was arrested at about 15% alcohol leaving a trace of residual sugar. The wine is bottled in 375 ml bottles and finished with a traditional gold capsule.

The Vintage: The Vintage: Some like it hot, and if that is what you are into, then 2015 is your kind of vintage. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with that. A clean, fully developed and relatively expressive vintage, 2015 (much like 2014) offers up a significant contrast to the frigidly cold yet scintillating vintages of 2010 and 2011. In the context of Pinot Noir vintages, there are showers and then there are growers.

We have grown wine in nearly the hottest and certainly the coldest vintages ever recorded in the Willamette Valley within a 6 year span. We have triumphed over vintages colder than Champagne, took what appeared to be rotted Chardonnay from Typhoon Pabuk and produced a Botrytis desert wine to rival Sauternes, sweltered under elevated evening temperatures and summer drought conditions that teased an unprecedented early harvest window. And, to borrow a line from Frank, “We did it our way.”

While some experienced pre-mature fermentation again this year, Ernie held out for rain before he pulled the trigger on Cluster Pluck 2015 (He looked so determined at midnight under the full moon doing the rain dance in block 2.) “Hey, whatever works...” Once again, this year the conditions were right for a sticky. This time it is Our Muse Viognier emulating the traditional late harvest beerenauslese style – complete with gold capsule.

You can read the full Harvest After Action Report (AAR) on our FLOG (Farming bLOG):


The 2015 vintage was one for the record books. And like 2013, it provided us with a unique opportunity to make a late harvest wine. By mid-September the Viognier had accumulated more than enough sugar to make a nice table wine, but the flavors were nowhere to be found.

So, Ernie said let them hang a bit longer. And so they did and continued to accumulate even more sugar. By mid-October, the sugars were too high to make a dry table wine, but the flavors had started to come on. Again, his decision was to let them hang, and so they did.

By the end of the month, our old friend Botrytis had started to settle in. This was a good sign, especially since the weather was dry. This forced the berries to yield their water, even further concentrating the aromas and flavors. Our Muse from the 2015 vintage is a late harvest Viognier made in the Beerenauslese style.

There are plenty of rules and regulations for what can be called a Beerenauslese, but one of the most important factors for making this style of wine is the concentration of sugars and what you do with them. We harvested at well over 28 brix, so we had the concentration factor on our side. We whole cluster pressed these semi-desiccated and Botrytis concentrated berries and settled the juice to ferment in stainless steel.

The second most important factor in a Beerenauslese style wine is to let the juice ferment until the yeast produce enough alcohol to arrest the fermentation. That happens at just around 15.6% alcohol. The remaining sugar is left unfermented. And this is one of those times when it is better to be lucky than good. The remaining sweetness needs to be supported by the acidity of the wine, which, of course, it is.

The 2015 Our Muse Viognier is bottled in 375 ml bottles and finished with a traditional gold capsule. The gold capsule is used in Beerenauslese style wines to alert the consumer that this is indeed a special wine. The 375 ml bottles are used so that you can remember what it was that you enjoyed the evening before. 63 cases produced.

Tasting Notes: Voluminously tropical aromas of star fruit, orchid, white peach, and hibiscus accented with anise permeate. The unctuous and viscous texture embraces the palate with rich and unrelenting island fruit flavors and exotic spices supported by cleansing acidity.

Culinary Inclinations: Serve slightly chilled as an apéritif or digestif.  Pair with rich pâté or a foie gras torchon accompanied by brandied cherries and a buckwheat blini.

Our Muse Viognier Accolades:

2015 Our Muse

(375 ml.) Pale yellow-gold. Deep-pitched yellow apple pear nectar honey and nougat aromas lent vivacity by a gingery nuance. Smooth supple and appealingly sweet orchard and pit fruit flavors take a drier turn on the back half picking up a hint of green almond. Lush and weighty but surprisingly firm finishing long and subtly spicy with a lingering hint of orange pith.

          - Josh Raynolds, Vinous, January 2017 – 91 points

2014 Our Muse

Platinum blond highlights supple honeysuckle and white peach aromas accented with a zest of lime. Enchanting and mesmerizing aromas lead to an envelopingly rich and persistent palate experience that enlivens with supporting acidity.

          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

There's never more than a barrel of this outstanding wine to go around, but it's well worth hunting down. Powerful and lush, it's got a silky, voluptuously fruity mouthfeel. Candied citrus and apple pie come to mind, as the flavors continue rushing through, finishing with a spicy lift and a whiff of menthol.

        - Paul Gregutt, Wine Enthusiast, August 2016 – 91 points

2013 Our Muse

A quick swirl radiates platinum blond and some very long legs. White lily, Meyer Lemon, quince paste and grated nutmeg start the show. An ample, yet texturally elegant and easygoing mid-palate exposes the culmination of a schizophrenic growing season, our sedimentary soils and a pure expression of Viognier. The transition from hedonistic fruit and texture to lingering acidity is seamless.

