The Vintage: From the “everything you could ask for, and more vintage,” 2013 has something for everyone. We begin with a very nice, if not warm, growing season. The humans like this and the vines have a tendency to get ahead of themselves. They go merrily along their way building up sugars and, like Congress, leave the hard work of developing a (flavor) plan for later.

Well, we can’t have that. Just before an early and stress free harvest, in rolled a little “Mamma Drama” and her new boy toy Typhoon Pabuk. When it rains it pours and we received the gift of 9 inches of rain in late September. This is good for the blogosphere as it provided a little grist for the mill. We couldn’t harvest, so might just as well talk about it.

The good news is that the month we really need to grow great wine is October. The rains blew out of town, the sun reappeared and the breezes picked up. This was all very well and good for the Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Viognier and we had a very successful harvest.

The Chardonnay, however, took some casualties. Our nemesis Botrytis gained a foothold after the September rains and began its cycle of extracting the water from the berries. Well, ho ho ho, and off we go, it turns out with the sunny dry weather what we had was a little Noble Rot. So, Ernie made a “sticky” from that once in a lifetime event with the help of his friend and conspiring winemaker Dick Erath.

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

Tasting Notes: Flathead lake cherry red. An opening salvo of boysenberry preserves, sandalwood, and cocoa dusted almonds from Gram’s handbag captivate. A core of mid palate sweetness is framed by tannins in waiting, and they will not be denied – assertive, yet refined. The finish is a scintillating endeavor which does not lack focus or attention to detail. Unfined and unfiltered.

Culinary Inclinations: Wild mushroom and ricotta filled fagottini pasta purses topped with grilled purple asparagus, crumbled goat cheese and julienned multicolored heirloom tomatoes drizzled to perfection with rosemary infused olive oil and topped with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

The Uncarved Block Pinot Noir Accolades:

2013 The Uncarved Block

Brilliant red. Fresh red berry, potpourri and incense aromas, along with subtle licorice, vanilla and pipe tobacco flourishes. Gently sweet and aromatic in the mouth, offering juicy raspberry and cherry flavors that are firmed by a spine of juicy acidity. Fine-grained tannins move in slowly on the finish, which lingers with very good, spice-driven persistence.

          - Josh Raynolds, Vinous, January 2018 – 91 points

2012 The Uncarved Block​​

Sting Ray blinker red. Elegant and delineated aromas of cherry jelly, red raspberries, balsamic drenched strawberries, Five Spice and cocoa dusted almonds taunt while gaining full access to your frontal lobe. Luxuriously enveloping and captivating, precisely exquisite flavors tease, exposing deftly wielded acidity and finely textured stem tannins juxtaposed. Unfined and unfiltered.

Lurid red. Mineral-laced aromas of fresh red berries, candied rose and potpourri, complicated by a hint of blood orange. Fresh and racy on entry, then deeper in the midpalate, offering energetic bitter cherry and spicecake flavors with a hint of floral pastilles. Fine-grained tannins build slowly on the lively finish, which hangs on with very good, spicy tenacity.

          - Josh Raynolds, Vinous, December 2016 – 90 points

2011 The Uncarved Block

Lil’ Red. Cinnamon, red currant, wild cherry, five spice, tilled earth and crushed ripe blackberry aromas exude limitlessly while the lithe and elegant palate presence takes you to a trysting place where red fruits, freshly tilled earth, refined stem tannin and disciplined acidity engage, all the while channeling the unmistakable nuance and intrigue of vintage 2007. Unfined and unfiltered.

          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

An introduction to Amalie Robert Pinot Noir. Estate grown and bottled. Fermented with whole clusters and feral yeast. Aged in French oak barrels for 12 months. Unfined and unfiltered. Light cherry red color in the glass. Typical whole cluster infused nose with aromas of cherry, rose petal, pine sap and sandalwood. Light in weight, with flavors of red cherry, cranberry and baking spices framed by bright acidity and silky tannins. This wine reflects the very cool vintage admirably

          - William "Rusty" Gaffney, M.D., PinotFile, September 2016 - 90 points

2010 The Uncarved Block

Deviously intoned burlesque red. Ripe Montmorency cherries and Crimson roses greet you at the threshold – nostrils flare. Heady aromas of freshly pitted pie cherries, cinnamon, baking spice and Darjeeling tea are supported by a lithe and ever maneuvering body. Restraint and control are ever present, however the palate is transcendent through layers of fruit expression and stem tannins within the firm garter of acidity.

