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Carlton Cellars

Press • Reviews • Acclaim


Wine Spectator awards 91 points to Cape Lookout!

Wine Spectator

We're terrifically proud to get another terrific rating from Wine Spectator! Reviewer Harvey Steiman gives our 2010 Cape Lookout Pinot Noir 91 points and writes of it:

Starts off light-weight, with subtle flavors, delivering precise, cinnamon-accented cherry notes that gain momentum as the transparent finish accelerates. A wine of complexity and grace. Drink now through 2018. —H.S.

> See the April 10, 2013 issue of the Wine Spectator Insider (top of page 3) for the review.

> If you're a Wine Spectator subscriber with an online login you can see it here.

Oregon Wine Awards

Two Gold Medals at 2013 Oregon Wine Awards

Our wines have been recognized in all four years of the OWA, and in 2012 we garnered two more Gold Medals!

> See the official website.

2 More Awards from Sunset Magazine

Sunset International Wine Competition

Sunset has been recommending wines for decades. In 2012 they launched the Sunset International Wine Competition. In 2013, for the second year in a row, the judges honored Carlton Cellars Pinots with awards: a Silver for our 2010 Roads End and a Bronze for our 2010 Cape Lookout.

The official results will be published in the October 2013 issue of Sunset.

> Find out more about the Competition on the Sunset website.

Wine Lovers in Omaha and Des Moines

We were very happy to find this great email in our inbox today:

A couple of notes for you:

Two weekends ago we visited old friends in Des Moines and gave them a bottle of your Cape Lookout as a thank you for hosting us. An email from them this week said: "Just opened the Cape Lookout Pinot, and were wowed immediately!! So glad we aren't sharing it with anyone! Are you sure we can't buy it somewhere [in Des Moines]? Thank you so much for sharing." Of course I forwarded your May newsletter to them and suggested that we could take a road trip to Carlton, or she could order from your website.

Last night we had some friends in for dinner, Colleen fixed an excellent Salmon and I thought that maybe a bottle of 2007 Roads End might go well with it. Indeed, from the cork pull! What a nose, and flavors that lingered forever. It so happened that our friends brought along a bottle of [another 2007 Willamette Valley Pinot], of course we needed more than one bottle with dinner. So we did a little comparison of the two 2007's, I am afraid that [the other one], while a very nice wine, didn't stand a chance.

Be well, have a great summer!

—Steve & Colleen

Thanks so much, Steve & Colleen! See you all when you make that road trip!

Write for Wine gives a shout-out to Carlton Cellars

It's Wine O'Clock Somewhere! So says the tagline for the Write for Wine blog, and we agree. This time it's wine o'clock right here in Carlton. In her post entitled A Taste of Summer from Carlton Cellars, reviewer Margot Sinclair Savell singles out two of our most popular whites for high praise:

Our wine of choice for the deck – and later to be paired with salmon barbecued on a cedar plank — was Carlton Cellars Proposal Rock 2011 Sauvignon Blanc. Crisp, elegant, refreshing, with strong notes of grapefruit, pear and citrus rind — perfect!

And, with reference to tweet with this pic:

Carlton Cellars 2011 Cannon Beach Pinot Gris, which I described last summer as “the crispest Pinot Gris in Oregon.”

> See the full post here.

Cape Lookout is Wine Press Northwest Wine of the Week

Wine Press NW

The April 10, 2013 issue of WPNW names our Cape Lookout Pinot Noir as its wine of the week. In part, the review reads:

Tobacco, cigar box, leather and coffee aromas driven by the oak open this wine. In the mouth, Bing and Van cherries predominate up front, with minerality and graphite emerging in the midpalate. Then dark chocolate and grippy but smooth tannins close out a long finish.

> See the review here.

A Gold Medal +2 from the Great NW Wine Competition

The inaugural Great Northwest Wine Competition took place March 16–17, 2013 at the historic Columbia Gorge Hotel in Hood River, Oregon, where 16 professional judges tasted some 791 wines from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia. Carlton Cellars is delighted to have won three medals, including a Gold Medal for Cape Lookout Pinot.

  • 2010 Cape Lookout Pinot NoirGold Medal
  • 2010 Roads End Pinot NoirSilver Medal
  • 2011 Seven Devils Pinot NoirBronze Medal

> See the official results here.

Another Gold — from the 11th Annual Pinot Noir Shootout!

Pinot Noir Summit

Our Roads End has garnered another Gold Medal and a score of 90 Points at the 11th Annual Pinot Noir Shootout which took place at Herbst at the Presidio in San Francisco on March 16, 2013.

The judges tasted over 440 wines, noting that "the competition was fierce and the panel was amazed that there were so many stellar wines." The Pinot Shootout calls itself the most comprehensive Pinot Noir tasting in the world, exploring and assessing different styles of Pinot Noir.

> See the official results here.

