Wine tasting with a winemaker is a fascinating experience—they talk about wine in an entirely different way than a non-winemaker and they have a unique perspective on their wines that you just can’t get from anyone else. It makes for an incredible wine tasting experience and an incredible learning experience. Tasting with Andrew Riechers at Audeant is no exception.
I’ve had the pleasure of sitting down for a tasting two times over the last year or so with Andrew. Each time, Andrew and his wines completely blew me away… and had me scrambling to take down as many notes as possible. The way Andrew talks about wine is like non other, and I find myself latching on to the way he describes certain things, some of which I will share with you below.
Rather than talk to you about the wine tasting experience or take you through everything I tasted, I’m going to focus in on a four-year vertical that Andrew poured for us of his Nysa Pinot Noir. A vertical is a lineup of the same wine from several different vintages. I love verticals because it enables us to understand the differences in each vintage while keeping the vineyard, winemaker, and style consistent.
Nysa is a special site nestled in the Dundee Hills planted in 1989-1990. It sits on an eastern facing slope from about 650-750 feet in elevation on Jory soil. Nysa is a low-yield site featuring tiny clusters of clones Pommard, Wadensville, and 115. The vines are plagued with phylloxera, making this site even more special (if you’re not familiar with phylloxera, I give a brief overview in this post). As Andrew puts it, Nysa is “identifiably Oregon”: it has a wildness to it and the fruit wants to be intense.
2016: the 2016 Nysa was a bit tightly wound, dark, and broody in a good way. This wine could spend many more years in the cellar, although it gorgeous now with some time to open up. It boasts black cherry and baking spices, and makes me want to curl up on a cold winter day in front of a fire. 2016 is one of my favorite vintages, particularly from the Dundee Hills, so I was not surprised to find that I enjoyed this one!
2017: the 2017 was much more aromatic initially than the 2016. For me, this is classic Oregon Dundee Hills with cherry, earth, and spice. Very well balanced and simply gorgeous. Andrew described this one as, “intense, but intensely lovey”, and I don’t think there’s anything that could describe it better than that! This was my favorite of the vertical.
2018: immediately you can tell that 2018 was a hot year! This one is big, boisterous, and full of character with punchy tannins. 2018 Oregon pinots are already drinking fabulously and the same goes for this 2018 Nysa.
2019: the 2019 isn’t even released yet, but Andrew felt it was ready and couldn’t wait to share it with us. 2019 Oregon pinots have been fantastic right out of the gate, and so is this one. A bit of a contrast from the previous vintages, this one is less intense and more delicate. It was floral on the nose followed by cherry pie, and I just couldn’t get enough!
Needless to say, I would highly recommend Audeant! I have thoroughly enjoyed every tasting and every bottle of wine I’ve opened. Audeant is one of those that I am also proud to share with winos or newbies alike.
Check out their website to purchase wine or schedule a tasting to sit down with Andrew and experience it for yourself!