The next stop on our whirlwind wine tour with Trish (from A Great Oregon Wine Tour), was The Four Graces Winery, located in Dundee, Oregon.
Located in the Dundee hills, this little winery, which uses a small farmhouse as their tasting room, is set in quint surroundings. It is named after the four daughters of the Black Family, the original owners. Bill Foley, Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors for Fidelity National Financial, Inc., recently purchased the winery in 2014 to add to his growing collection of wineries and vineyards.
Upon entering, I was first taken by the exquisite furniture that had been constructed out of the old oak wine barrels. Many of these pieces displayed the skill of an experienced craftsman. The colors in the little house were bright and welcoming. In a corner of what would have been the dining room was a small counter for sales and tasting. A very pleasant gentleman greeted us whom was in his mid to late 30’s (we never did get his name). Because of the rather small confines of the bar area, we decided to take our tasting on the patio.
We told our sommelier that we were partial to reds, and thus he skipped the whites and started us off with a 2013 Pinot Noir. He explained that the grapes came from two different estates, aged for eight months in French Oak barrels and that over fifteen thousand cases were produced. The wine itself had a fruity bouquet and I could taste berries and cherry at the front of the palate but then it fell off and left me wanting on the back end.
While sitting out and enjoying the sunny Sunday, Trish, our guide pointed out that they did have a food truck that offered food, although they were not yet open when we were there.
Next we tasted their 2013 Dundee Hills Reserve Pinot Noir. This wine was aged for ten months in French Oak and 980 cases were produced. This wine was better than the first we tasted. Scents of pepper and cherry filled the bouquet and on the palate were those same cherries, currents, pepper and slight oakiness. It finished more fully than the first as blackberries and the tannins came through. This would be an adequate everyday wine for the die-hard fans of this winery.
Next came their 2012 Doe Ridge Estate Pinot Noir. The grapes from this wine come 100% from the Doe Ridge Estate, were aged for ten months in French Oak and only 280 cases were produced. Of all their wines thus far, this one stood out. Its bouquet was spicy, with notes of cherry, plum and earth. On the palate, current, pomegranate, dark cherry and brambleberries came through, finishing with hints of coffee and chocolate. I enjoyed this wine although not enough to pay the $75 price tag associated with it.
Our sommelier then treated us to his favorite, which was their 2013 Foley Family Estate Pinot Noir. This wine again, was aged for ten months in French Oak and had a production of 980 cases. The bouquet of this wine featured strawberries, spices and cedar. On the palate, the cedar comes through vibrantly, along with blackberries, cranberries and cherries. This is a lighter pinot than I am accustomed to, although not a bad tasting wine.
The tasting fee at Four Graces is a nominal $10 per person and is waived if a purchase of wine is made. They do offer a wine club, which offers a choice of red and whites, or only reds, and of either two or four bottles per quarter, and enlist the added bonus of additional discounts on wine purchases.
None of their wines really jumped out at me. Thus we paid our tasting fee to our Sommelier, who obviously appeared disappointed that he wasn’t going to make any sales to us. Having said that, and taking everything into account, I feel this winery, even though the wines weren’t stellar, isn’t bad. The surroundings are quaint and while they don’t have the room for large groups or much in the way of anything to nibble on other than their food truck, for small groups, couples and individuals its not bad.
Next up: Alexana Estate Vineyards and Winery