"One of my favorite wineries"

On March 15, 2013, Kevin Coupe gave a great shout-out to Carlton Cellars and our Proposal Rock on Morning News Beat:

"I have several wines to recommend to you this week… To start with, the 2011 Proposal Rock Sauvignon Blanc from Carlton Cellars in Oregon — one of my favorite wineries — a bright and cheerful wine that just seems made for spring days that aren't quite here yet, but are around the corner and filled with possibility."

Thanks, Kevin — to spring and Sauv Blanc!

5 Medals from the SavorNW Wine Awards


On March 9, 2013 an experienced panel of professional judges including qualified members of the wine trade and media announced the results of the 2013 SavorNW Wine Awards. They honored our 2010 Roads End, 2010 Cape Lookout and 2011 Seven Devils Pinots, and our 2011 Proposal Rock Sauvignon Blanc with Silver Medals, and awarded a Bronze to our 2011 Cannon Beach Pinot Gris. The winners are listed here.

The SavorNW Wine Awards are designed to showcase Northwest wines and promote awareness of Pacific Northwest wine regions: Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Alaska and British Columbia. SavorNW is a professional, single-blind judging of wines produced in the Pacific Northwest.

Wine Spectator names Seven Devils a Top Value

Wine Spectator

You'll find our winemaker Dave Grooters' mug shot on page 120 of the February 28 issue of Wine Spectator, right next to WS reviewer Harvey Steiman's 90-point review of our 2010 Seven Devils Pinot Noir (from the Nov. 30, 2012 issue).

We're proud as hell that Seven Devils made it to the Top 10 of the Spectator's Oregon Pinot Noir 2012 Top Values list!

> See the complete list here.

> If you're a Wine Spectator subscriber with an online login you can see it here.

Tampa Bay Times

Seven Devils: Wine of the Week

Tampa Bay Times, Jan. 30, 2013

Tampa Bay Times reviewers Colette Bancroft and John Bancroft picked our 2010 Seven Devils Pinot Noir as their Wine of the Week of January 30. About "this yummy pinot" they write:

"We’ve never gone wrong with a Willamette Valley pinot noir, and, despite its suggestively sinful name, Carlton Cellars Seven Devils 2010 Pinot Noir is no exception."

"Its nose is lush raspberry with a touch of bramble. On the tongue it tastes like a whole basket full of berries...."

> Read the complete review.



2012 Pinot of the Year!

Wine Express picks our own Seven Devils

Wine Express Wine Director Josh Farrell announced in his December 5, 2012 newsletter the selection of our Seven Devils Pinot Noir 2010 as their Best of 2012 Pinot of the Year!

"Why I chose this wine: This boutique Willamette Valley Pinot has been a show stopper for two vintages now. When I first discovered the '09 vintage and heard about the double gold medals, I knew we had something special. The 2010 has proven to be just as popular with 100+ cases sold in the last few months. Grapes are sourced half from a single vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA and the rest from select vineyards in the Willamette Valley. It shows the depth and structure that make Oregon Pinots so appealing but with delightful up-front fruit; strawberry, black cherry, brown spice and a plush mouthfeel. That's why it's our Pinot of the year!" — Josh

> See the whole newsletter.

Wine Spectator gives Seven Devils 90 points

Wine Spectator

The November 30, 2012 issue of Wine Spectator magazine honored our 2009 Seven Devils Willamette Valley Pinot Noir with a 90-point rating. This rating qualifies Seven Devils 2010 as "Outstanding: a wine of superior character and style."

Says the Spectator:

Light and sleek, with intriguing orange peel and tea leaf notes around a core of raspberry and white chocolate, lingering easily on the deft finish. Drink now through 2018. 840 cases made.

> Read the whole review.

Sunset Magazine Award for Cape Lookout

Sunset International Wine Competition

Sunset has been recommending wines for decades, but in 2012 they launched the Sunset International Wine Competition, and Carlton Cellars was honored that the judges selected our 2009 Cape Lookout Oregon Pinot Noir for a Silver medal.

> Find out more about the Competition in this PDF.

Picnicking with Roads End on the Oregon Coast

Our friends at Abbey Road Farm forwarded us this email from one of their guests:

I just wanted to provide you with visual proof of how much we enjoyed your superb gift [of a bottle of Roads End Pinot Noir]. We stopped for a picnic during our drive along the Oregon coast, and the wine was very much a part of it. We thought the setting was appropriate for the label.

> See the "visual proof" on our Flickr album.

Perfection: Agate Beach Rosé on a sailboat!

Dave's niece Linda Hoopes races sailboats in Atlanta, but it's not all speed and danger! See the photo she sent of the perfect on-board picnic with our crisp and refreshing Agate Beach Pinot Noir Rosé.

Linda's caption: "A lovely day on Lake Lanier, accompanied by equally lovely wine." Wish we were there!