          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

Bright red. Smoky, mineral-accented black raspberry and rose oil aromas are complemented by hints of cinnamon and allspice. Gently sweet red fruit flavors are given depth by a cherry pit nuance and sharpened by juicy acidity. Silky in texture and appealingly sweet, finishing with very good clarity, subtle tannins and noteworthy spicy persistence.

          - Josh Raynolds, Vinous, October 2015 – 91 points

With its bottle bouquet, this wine, at this stage, is quiet and elegant, given over to the savory at the expense of the fruit. For all that it’s focused and integrated, a smoky, mildly earthy tour of the Valley in a cool vintage, with a tawny, vinous presence that carries through to the long finish. (970 cases)

          - Wine & Spirits Magazine, August 2015 – 91 points, Best Buy

2009 The Uncarved Block 

Rich red in the glass leads to aromas of Darjeeling tea, cinnamon spice cake and dark cherry preserve. The palate evolves through black cherry, Marionberry and cocoa powder that leads to an enduring finish balanced by fine grained stem tannin and firm acidity.  Unfined and unfiltered.

          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

Vivid red. An exotic bouquet features candied red fruits, Asian spices and potpourri, with a smoky mineral topnote. Sappy, incisive and densely packed raspberry and bitter cherry flavors gain sweetness with air and pick up notes of cola and mocha. Finishes silky and long, with sneaky tannins and lingering sweetness.

          - Josh Raynolds, Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar, July 2013 – 92 points

With the 2009 vintage, The Uncarved Block assumed the identity of the Vintage Debut.


2008 Vintage Debut

Ruby red in the glass introduces the rich aroma of sun drenched blackberries, clove, dark chocolate and dried herbs. A well rounded saturation of black cherry, cola, and Darjeeling tea envelop the palate and seamlessly transition to a rich finish delineated with firm tannins and echoing acidity. Unfined and unfiltered.

          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

Vivid red. Cherry, black raspberry and sassafras on the fragrant nose. Sappy and focused on the palate, offering juicy dark berry and bitter cherry flavors and exotic spice and floral pastille qualities. The spicy note adds bite and cut to the long, energetic finish. Elegant for the vintage but not short on depth or flavor intensity.

          - Josh Raynolds, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, July/Aug 2011 – 91 points

Dark and full bodied, with a smoky wood spice adorning plum scents, this is pinot in broad strokes. Some time in bottle may give it the chance to knit.

          - Wine & Spirits Magazine, June 2011 – Best Buy

Oregon Wine Awards, May 2011 – Double Gold

2007 Vintage Debut

Montmorency cherry red shows in the glass. Graceful aromas of crushed red raspberries, sandalwood, tilled soil, five spice and dried savory. The palate is elegant and provides an earthy core of sweetness encased by tart cherry compote, ripe red raspberries, and tea leaves. The finish lingers and is framed by integrated tannins and balanced acidity. Unfined and unfiltered.

          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

Very light red. Spicy red fruit and herbs on the nose. Light-bodied, minerally raspberry and cherry flavors convey an ethereal quality and show a seamless texture. Graceful, precise and tangy on the finish, with the mineral and raspberry notes echoing. There's a weightless quality here that's intriguing.

          - Josh Raynolds, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, July/Aug 2010 - 90 points

Northwest Palate Magazine, July/August 2010 – Highly Recommended

Oregon Wine Awards, May 2010 – Double Gold

The Uncarved Block Pinot Noir

         - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

​This wine has benefited from its extended time in bottle, with developed flavors gracefully falling into place. The aromas are leafy and herbal, hinting at a chlorophyll note, like lovage or celery leaf, adorning spiced cherry scents. The flavors are just as complex, with elements of pu-erh tea and mushrooms contributing an elegant umami savor. A well-priced opportunity to jump on some wine with age.

          - Wine & Spirits Magazine, Winter Buying Guide 2017 – 93 points, Top 100 Best Buy

This is the story of the sculptor and The Uncarved Block.  When a sculptor imagines a block of marble, he sees what others cannot. His chisel removes what does not belong to expose the elegance and beauty of what was hidden. This purity of form is only revealed by careful and thoughtful action. 

In our desire to produce wines of integrity and beauty, we have embraced a vision of the inherently pure qualities of Pinot Noir.  Our uncarved block was a cherry orchard that we sculpted into a 35 acre vineyard.

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 more than 12 months. The blend is a reflection of our soils, microclimates and stewardship of the land.