Fermented in a 15 gallon “tank,” the 2013 Our Muse Viognier production is 61 bottles and in fact may be the rarest wine in the world.

          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

2012 Our Muse

Gold leaf filigree adorns the glass. White peach marmalade, quince paste, honeysuckle, Easter Lilly and tangelo zest provide a dizzying array of aromas to organize and are indicative of our North Willamette Valley sedimentary soils. A scintillating and voluptuous mouth feel is commensurate with the aromas that remain swirling in your mind, each struggling for control. The richly textured palate experience is tempered with Asian pear revealing exquisitely integrated acidity and an enduring finish. This is clearly the finest Viognier to be offered from Amalie Robert Estate. 13 case production.

          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

Minute quantities of these rare Viogniers are produced, which is a shame, because they are distinctive and enlightening. Deep gold and intensely aromatic with brilliant floral notes, this is a beautifully balanced wine, with the acidity and skin flavors to put a crisp frame around the ripe peach and apricot fruit.

          - Paul Gregutt, Wine Enthusiast, June 2015 – 93 points

2011 Our Muse

Liquid platinum coats the glass. White nectarine, calla lily, kumquat zest and Russian tarragon express the scintillating aromatics of a cool growing season. Voluptuous and expansive on the pallet with lively impressions of tangerine, Myer lemon and tart cherry pulp puree. The lingering finish is punctuated with fennel frond and cleansing acidity. 34 cases produced.

          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

Not picked until mid-November, the Amalie Robert 2011 Viognier Our Muse delivers a heady, at once musky and sweetly perfumed nose of acacia, lily and narcissus, along with intimations of honeydew melon and apple that then share billing with inner-mouth floral perfume on a silken and (at just 12.4% alcohol no wonder!) buoyant palate. A lovely streak of salinity lends saliva-inducement but I confess that I was getting so excited about this wine that the totality its finish very slightly disappointed. Still, this Viognier in a delightfully distinctive key should offer versatile delight over the coming 12 - 18 months, and quite possibly beyond.

          - David Schildknecht, The Wine Advocate, October 2013 – 90 points

2010 Our Muse

Golden Brioche in the glass leads to delicate scents of Calla Lilly, apricots and white nectarine. The viscous mid-palate sensation provides richness to tame the sweet and tangy fruit. The rich palate gently transitions to a lingering sensation of clean minerality.

          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

The Wine Advocate, Not picked until November 7 but still at only 13.3% alcohol, the Amalie Robert 2010 Viognier Our Muse – from a small parcel on the warmest part of their hillside – delivers a metaphorically cooling nose and subtly oily yet buoyant palate featuring honeydew melon, apricot, mint, acacia, and white pepper. Nut undertones, piquancy of apricot kernel, and pronounced salinity push the finish here into mouthwatering and invigorating prolongation and left me licking my lips in anticipation of the next sip. This distinctively delicious offering ought to prove highly versatile over at least the next 12-18 months, though I’d be very interested to learn whether it evolves positively thereafter.

          - David Schildknecht, The Wine Advocate, August 2012 – 90 points

2009 Our Muse

Platinum in the glass tattletales the sun ripened skins and fully developed aromatics that await. White flowers and honeysuckle are alluring and beckoning. The palate is unctuous, saturating and unrelenting with tropical jack fruit, mango and guava, and at he same time steeled with minerality. The transition to the lingering finish is seamless and evokes a longing to make another memory. 22 cases produced.

          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

2008 Our Muse

The bouquet opens with intense honeysuckle, passion fruit, yellow citrus and fresh ginger. The wine is rich and coating on the palate with a mélange of tropical fruits and spice. The finish is laser focused and unyielding, providing balanced acidity and due heft. 17 cases produced.

          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

2007 Our Muse

Brilliant straw in the glass introduces the delicate aromas of lemon grass, melon, and a hint of freshly grated ginger. The palate is bursting with ripe white nectarines, crisp tropical fruits and a rich unctuous mouth feel, finishing with balanced acidity.

          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

Our Muse is estate grown Viognier. This variety is at first lush and playful. Richness on the palate leads to a sense of enchantment. Lest you be confused, Our Muse is at the same time stiff in the spine and not to be taken whimsically.

Viognier is the traditional white wine from Condrieu in the Northern Rhône Valley of France. This variety develops beautiful and delicate aromatics with a rich unctuous mouth feel when grown in Oregon’s cool Willamette Valley. Among our 35 acres of vineyard, we have planted just 0.41 acres (594 vines to be exact) of Viognier.

The fruit for this wine was left to hang through the warm and dry month of October to create a Beerenauslese style late harvest wine. The desiccated and slightly botrytis infected berries were whole cluster pressed. The resulting nectar was settled overnight and fermented in stainless steel. Due to the concentration of sugars, the fermentation

Our Muse Viognier