New York Times

New York Times names our vineyard

"Lindsay Ann Utz and Brannon Dobbs Ingram were married Saturday at the Carlton Cellars vineyard in Carlton, Ore." This item appeared in print on August 12, 2012, on page ST13 of the New York edition of the Times. How fun is that? The wedding was even more fun, and our vineyard is a truly beautiful location for wine-country nuptials.

> See the item in the online edition.

2 Medals from San Francisco Int'l Wine Competition

SF International Wine Competition

The 2012 San Francisco International Wine Competition was conducted June 15th through June 17th at the Hotel Nikko in downtown San Francisco, and the results are in! More than 4,500 wines were judged this year — the largest Competition in its 32-year history. And we're pleased to announce that our 2009 Roads End and Cape Lookout Pinots earned a pair of medals!

Billed as "the largest, most influential international wine competition in America," the Competition "is judged by a prestigious panel of nationally recognized wine experts. Judging is based on a blind, consensual procedure, ensuring competitive integrity as it remains the nation's most respected wine competition."

  • 2009 Roads End Pinot NoirSilver Medal
  • 2009 Cape Lookout Pinot NoirSilver Medal

> See the results here on the official site.

Great Review of Our Vineyard Lunch on Yelp!

Brian from Wilsonville came to our July 2012 Vineyard Lunch and wrote this terrific and glowing review on Yelp:

Lovely Lag Lunch at Carlton Cellars Vineyard!

We attended the second summer lunch event of the year for Carlton Cellars up at their vineyard. It is called the 'Lag' lunch because that is the stage the grape vines are currently in on their growing journey. This is just one of the interesting wine industry facts we learned on the vineyard tour that Dave, the owner and winemaker at Carlton Cellars, led before we sat down for lunch.

The setting for this lunch couldn't have been more perfect. It was a beautiful day out in Yamhill county. The vineyard doesn't actually have anything on it but acres of grapevines and a great grassy spot for events. The beauty and simplicity of the location was the perfect backdrop for a really wonderful Saturday afternoon.

We loved our glasses of the summer wines including a Rose, white field blend. Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc. Then with lunch we enjoyed two vastly different, but both yummy, Pinot Noirs.

Now to the food! Chef Paul Parenteau prepared amazing food, basically out in the middle of nowhere with limited resources for cooking. We started off with an appetizer of smoked albacore on bread with olive tapenade; then moved to a butter lettuce salad with a herb vinaigrette and prosciutto; followed by the main course of salmon on top of fresh herb pasta with a Pinot Noir balsamic reduction; and completed our culinary bliss with a flour-less dark chocolate cake with fresh raspberries. Believe me, the food was just as delicious as it sounds!

The staff was also superb! Friendly and helpful with no wine country pretense.

While I did rate this to be a 'pricey' event, I must say it was well-worth the slight expense. The wonderful wines flowed freely and it was absolutely top-notch food! It is the kind of meal you walk away from feeling great about the experience you had and knowing your money was well spent!

Thanks so much, Brian! We're so glad you came and enjoyed the event so much, and we look forward to seeing you at another Vineyard Lunch next summer.

See Brian's and other reviews on Yelp.

A multi-vineyard success story


Linda and I enjoyed a bottle of 2006 Roads End Pinot this evening and I have to say it was wonderful. Over the years I have been privileged to enjoy some fine wines.

I think your 2006 Roads End is among the best I have ever had the privilege to enjoy. I enjoy single-vineyard Pinots but think Roads End is superior to many I have consumed. I hope you will continue to make this fantastic blend and prosper with its success.

I remain available to shill for your wines at your call.

Best to you and Robin,

Thanks for the perceptive and tasteful shilling, Keith!

The wine solution for expecting dads!

A customer from Chicago sends us this great note:

We were just out for a visit in April, and picked up your BIB (Bag-in-a-Box) pinot noir. It's been great because while I'm pregnant, my husband has been feeling guilty about opening a bottle of wine on a weeknight, since he can't finish it and it goes to waste. The BIB is a great solution! We love it!

Who knew? Thanks for that tip, Melissa!

Praise from Memphis Cork It magazine

Our friend Harold Steinberg posted the following great note on Facebook:

From the most recent issue of Memphis Cork It magazine regarding Seven Devils 2009:

"Medium garnet nose, really vibrant nose that I could smell as it sat on the table next to me. The nose shows a little black cherry, some earthiness and a touch of oak. Soft elegant texture, the flavors match the aromas but are even more expressive. This is a great example of a wine with a sense of place. Very long silky finish."

— Rusty Prudhon, General Manager, Napa Cafe, as quoted in the magazine's "Tasting Notes - Wines to Watch".

All I can say is "Right on, Rusty!" And I really enjoyed dinner in your outstanding restaurant last Saturday evening.

Thanks for posting, Harold!

