berries, thus lowering the concentration of sugar.

And for the third year in a row, that was our decision. We waited for Mother Nature to give us a little shower to rehydrate the berries and lower the alcohol potential of our wines. Another overlooked benefit of waiting for a little rain, was the increased hang time. A few more days on the vine helped to further develop our aromas and flavors. Who’s your farmer?

You can read the full Harvest After Action Report (AAR) at:


Tasting Notes: Pommard Red. Fully developed aromatics provide a carousel of ever changing aromas thoroughly stimulating all frontal lobe pleasure synapses. The palate experience validates the promise of the vintage with a deep core of pure Pinot Noir within the construct of refined stem tannins and ever present acidity.

Culinary Inclinations: Pinot Noir is a wine for duck, and with the 2014 Pommard Clone, even more so. The go to preparation in the kitchen at Amalie Robert Estate is whole roast duck, but variations on a theme include duck confit, seared duck breast and roast duck legs alongside garlic sautéed Brussels sprouts with bacon.

Pommard Clone Pinot Noir Accolades:

2013 Pommard Clone

Rolltide red lures your senses into a Pommard induced realm where the heady scents of heirloom rose, spice cake, raspberry coulis and cocoa dusted almonds evoke desire - and we are just getting started. Pure, broad and deep ripe red fruit flavors provide an unbounded pleasure, which is followed on directly by the precision cut of firm acidity and spine tingling stem tannins evolving into a seemingly endless finish.

          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

2012 Pommard Clone

Deep Pommard red. Heady aromas of black raspberry compote, wild cherry, freshly tilled earth, Darjeeling tea, coriander and ginger linger. An intriguing experience of intertwined vivacious fruit character, elegant texture, racy acidity and fine grained stem tannin projects onto the palate. The timeless afterglow echoes the inherent virtue of Pommard.  Unfined and unfiltered.

          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

Fermented with whole cluster and feral yeasts from the vineyard. Aged for a minimum of 18 months in French oak barrels. Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Whole cluster imbued nose featuring aromas of black cherry, cola, loads of spice and toast. The delicious core of sweet cherry, raspberry and spice flavors light up the palate. The ripe tannins are well matched, oak adds a deft touch of seasoning, and the finish hangs on until you take another sip.

          - William "Rusty" Gaffney, M.D., PinotFile, September 2016 - 93 points

2011 Pommard Clone

Pommard red. Perfumed aromas of exotic spices beckon from the glass headlining allspice, cinnamon, coriander and potpourri. This suave wine meanders through the palate pushing all the right buttons at just the right times. Fine grained stem tannins and firm acidity culminate in an expansive and permeating finish. Unfined and in filtered. 45 cases produced.

          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

Vivid red. Heady, spice-accented aromas of fresh red berries, candied rose and blood orange, with a mineral nuance building in the glass. Taut, focused and appealingly sweet on the palate, offering intense raspberry and rose pastille flavors with hints of white pepper and five-spice powder. Densely packed yet graceful, finishing with strong thrust and silky tannins that intertwine with wine's vibrant fruit.

          - Josh Raynolds, Vinous, October 2015 - 91 points

The star of the single-clone lineup, this feels like a truly complete wine, with pinpoint focus. Complex fruit flavors mix berries and cherries with a touch of spice. Lively and detailed, this perfectly balanced wine does not push too hard, and delivers intriguing aromatics threaded with baking spices and a lingering finish.

          - Paul Gregutt, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, June 2015 – 92 points, Cellar Selection

2010 Pommard Clone

Burmese Ruby red opens for Montmorency cherry, cinnamon, sandalwood and crushed fresh red raspberries. Lithe and elegant on the palate providing red fruits interleaved with teasing acidity while entertaining invigorating tannins. A lengthy, yet weightless finish lingers with intent. Unfined and unfiltered. 45 cases produced.

          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

Bright red. Vibrant mineral- and spice-laced red berry and floral pastille scents are given depth by notes of licorice and cola. Lithe and sharply focused on the palate, offering gently sweet strawberry and cherry flavors that put on weight and gain spiciness with aeration. Pure, focused and lively on the strikingly long finish, which is framed by silky tannins and brightened by a tangy blood orange note.

          - Josh Raynolds, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, July/Aug 2014 – 93 points​

Pommard Clone is a 2 barrel selection of our most intriguing Estate grown Pommard clone Pinot Noir.

The pioneers who began planting Pinot Noir in the North Willamette Valley began primarily with 2 clones of Pinot Noir – Pommard (French, of course) and Wadenswil (Swiss.) As the vines matured, high quality wines from both clones were grown in the valley, but the Pommard clone was gaining widespread acclaim and notoriety.

There is a very good reason the Pommard clone was catching on. The Pommard clone represents all that is inherently beautiful in Pinot Noir. It is grown on all types of soils and is unique in its ability to reflect vineyard specific splendor, nuances and vintage conditions. While the eyes are the window into the soul, the Pommard clone expresses the inherent beauty of our vineyard through the lens of the vintage.