Eric Lemelson found his "calling" as a Pinot noir producer after a series of serendipitous events that began with his decision to move to Oregon from the East in 1979 to attend Portland's Reed College. Oldest son of noted independent inventor Jerome Lemelson (1923-1997), Eric has always followed in the creative and entrepreneurial spirit of his family.
While in law school, Eric bought a farm in the hills on the eastern edge of Oregon wine country, following a longtime dream of living in the country. A longtime fan of Oregon wine, Eric began to notice the exceptional quality of Oregon Pinot noir produced in the 1990s. Intrigued, he contacted several producers to learn about viticulture. He discovered that his farm's southeast slopes and volcanic soils were well-suited for winegrapes. In 1995, he planted two acres of Pinot noir and Pinot gris at the farm, later named Chestnut Hill.
Eric Lemelson had two clear goals in mind when he began visualizing the design of a winery in 1997. Above all, he wanted to create a “no compromises” Pinot noir production facility focused exclusively on quality. He was also guided by a set of design principles that encompasses clear, compelling aesthetics appropriate for our setting in the farmland of Western Oregon, with ease of use and common-sense function. Lemelson used environmentally sustainable building materials at numerous stages of the construction process. Framing lumber was purchased from Collins Lumber, one of the nation's first certified lumber producers, and a longtime family-owned Oregon company.
Lemelson Pinot Noir
Lemelson see his Pinot noirs fitting two kinds of wine lovers: those who desire immediate gratification and early drinkability (Thea's Selection), and those who are willing to cellar fine wine until it realizes its full potential with bottle age
like Jerome Reserve and the single vineyard designates. They make Pinot noir in Oregon because
they love this region, and the way the grape's subtlety, depth of flavor, and complex textures are revealed here. Lemelson Vineyards have created an exceptionally strong lineup of pinots that are of the highest quality, from the least expensive to the most expensive bottling. Every wine
at Lemelson Vineyards is highly desirable.
Lemelson Vineyards believe in the importance of quality control at every stage of wine production, from their beginnings (in the vineyard) to bottling and shipping to you. That’s one reason why almost all of
their wines are made from their own vineyard sites, which number six at present. A second, equally important reason why
they own and manage six distinct vineyard sites is Oregon’s climate. In cool years, lower elevation sites have a much better chance to ripen grapes before fall rains begin with a vengeance. In hot years, higher elevation sites benefit from their cooler
temperatures, and often make the most elegant wines.
Lemelson vineyards span the full range of elevations planted in the Willamette Valley, from 240 feet to nearly 950 feet above sea level.
Lemelson Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Thea's Selection 2004
Thea's Selection is named after Dorothy Lemelson, Eric's mother, who always wanted to be called Thea when she was young. She likes rich, satisfying Pinots, with lush fruit, soft tannins, and enough "backbone" (structure and acidity) to pair easily with fine cuisine.
Thea wants her wine to embody the complexity that comes from low yields and minimal intervention in the winery, but she doesn't want to have to wait three years for her Pinots to reach peak drinkability.
Not heavy, but packed with huckleberry, plum, and an array of sweet spices that keep sailing through the long, beautifully formed finish. A complete wine that has style and grace. Rated 92 Wine Spectator