Nice post from our Facebook friend Carol Kuala:

My friends Tammy, Tracie and I were there on Sat April 21. We had such a great time. Jessica was such a great host. she was very knowledgeable about all of the wines. She recommended a very good place for us to have and meat and cheese plate. I would highly recommend Carlton Cellars as a go to place for wine tasting.

Thanks for posting, Carol!

Brooklyn loves Carlton Cellars!

Gnarly Vines

Winemaker Dave rocked Brooklyn, NY with a tasting at Gnarly Vines on April 12, 2012. Says proprietor Brian Robinson:

Oh, How We Love Oregon!

A Gnarly First: We've got owner/winemaker Dave Grooters from Oregon's Pinot-passionate Carlton Cellars pouring himself! Come on in for this rare opportunity to meet this fantastic, organic Pacific Coast producer.

Dave poured Cape Lookout, Seven Devils, and Cannon Beach.
> Gnarly Vines reviewed them allhere!

3 more Golds — from the 10th Annual Pinot Noir Shootout!

Pinot Noir Summit

Another triple-play for Carlton Cellars! The judges of the 10th Annual Pinot Noir Shootout, one of the best and most comprehensive Pinot Noir tastings in the world, gave the gold to all three of our Pinots — out of over 350 outstanding wines:

  • 2009 Roads End Oregon Pinot NoirGold Medal
  • 2009 Cape Lookout Oregon Pinot NoirGold Medal
  • 2009 Seven Devils Willamette Valley Pinot NoirGold Medal

Come join the 10th Annual Pinot Noir Summit in San Francisco on February 25, 2012, when the awards will be presented. Your winemaker Dave will be there as a panelist at the "Sleek, Silky and Seductive — Pinot Noir" workshop. He’ll showcase our Pinots and speak about our terroir, appellation, and unique style to an audience of wine lovers who will be tasting and asking about the wines.

> Event details and tickets here.

Platinum Award from Wine Press Northwest

Wine Press NW

We’re thrilled to have won a Platinum Award from Wine Press Northwest for our delicious 2009 Seven Devils Pinot Noir! Hundreds of wines entered, only a handful won. Look for the details in print in the Wine Press Northwest.

If you're in Yakima, WA on April 14, 2012 join us at Platinum X, the Yakima Enological Society's annual celebration of WPNW's Platinum Award-Winners.

2 More Medals from San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

SF Chronicle

The San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, "the largest competition of American wines in the world," concluded the annual week of judging in Sonoma County, California. Over four days, some 60 professional wine experts tasted and evaluated a world-record breaking 5,500 entries from all over the United States, and they once again selected two of our Pinots for awards:

See the official website.


TODAY Show picks Cannon Beach in "20 under $20"


TODAY's Leslie Sbrocco features our 2010 Cannon Beach Pinot Gris in the TODAY Food list, "20 under $20: Quality holiday wines that won't break the bank." She writes:

A family-owned operation crafting what I think ranks among Oregon’s best expression of the variety: racy, juicy, and full of peach-scented loveliness. The wine also comes in a high-end bag-in-box format (3 liters equal four bottles), which is a top choice for big gatherings.

Gregory Dal Piaz lists Roads End in Oregon Pinot picks


Snooth Editor in Chief Gregory Dal Piaz recently listed his Oregon Pinot Noir picks in the $35–45 range. Our very own 2009 Roads End made the cut in his "6 wines of finesse and complexity." (It's actually 7 wines, but we're not quibbling.)

"You have to produce mighty fine wine to be a value" in this price range, writes Dal Piaz, "and in Oregon that means finesse and complexity. It also means having a little something extra, which could be blazing aromatics or extra density adding weight to the palate and potential to improve." Of the Roads End specifically, Dal Piaz notes, "There’s something really lovely to the fruit that is here, and the tannins are present but superbly polished."

More Gold Medals from NW Wine Festival!

The judges of the 2011 Northwest Food & Wine Festival gave a pair of Gold Medals to our 2009 Roads End Pinot Noir and 2010 Cannon Beach Pinot Gris! Our Pinots are used to winning awards, but this is our first medal for a Carlton Cellars white! If you've tried Cannon Beach, we think you'll agree it's well deserved.

Congrats also to our Bronze-winning 2009 Cape Lookout and Seven Devils Pinots!

> See the official results here.

Carlton Cellars wins the 2011 Judgment of the Poconos

Oenophile Bob Bauer's wonderful note speaks for itself:

You may recall that I belong to a club up in the Poconos called the Forest Lake Club. We have many wine enthusiasts including a couple of oenologists, one of whom even knows Bo Barrett of Château Montelena fame. So when my clubmate to whom you shipped the cases of Carlton Cellars brought them to the club to give me, this eventually led to a delightful blind pinot tasting on Sunday pm. in an effort to replicate the 1976 Judgment of Paris. It was a very hot day so the oenologists cooled the bottles down to 60 degrees.

