Dijon Clones Pinot Noir

Dijon Clones is a blend of Pinot Noir clones representing a collage of vineyard blocks. As with all of our blocks of Pinot Noir, these vines are individually hand harvested at their peak of flavor maturity and intensity. The fruit was fermented in small lots and then matured in French oak barrels from a selection of coopers.

The Dijon Clones Pinot Noir is a blend of 7 Dijon clones sourced from 12 dry farmed blocks. The barrels of wine crafted from each block are culminations of the soil, rootstock, clonal selections and our unique microclimates.

Much like an individual instrument in a symphony, each barrel contributes its own unique character to the final composition. The individual clonal attributes are presented in the aroma and bouquet. The flavors and textures combine on the palate to provide depth and rich layers of Pinot Noir fruit that are distinctly Oregon.

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

The Vintage: Playing chicken with Mother Nature. Vintage 2016 was another barn burner for the record books, but with a twist. The continuing pattern of warm night time temperatures established way back from 2012 was in full effect.  But this year the water spigot did not get fully turned off during the summer and we recorded measurable precipitation every month during the growing season.

We bore witness to the blogosphere reporting the Willamette Valley once again had pre-mature fermentation with one of the earliest harvests on record. And once again, Ernie would not get out the harvest bins until we saw a little mid-September rainfall. Note: Playing chicken with Mother Nature is not for the weak kneed or timid.

And pretty much right on par with 2015, our first significant rainfall occurred overnight on the 16th of September with 0.36 inches being recorded. We could not believe it. The soils were as dry as the day before, but the rain gauge does not lie. The wine berries were drawing up that soil moisture and continuing to develop aroma and flavor, just as if we had planned it that way, which, in fact, we had.

The 2016 harvest began in earnest at Amalie Robert Estate on September 23. It was a young block of Wadenswil grafted onto 44-53 rootstock at the highest elevation of the property that began the show. And then the mystery of the vintage began to unfold. The 28th of September recorded 0.86 inches of rainfall followed the next day by 0.27 inches. The first couple days of October brought another 0.93 inches. That’s over 2 inches of rain in a week! Now, we are getting somewhere, but only if you were able to hold out for the rains.

Is ripeness sugar accumulation or aroma and flavor development with moderate tannins? When and why do you harvest and who gets to make that decision? This is where the motivation behind contract vineyards and estate grown vines becomes apparent. Some blink, some don’t.

And that is when we got with the program. With each passing day of harvest, the sugar concentrations were dropping and the aromas and flavors were coming on strong. And since we leave leaves to shade our Pinot Noir, the aromas and flavors were elegant and perfumed.

The temperatures also began to cool considerably in September. The vintage accumulated 2,177 degree days, but only 300 of those were in September and the last 40 came in by mid-October. The heat came on just like voting - early and often. And then it was over. Vintages have consequences…

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


Tasting Notes: Unequivocally, Dijon red. Aromas of red raspberry, wild red cherry, complexing five spice, and cardamom seem to meander effortlessly among freshly tilled soil with their resolve becoming self-evident as the midpalate receives the first salvo. As if hoisted by one’s own petard, the full expression of each Dijon clone makes itself known and not in an indiscriminate way. The resultant intensity is sequestered within the fortified groin vault of elegant stem tannins and overwatching acidity. Unfined, unfiltered and only partially restrained.

Culinary Inclinations: Confit of rabbit leg with Moroccan spiced apricot purée, garlic braised broccolini with morel mushrooms and brown sugar glazed baby carrots.

Dijon Clones Pinot Noir Accolades:

2015 Dijon Clones

Steamroller Red. An evolving cornucopia of savory, sweet and spice aromas permeate the frontal lobe. Elegant and precise on the palate with the breadth and depth necessary to deliver an exacting expression of vintage and variety. Whole cluster stem tannins and the firm hand of acidity guide a disciplined finish that will prove expansive with bottle maturation. Unfined and unfiltered.​

​          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

Deep, brilliant red. Expansive aromas of ripe red and blue fruits, candied rose and baking spices, along with a smoky mineral flourish that builds as the wine opens up. Appealingly sweet black raspberry, boysenberry and cherry liqueur flavors show velvety texture and become spicier on the back half. Shows fine clarity and floral thrust on a long, supple finish shaped by fine-grained, even tannins.

