2019 Maison L'Envoye Two Messengers Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

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  • By Pinot Connoisseurs for Pinot Connoisseurs
  • "Winery to Watch" Wine & Spirits 2015
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About the Wine

Founded by Mark Tarlov (Evening Land) and originating in Burgundy, Maison L’Envoyé crafts this region’s wine trinity: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Gamay Noir. Yet from this tenor of focus and commitment, a global fellowship emerged, with terroir-driven Pinot Noir as the linchpin. Driven by the elusive hunt for the world’s finest Pinot Noir sites, Maison L’Envoyé traverses the globe, presenting the many veils of regionality and winemaking style. Mark Tarlov has brought in the expertise of Louis-Michel Liger-Belair of Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair. Louis-Michel started his Burgundian Domaine in 2000 and is one of the brightest young stars in the region. 

Maison L'Envoye has winemaking footprints in Burgundy, Willamette Valley, Central Otago, and Tasmania, Maison L’Envoyé champions many unsung growers who have farmed their vineyards for decades and generations, some mere feet away from more illustriously cited neighbors. Maison L’Envoyé has been a standout since launching in 2011 including Wine & Spirits naming it a ‘Winery To Watch’ in 2015.

The 2019 vintage was a defining vintage. The temperatures during the growing season were much cooler than normal so patience was key. Careful sorting and extensive fruit-dropping in the vineyard was necessary to ensure that the remaining fruit ripened to full maturity. The grapes were hand-sorted again once received into the winery to achieve optimal quality. With the cool conditions this year, the wines retain a wonderful acidity and great flavor development.

The fruit was 100% de-stemmed and underwent an indigenous ferment in two and five-ton stainless steel open-top tanks. The grapes were allowed to “infuse” as whole berries at a moderate temperature, in an oxygen-rich environment until pressed.

Aging: 12 Months in 25% New French Oak

Tasting Notes:100% Pinot Noir. The nose is a vibrant mix of red berries, rhubarb, vanilla essence, and clove. Crunchy cranberries and vibrant purple fruits fill the palate and are complemented by a savory truffle nuance. The palate is opulent but focused and the wine feels alive throughout its impressive length.

Reviews

A very bold statement of modern toasty oak with espresso, baking spices, and cocoa powder, sitting across bright red cherries. The palate has a succulent and deeply juicy feel with a lithe, fresh and lively, red-cherry core. Give this a couple of years to settle in. The fruit is up to the task. ~93 James Suckling (v. 2018)

A notably ripe and somewhat somber nose offers fine complexity on the dark current and cherry-scented aromas. The delicious and refined middle weight flavors possess a lovely texture while delivering fine complexity on the linear, youthfully austere, and impeccably well-balanced finale. This is terrific and well-worth investigating. ~93 Burghound (v. 2018)

Bright-rimmed ruby. A deeply perfumed bouquet evokes ripe dark berries, cherry cola, licorice, and potpourri, and a spicy nuance emerges with air. Pliant boysenberry and cherry liqueur flavors show fine definition and tighten up slowly with air. Shows lingering dark fruit character on the persistent finish, which is framed by youthfully chewy, slow-mounting tannins. ~92 Vinous Media (v. 2018)

Part of a global portfolio focused on Pinot Noir, this pulls fruit from a number of top vineyards scattered throughout the Willamette Valley. It’s a mix of red and black fruits, framed with citrusy acidity and light barrel toast from aging in one-quarter new French oak. It’s well crafted, and finishes with a whiff of truffle. ~91 Wine Enthusiast (v. 2018)

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