There were 12 tasters and 4 entries: Vosne Romanee (French Burgundy), St. Innocent Reserve Pinot Noir 2008, Seven Devils and Roads End 2008. The results: Seven Devils 9, Roads End 6, St Innocent 0, Vosne 0.

Then as we drank some more, it became apparent that as the Roads End began to breathe, it was improving and we had two vote switches to Roads End. So the final vote was Roads End: 8, Seven Devils: 7, St. Innocent: 0, Gaul: 0. Congratulations, Dave. Feel free to use this in your next newsletter!

Best regards,
Bob Bauer

Merci to Bob and all you Forest Lake Clubbers! Keep up the great work out there!

Another Judgment of the Poconos participant responds

Bob Bauer's clubmate John Morrison writes:

I was at the tasting with Bob at the Forest lake Club and out there touring the Willamette valley a few weeks ago. We heard great things about your winery, but didn’t make it there since we were in that area on Monday. We did get to 11 wineries, and I was struck by the uniform high quality of the PNs being produced, particularly the single vineyard and estate wines.

The two wines of yours that we tasted are wonderful wines and outstanding values. They also reflect my experience with the 08 and 09 vintages, with the 09 Seven Devils having immediate appeal (though I imagine you blend it for early drinking), and the Roads End developing complexity with air time, as Bob points out.

The Roads End competes very well with the best wines I tasted out there and is well-priced at $45. But I didn’t taste anything as good as the Seven Devils under $30, and you are selling it for $20. Great deal! Hope to meet you next time I am out there.

— John

Thanks, John! Definitely look us up next time you're in our neck of the woods.

Praise from Nick Peirano in Oregon Wine Press

The legendary Nick Peirano of Nick's Italian Cafe fame was interviewed in Oregon Wine Press this month. Asked what new Oregon wine producers have impressed him, Nick named Carlton Cellars:

Dave Grooters and his wife, Robin Russell, produce consistently beautiful wines at Carlton Cellars. Dave and I met in the army in 1966 in Chitose, Japan, and have remained good friends.

Thank you, Nick. Here's to lifelong friendship, and wonderful food and wine.

Proposal Rock — the romance rocks on!

Teresa writes to share her romantic Proposal Rock memories:

Hello Carlton Cellars friends, I purchased 2 bottles of the Proposal Rock wine back in February.... Our anniversary is this Sunday and I would love to open one up then. [My husband] also proposed to me 18 years ago on Proposal Rock in Neskowin! Great memories there!

Happy Anniversary, Teresa — we hope the wine helps bring back those memories!

She'll take the Seven Devils. All of it!

A new Carlton Cellars fan sent us this enthusiastic email:

Hi Robin .... I met you last Sunday and bought my first bottle of Seven Devils .... then came back Monday and bought all they had. You were right .... it is a great wine with so many luscious flavors. Now I'm stocked up! Good luck on the next bottling; your hubby produced a fine wine! Let me know about the next great buy in Pinot.

Cheers, Jane.

Thanks for the note, Jane. Looks like we'll have to come around and restock!

Praise for our 3 Pinots from Bigger Than Your Head

After selecting our 2010 Cannon Beach Pinot Gris as his Wine of the Week of April 25, 2011 in his Bigger Than Your Head wine blog, Memphis oenophile Fredric Koeppel reviews our three Pinots.

Fredric gives the 2009 Seven Devils a "Very Good+", calling its "immediately appealing fragrance… heady and seductive."

He finds the 2008 Cape Lookout "Excellent." "This is classic stuff," says he, noting its "suppleness and shapeliness." "There’s deep flavor galore here."

Of the also "Excellent" 2008 Roads End Fredric writes:

Boy, you feel the difference… in this wine’s engagement and heft, in its increased level of spice, its fine and rich details of blueberry, cranberry, rhubarb and cola, its veritable darkness of intention and effect.

The Roads End 08 is a lithe and muscular wine, and if ever a pinot noir exemplified the notion of a pent animal awaiting release, brother, this is it.

Thanks, Fredric. Maybe it's time to get some Roads End-branded pith helmets!

> Read the complete review.

Oregon Wine Awards

Three Double-Golds at 2011 Oregon Wine Awards

Double Gold is the "Best of the Best" at the Oregon Wine Awards. Our wines have been recognized in all three years of the OWA, and in 2011 we swept up three best-of-the-bests — one for each of our Pinots!

  • 2009 Roads End Oregon Pinot NoirDouble Gold
  • 2009 Seven Devils Willamette Valley Pinot NoirDouble Gold
  • 2009 Cape Lookout Oregon Pinot NoirDouble Gold

> See the official website.

Oregon Wine Press picks Seven Devils "for Pleasure's Sake"

The May 2, 2011 issue of Oregon Wine Press did a Value Picks list of nine 2009 "Pinots for Pleasure's Sake." (Issue No. 303, p. 22) "Indulge in these youthful, full-flavored 2009 Pinot Noirs," they counsel, and our 2009 Seven Devils Willamette Valley Pinot Noir was one of their chosen indulgences. In their words:

This price-appealing Pinot comes racing out of the glass with an engagingly floral nose augmented by a hint of toasty oak. The buttery vanillin character continues in the taste, complementing lush, dark fruit and cola wrapped in a silky cloak.