​          - Josh Raynolds, Vinous, August 2020 – 93 points​

2014 Dijon Clones

Railroad Signal Red.  A focused and permeating bouquet emanates dark berry, cocoa and tilled earth framed by lavender and cardamom. Delineated yet integrated deep red fruit, vivid acidity and fine grained tannins provide mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive sensations. The quintessential Pinot Noir from Amalie Robert. Unfined and unfiltered.

          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

Translucent red. Pungent aromas of black raspberry, cherry, star anise and rose oil, with a smoky mineral flourish adding lift. Shows very good depth and sharp delineation to its sappy dark berry and bitter cherry flavors and becomes sweeter with air. Focused, energetic and spicy on the subtly tannic finish, which hangs on with excellent tenacity and lingering berry and floral notes.

​          - Josh Raynolds, Vinous, June 2019 – 93 points

2013 Dijon Clones

Grand red. Elegant and strikingly pure red raspberry, black tea leaf and strawberry mélange captivate your attention as does a silk scarf flowing in the afternoon breeze. An articulate and scintillating palate of vibrant red fruits is harnessed within the bounds of delineating acidity and invigorating stem tannins, aka: The signature Amalie Robert finish. Unfined and unfiltered.

          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

Vivid red. Smoky red berries and cherry cola on the pungent, mineral-tinged nose. Pliant and seamless in texture; a spicy element emerges on the back half and adds bite to sweet raspberry, cherry and floral pastille flavors. Sappy and very well-balanced, displaying impressive depth for the vintage. Closes long, floral and seamless, with supple tannins adding gentle grip.

​          - Josh Raynolds, Vinous, December 2016 – 92 points

          - Wine Enthusiast Magazine, April 2018 - 90 points

2012 Dijon Clones

Redacted red leads to a mélange of dark berries, baking cocoa, incense and tilled earth. The palate is silky, yet restrained, and offers a texture that reveals a harmonious blend of deep flavors within a framework of acidity and tannin. From the “Trundling Thunder” vintage where the tighter they are wound, the farther they will take you. Unfined and unfiltered.

          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

100% estate grown and bottled. A collage of seven Dijon clones from twelve dry farmed vineyard blocks. The individual blocks were fermented with whole clusters and feral yeasts from the vineyard. The lots were aged a minimum of 12 months in French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Exuberant perfume of black cherry cordial, rose petal, spice and pine oil. Ripe and rather bold, with a mid weight plus array of succulent black cherry, black raspberry, blueberry and pomegranate fruits that envelope the palate with sap and persist through a bodacious finish. Smooth, even creamy in the mouth, with filigree tannins. A wonderful reflection of the 2012 vintage.

          - William "Rusty" Gaffney, M.D., PinotFile, September 2016 - 95 points

Vivid red. Pungent red and dark berry scents are complemented by underbrush, mocha and sandalwood, with a mineral element adding lift. Juicy and concentrated on the palate, with spice-tinged black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors becoming sweeter with aeration. Dusty tannins sneak in late on the long, focused finish, with the berry and spice notes echoing emphatically.

          - Josh Raynolds, Vinous, October 2015 – 93 points

2011 Dijon Clones

LED red introduces aromas of dark cherry and sweet blackberry interlaced with exotic cinnamon, cardamom and incense. A rich mid-palate offers up an exacting expression of red fruits, spice and sassafras relinquishing control to a core of tilled earth and minerality backed by scintillating stem tannins and strapping acidity. Unfined and unfiltered.

          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

Bright red. Potent red berry, floral pastille and incense aromas, with an exotic hint of blood orange emerging slowly. Lithe and sharply focused, with its intense raspberry and bitter cherry flavors communicating a suave blend of power and finesse. Delivers a wallop of sweet red fruit character without any excess weight and finishes spicy and very long, with a bright mineral note.

          - Josh Raynolds, Vinous, October 2015 – 91 points

Scents of lavender and black pepper give this wine a savory side, while wild strawberry fruit fills in the flavors quietly, providing a pleasant austerityin the finish. it's not profound, just clean and lasting, a gentle red for lamb shoulder.

          - Wine & Spirits Magazine, April 2016 - 91 points, Year's Best US Pinot Noir article

2010 Dijon Clones

Dark Moroccan silk red introduces exotic aromas of alspice, cardamom, cinnamon, clove and Chinese five spice. The wine presents an array of lithe red fruits with an underlying tilth from stem tannin providing evolving complexity without the burden of excessive ripeness. The signature Dijon Clones finish is a culmination of extended barrel aging and a mélange of fine grained stem tannin, acidity and minerality. Unfined and unfiltered.

