Who is Chris Dowsett??
Chris Dowsett has been around the game in Washington especially, even though very small production. Currently he has done a really great job in some really tough shoes to fill and that was to replace Brilliant Winemaker Caleb Foster for Nina Buty wines which are produced and bottled in that Walla Walla Regional Airport area which is the facility he also uses to make his Dowsett Family wines.
About Dowsett Family Winery
The Dowsett Family entered into the wine business in the early 1980’s. Their winemaker, Chris Dowsett, had just turned 15-years-old when his family bought one of Oregon’s oldest vineyards on David Hill, in the Willamette Valley. The family knew little about tending to the vineyard, starting a winery, or restoring their 100-year-old home, but eventually, they expanded the vineyard from 12 to 26 acres and created an amazing winery with their partners.
After years of tending to the grapes and helping in the family winery, Chris enrolled in the horticulture program at Oregon State University. He also studied wine science at Roseworthy College in South Australia as part of a one-year exchange.
Post-graduation, Chris headed to Napa and Sonoma to work in both Viticulture and Enology. After five years in California, he decided it was time to bring that experience back home, to the Pacific Northwest.
In 1996, Chris arrived with his young family in Walla Walla, Washington to take over as the assistant winemaker at Canoe Ridge Winery. Five years later, he became the winemaker at Latitude 46N. Chris moved on to make wines at the Artifex custom crush facility in Walla Walla, and that is where Dowsett Family Winery began in 2007, with the production of 300 initial cases. Chris’s father is now retired.
2015 Dowsett Family Becklin Vineyard
Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley Oregon
Even though this is an Oregon Pinot Noir, it is made at he same Walla Walla Washington State Buty Winery facility . The vineyard owned by Chris’s sister Libby Becklin and her husband Don has a streak of Jory soil through the middle section, where the Pommard Clone grows. JORY SOIL… The Jory soil consists of very deep, well-drained soils that formed in colluvium derived from basic igneous rock. These soils are in the foothills surrounding the Willamette Valley of the United States. They have been mapped on more than 300,000 acres in western Oregon. Chris is always tasting grapes and measuring sugar levels for the perfect ripeness before picking. His wines are hand punched down and aged on the Lees (Dead Yeast Cells) which gives more complexity to the wines. The winery sells this wine for $38 and as discussed the different methods of buying wines in a previous Video, I got this on the internet for almost 1/2 that price. Let’s see if I made a good purchase?
Wine Enthusiast Review
I used of course my special Oregon Pinot Noir Glass for optimal evaluation of this wine. Perfect extraction with that dark garnet red and of course transparent in the center as all Oregon 100% Pinots should be with no blending like California. 2015 was a very warm year like 2016 was. This has 14.2% ABV which is what I would have guessed on this medium plus bodied wine.
On the nose…POW! Lots of Floral notes with tons of Wild Red Berry Fruit but a tad bit smell of that Old Razzles Candy/Gum my generation chewed as kids… That part bothered me. That part told me maybe Chris. with all due respect, spent a tad too much time in Australia. There are no Tech Sheets on the wine but I smell Residual Sugar and people who know me I am the Anti Sugar Wine Somm. It wasn’t a lot but enough to deduct some points off for that. It never faded even on second day tasting. The use of Oak was perfect not overdone. The palate was so classic JORY Soil Oregon that I could pick the Soil Type just by the flavor profile. Packed full of minerals, razor sharp on the money acidity and bright bright red wild berry fruits and twizzler action too finishing with ripe tannins and a spicy long lasting finish. I like this Jory Soil Single Vineyard Pinot but I have tasted at least over 100 2015 Pinot Noirs from this Jory Soil and 10 or so made me say WOW and feel seduced by complex aromas and flavors that were constantly changing every 10 minutes and every sip. This wine was like the other 80. A solid Oregon Pinot Noir well crafted for the price I paid especially. but not worth the winery asking price of $38 per bottle. I will score this wine 88 Points and disagree with Wine Enthusiast who was overly generous with their 91 score. Good Wine…Not Great Wine. No Hung JORY lol
2015 2016 and 2017 and if you can find any 2014’s were all good vintages in Oregon. 2011 and 2013 are the ones I usually don’t care for due to diluted flavors and less oomph due to rainy conditions. Check your local retailers, check on line and seek out Oregon Pinot Noirs from these years, Try to find unique non brand names like I did here and you will find really good QPR in the $20- $25 range and some exceptional ones for $30-$50 max.Practicing what I preach and using all methods of seeking the Unique, I found this wine for Under $20 per bottle ..SCORE!! These Pinots are perfect for Wild Salmon, Upcoming Thanksgiving Turkey, Duck Breast, Or just chillin and grillin. I paired mine with Stuffed Eggplant with Shrimp from a Chinese Restaurant and it paired well. Ask your wine person where you shop for Oregon Pinots coming from JORY Soil Vineyards, Fun, juicy, wines to drink.
Grape-fully yours, Larry
Cheers Dowsett Family!