Ah, the old "silky cloak". It appears Seven Devils is nearly as much fun to write about as it is to drink!

> See the online article.

Cannon Beach: Bigger Than Your Head » Wine of the Week

In his Bigger Than Your Head wine blog, Memphis oenophile Fredric Koeppel picks our 2010 Cannon Beach Willamette Valley Pinot Gris as the Wine of the Week of April 25, 2011. He writes:

Forgive me for waxing rhapsodic… but the Carlton Cellars Cannon Beach Pinot Gris 2010… falls certainly within the top handful of wines made from that grape in the United States of America.

The seductive bouquet teems with notes of lime peel, apple and pear, with high tones of jasmine and acacia (with its slightly astringent complexity) and deeper whiffs of dusty limestone and flint; give the wine a few moments in the glass, and whimsical hints of dried tarragon and thyme emerge.

We're delighted to have provided the liquid inspiration for such rhapsodic waxing. Thank you, Fredric!

> Read the complete review.

You have captured my favorite style of Pinot Noir

This is the reason we're in this wine business! On April 18, 2011 Jon Duchon of Bozeman, Montana wrote to tell us:

I served the Seven Devils Pinot on Saturday night. We made homemade pizzas with locally harvested venison sausage, fresh veggies and a spicy sauce. The wine went well with the pizzas and is fantastic and a great value. You have captured my favorite style of Pinot Noir, smooth and fruit forward.

We are definitely fans and will buy more. I can't wait to try the other pinot you were selling. I usually cellar my PN's for 3 to 6 years but this was delicious right now.

We will stop by your tasting room next time we are in the area.

Just wanted to let you know.

Best regards,
Jon Duchon
CFO Cleanwaste

Cheers, Jon. Enjoy our big Pinots there in Big Sky Country!

3 Medals from Finger Lakes International Wine Competition

On March 26-27, 2011, the 11th Annual Finger Lakes International Wine Competition in Rochester, New York — judged by a diverse and highly skilled group of 60 national and international judges — awarded us three Bronze Medals, one each for our three Pinots: the 2008 Roads End and Cape Lookout and the 2009 Seven Devils.

See the official results.

Wine Press NW calls Seven Devils "Outstanding"

Out March 14, the Spring 2011 issue of Wine Press Northwest features a big tasting of 170 Pinots from all four major Pacific Northwest wine regions: "Pinot Noir: Familiar producers win honors along with rising stars" (Vol. 14, No. 1, pp. 45–55).

Just 24 wines made the top cut of "Outstanding." One of them is our very own 2008 Seven Devils Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. Of the Outstanding selections, the article explains, "These wines have superior characteristics and should be highly sought after."

Writer Andy Perdue says of the '08 Seven Devils:

Owner Dave Grooters pays tribute to the wild Oregon Coast in his various bottlings, and this affordable Pinot Noir was inspired by an area near Bandon on the southern coast. It opens with aromas of brown sugar, black cherries and wild strawberries, followed by a plush entry that gives way to flavors of sweet, smooth fruit and round, supple tannins. It's rich, dark, complex and a bit on the hedonistic side.

Rich, dark, hedonistic.... It is Seven Devils after all!

> See the online article.

Cellar Tracker user gives our 2009 Oregon Dolcetto 90 Points

Tasted by StvOlson on 3/6/2011 & rated 90 points: Bright, pale to medium ruby color, with purple tints. Medium-plus youthful aromas of ripe cherry, strawberry, cherry-cola, nutmeg and a hint of licorice. On the palate, the wine is dry with medium alcohol, medium-light body, medium-light tannin, medium-plus acidity. Whereas the wine's aromas are dominated by spice, the youthful flavors are predominately of fruit with notes of strawberry, tart cherry, raspberry and watermelon. The finish is of medium length.

> See it on Cellar Tracker.

Wine Spectator gives Roads End 90 points

The January 31, 2011 issue of Wine Spectator magazine honored our 2008 Roads End Oregon Pinot Noir with a 90-point rating. This rating qualifies Roads End 2008 as "Outstanding: a wine of superior character and style."

3 Medals from 9th Annual Pinot Noir Shootout

The judges of the 9th Annual Pinot Noir Shootout, one of the best and most comprehensive Pinot Noir tastings in the world, selected three of our wines for awards:

  • 2008 Seven Devils Willamette Valley Pinot NoirGold Medal
  • 2008 Roads End Oregon Pinot NoirSilver Medal
  • 2008 Cape Lookout Oregon Pinot NoirBronze Medal

We were invited to pour our wines at the Grand Awards Tasting at the Pinot Noir Summit on February 26, 2011, and Dave was invited to share his wisdom on the panel discussion, "Pinot Noir, the Most Versatile Wine on the Planet." See the official results.