          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

Bright red. Heady, exotic aromas of fresh red berries, Asian spices and potpourri, with subtle smoke and mineral nuances adding complexity. Silky, expansive and appealingly sweet, offering intense raspberry and rose pastille flavors and a strong spicecake quality that builds on the back half. Pure, focused and strikingly persistent on the finish, which is firmed by fine-grained, harmonious tannins.

          - Josh Raynolds, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, July/Aug 2014 – 92 points

2009 Dijon Clones

Preserved cherry red alludes to spiced fruit aromas of candied cranberry, Montmorency cherry, red raspberry, quince and cinnamon supported by freshly turned soil and underbrush. The palate integrates our signature Dijon Clones blend of ripe red cherry, cocoa and earth with fine grained stem tannins, and bright acidity providing tension and length. The long finish is a culmination of extended barrel aging and a mélange of tannin, acidity and minerality. Unfined and unfiltered.

          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

Bright red. Sexy, spice-accented aromas of red berry preserves, potpourri and sandalwood, with a touch of cola in the background. Shows very good intensity and sweetness, offering lithe raspberry and cherry flavors and a hint of bitter blood orange. Closes on a spicy note, with excellent clarity and persistent sweetness.

          - Josh Raynolds, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, July/Aug 2012 – 92 points

2008 Dijon Clones

Reflective red offers up candied spice cake, cinnamon, coriander, ginger, and incense. Fully ripe pie cherry precedes a tightly focused core of raspberry, cocoa and cultivated earth relenting to a mid-palate expression of minerality and mounting acidity, then yielding to a thorough  finish of echoing acidity and Darjeeling tea. 192 cases produced. Unfined and unfiltered.

          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

Light, bright red. Seductively perfumed, expressive aromas of dried red berries, allspice and cinnamon, with a slow-mounting floral quality and a hint of blood orange. Light in body but potent, offering sweet redcurrant and raspberry flavors that stain the palate. An intense spicy overtone carries through the nervy, mineral-driven finish. Lots of flavor intensity here but there's zero fat on this wine.

          - Josh Raynolds, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, July/Aug 2011 – 92 points

Lovely aromas of rose petals and silky fruit, leading into a soft, seductive and expressive wine that definitely sits on the feminine side of Pinot Noir. Following its smooth introduction, the sculpted tannins kick in, adding grip, depth and length.

          - Wine Enthusiast Magazine, December 2011 - 92 points, Top 100 Wine of the Year

Northwest Palate Magazine, Sept/Oct 2011 – Highly Recommended

Oregon Wine Awards, May 2011 – Double Gold

The 2008 Pinot Noir Dijon Clones displays an enticing nose of cedar, spice box, violets, black cherry, and plum. This sets the stage for a moderately structured, spicy, sweetly fruited wine with good volume and length. Give it 1-2 years to fully blossom and drink it through 2018. All of the Amalie Robert Pinot Noirs come from the winery’s 30-acre vineyard in Dallas, Oregon. They are late releases from the outstanding 2008 vintage.

          - Wine Advocate, October 2011 – 90 points

2007 Dijon Clones Not Produced (Please see the Vintage Debut tasting notes)

2006 Dijon Clones

The 2006 Dijon Clones Pinot Noir is true to the soil and true to the vintage. Aromas of crushed wild raspberries, rose petals and nutmeg introduce a palate rich with Montmorency cherries and Oregon strawberries. The core of sweet fruit and underbrush is punctuated with dried lavender and cocoa.

The integrated tannin and acidity balances the intense red fruits and provides a mouth coating and persistent finish. Unfined and unfiltered. 1,030 cases produced.

          - Amalie Robert Estate Tasting Notes

Bright red. Christmas spices and red berry aromas are complemented by an exotic orange peel quality. Light-bodied red berry flavors are brightened by tangy minerality and white pepper, with a fine dusting of tannins adding grip. Gains weight with air but remains lively. Clean and brisk on the finish, which emphasizes tightly wound, slightly tart red berries and bitter cherry skin.

          - Josh Raynolds, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, May/June 2008 – 89 points

From the estate vineyard, this blend of several Dijon clones was fermented with indigenous yeast, 10% whole cluster, cellared a year in one third new French oak, and bottled unfined and unfiltered. Young vines give it youthful cherry and berry flavors, with a lively mouthfeel and highlights of herb, spice and mocha.

          - Wine Enthusiast Magazine, September 2009 – 90 points

Burghound.com, January 2010 – 89 points

Oregon Wine Awards, May 2009 – Gold