2 Medals from San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

On January 7th, 2011, the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, "the largest competition of American wines in the world," concluded the annual week of judging at the Cloverdale Citrus Fairgrounds in Sonoma County, California. Over five days, 60 professional wine experts tasted and evaluated a world-record breaking 5,050 entries from 23 states, and they selected our Seven Devils and Dolcetto for awards:

See the official website.

Oregon Wine Press

The Feb 2011 issue (p. 20) pairs great pizzas with great wines. When you're savoring the oak-fired fresh mozzarella, Oregon black truffle and thyme pizza from Portland's Firehouse restaurant, OWP recommends our very own 2009 Carlton Cellars Oregon Dolcetto as the "perfect match for the personality of the truffle." We'll drink to that!

> See the article online here.


Roads End wins Best of Show at NW Wine Festival!

We're pleased as Pinot that the judges of the 2010 Northwest Food & Wine Festival picked our very own 2008 Roads End Oregon Pinot Noir for Best of Show as well as awarding it a Gold Medal!

Congrats also to our Gold Medal-winning 2008 Cape Lookout Oregon Pinot Noir and our Silver Medal-winning 2008 Seven Devils Willamette Valley Pinot!

> See the official results here.

Wine Advocate awards Seven Devils 88 points

"The 2008 Pinot Noir Seven Devils spent 10 months in barrel. It offers up a pretty perfume of rose petal, cinnamon, clove, strawberry, and cherry. Forward on the palate with plenty of spicy fruit, a bit of structure, and moderate length, this tasty effort will deliver pleasure over the next 5-7 years. It is a very good value."
— Wine Advocate, November 2010

Cellar Tracker user gives our 2009 Oregon Dolcetto 90 Points

Tasted by Dhotchki on 11/2/2010 & rated 90 points: Nice well developed fruit with acid alcohol and a bit of spicy pepper at the end.

> See it on Cellar Tracker.

I'm sold! The best Pinot in America!

John Boyer writes July 18, 2010 on our Facebook page:

Had my first taste of Roads End at a dinner party last night. I'm sold! The best Pinot in America! I described it this way: the best elements of the New World fruit combined with the best elements of Old World earthy terroir style. Genius!

When we asked if we could quote him he didn't mince words: "Hell yeah! I stand behind that bold claim… and your bold wines!"

Wow! Maybe it's time to negotiate an endorsement deal with John…

Avalon Wine honors Seven Devils

— in their four Best 2008 Oregon Pinots Under $25

"The newest and best value Carlton Cellars Pinot. Loads of easy-drinking fruit, from strawberry to black cherry, is complemented by sweet oak and cola spice. The lush fruit hangs on through the silky finish." — Marcus

> See the list here.

Oregon Pinot Noir Club features Cape Lookout 2008

"It’s youthful, and focused. It shows some vivacious wild berry flavors, glows with color, and has an amazing aroma. As compelling as it is to try now, just another few weeks or months in the bottle will yield a broadly-flavored, complex wine with layers of flavor and great length."

> See OPNC owner and wine critic Robert Wolfe's complete review here

Sip With Me! on our Vineyard Lunches: "not-to-be-missed"

> See the whole Sip With Me! blog post (scroll down).

Kudos from the Show-Me State

Julie Hull came all the way from Missouri, and we're pleased to hear she wasn't disappointed:

"We discovered your vineyard by winning a bottle in a charity auction. We LOVE Oregon and had been to Cape Lookout so naturally had to bid on the wine — then LOVED your wine. We will be ordering more!"

Come back soon, Julie!

Yamhill County Chic thinks we're crazy (crazy good, that is)

Yamhill County Chic blogger Lisa tells a great story about Dave and his red pickup. Oh, and about his winemaking dedication too:

"The great thing about what Dave is doing at Carlton Cellars is...once again....He Grows It, Makes It, Sweats It!"
"Keep in mind.....there are many in the wine industry that just purchase fruit from a source, have another source make the wine and slap their name on the bottle."
"This is what makes these people so very special....and a little bit Crazy!"

> Read the whole story here (scroll down).

Portland Indie Wine Festival chooses Carlton Cellars once again

We're thrilled that the judges selected all three of our Pinots for inclusion in the Sixth Annual Portland Indie Wine Festival, May 8, 2010. Find out about this important Oregon wine event here.

Professional Wine Buyers Competition awards Roads End 2007

On February 18, 2010 the Judges of the Second Annual Professional Wine Buyers Competition in Santa Rosa, CA honored Roads End 2007 with a Bronze Award.

See the official results here.

2010 Oregon Wine Awards honor 3 of our wines

Oregon Wine Awards

For the second year running, on March 21, 2010 the Oregon Wine Awards judges honored our wines:

  • 2008 Roads End Oregon Pinot NoirSilver Medal
  • 2008 Seven Devils Willamette Valley Pinot NoirSilver Medal
  • 2008 Cape Lookout Oregon Pinot Noir — Vintner’s Honor ~ Outstanding Oregon Wine Award

> See the official website.

The future of glass pours? Carlton Cellars is there!

The Oregonian did an article March 2, 2010 on ways restaurants are keeping wines fresh for glass pours. Writer Katherine Cole talks to winemaker Dave Grooters about Carlton Cellars' box program in restaurants such as Navarre, Nick's Italian Cafe in McMinnville, and the Waverley Country Club.

> Read the article.

One of the best pinots I’ve ever tasted.

On January 8, 2010, Kevin Coupe reported back on his Christmas Roads End on Morning News Beat:

"I told you before Christmas that this was going to be our holiday wine, and now I’m going to tell you that the Roads End 2007 Pinot Noir from Oregon is one of the best pinots I’ve ever tasted. It was so smooth, so supple, so elegant, so delicious… I was sorry I only had one bottle, because it was hard to find something to follow it. Yumm…"

Looks like you had a very Merry Christmas indeed, Kevin!


Kevin Coupe is pouring Roads End for Christmas

Writer Kevin Coupe posted the following on Morning News Beat, December 23, 2009:

"Our Christmas wine, BTW, is going to be the 2007 Roads End Pinot Noir from Oregon...which I’ve been saving for a special occasion."

Thanks, Kevin — enjoy!

Cape Lookout 2007 Wins Gold Award

at 2009 Northwest Food & Wine Festival

On November 14, 2009 the judges of the 2009 Northwest Food & Wine Festival gave our Cape Lookout 2007 a Gold Award in a blind tasting held at Fenouil Restaurant in Portland.

Haggen CEO praises Roads End

Jim Donald, current CEO of Haggen Food & Pharmacy and former Starbucks CEO, sent us this glowing email on July 16, 2009:

"Well… I waited a year and it was worth it… we opened your 2004 Roads End Pinot tonight and it was wonderful.... congrats to you and your husband for a fantastic wine. Realizing that you are probably oversold, I would love to be put on a list to purchase a case or two."

Thanks, Jim!

Portland Indie Wine Festival chooses Carlton Cellars

We're very proud that the judges selected not just one but two of our wines for inclusion in the Fifth Annual Portland Indie Wine Festival, May 1–2, 2009. Find out about this important Oregon wine event here.

2009 Oregon Wine Awards honors two of our wines

Oregon Wine Awards

On March 28th the inaugural Oregon Wine Awards gave our Roads End 2007 a Gold Award for Consensus Best in Class, and gave our Cape Lookout 2007 a Vintners' Honor Outstanding Wine Award. The judges, a prominent panel of respected wine professionals, tasted and evaluated 257 Oregon wines in a single-blind format.

> Visit the Oregon Wine Awards website.

Avalon Wine honors Cape Lookout

— in their list of six Best 2007 Oregon Pinots

Praising Cape Lookout for its "rich complexity and layered, voluptuous finish," Avalon Wine (itself one of Food & Wine Magazine's Ten Best Online Wine Shops) has honored our estate wine as one of its six Best New 2007 Oregon Pinot Noirs.

See Avalon Wine's Best of 2007 list here.

Oregon Pinot Noir Club features Roads End 2007

"Yum! It's ready to drink and is immensely appealing for its fresh, juicy, fruit-driven character and the purity and transparency of the fruit flavors. Another wine that’s hard to put down."

See OPNC owner and wine critic Robert Wolfe's complete review here.


Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator give us 90 points

Sunset International Wine Competition

— both acclaim Roads End as "Outstanding"

Wine Spectator's rating qualifies Roads End 2006 as "Outstanding: a wine of superior character and style." Reviewer Harvey Steiman calls it:

"Smooth and refined, with some power in reserve behind the cherry and dark berry flavors, picking up a black olive note as the finish sails along. Drink now through 2014. 600 cases made." (WS, 12/15/08 p.149)
Wine Advocate

Wine Advocate's rating identifies Roads End 2006 as "An outstanding wine of exceptional complexity and character. In short, these are terrific wines." Dr. Jay Miller writes:

"The 2006 Pinot Noir Roads End spent 10 months in French oak. Medium/dark ruby-colored, it reveals an attractive perfume of cedar, black cherry, and black raspberry. This leads to a layered, smooth-textured wine with plenty of sweet fruit, good balance, and a medium-long finish. Drink it over the next four years." (WA, Oct. 2008)


Wine Spectator

Wine Spectator awards Roads End 92 points

The 2002 vintage of our Roads End Pinot Noir received an "Outstanding" 92 points from Wine Spectator (June 30, 2004) and hit the top 10 in WS reviewer Harvey Steiman's Recommended Oregon Wines list.

Carlton Cellars

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