Each week I pick out one wine to highlight as my wine of the week.  This wine may be an outstanding wine, a great value or just something new or interesting.






This was a new winery for me.  A couple years ago, during an online Berserker Day on the Wine Berserkers Forum, an online friend, Beau Carufel, told me I should check out this winery.  I always like to acknowledge when a wine friend gives me great advice.  You can check out Beau’s blog site at Beau’s Barrel Room.



The Winery

Helioterra Wines is a small, artisan producer of Northwest wines made at the SE Wine Collective in SE Portland, Oregon.


Our wines are pretty, elegant and graceful in style. Winemaker Anne Ebenreiter Hubatch partners with exceptional regional vineyard growers to craft wines that demonstrate the best that the Northwest offers.


The name draws on geological inspirations, symbolizing Heliolite, the Oregon state gemstone (more commonly known as Sun Stone.)  Helio and Terra combine the Greek words for sun and earth, natural partners for grape growing.


For more information, I highly recommend checking out their website.



The Wine

The Vintner’s Select is just that.  The best barrel was selected from each vineyard site, and then blended to create a very special wine.  The flavors and aromatics are much richer and more mysterious than the Willamette Valley.  It demonstrates great depth and elegance with a touch more toast and a greater potential for aging.  The wine was aged for ten and a half months in French oak barrels and has 36% new oak influence.  The grapes were from Apolloni Vineyard (42%), Veeman Vineyard (42%) and Lia’s Vineyard (16%).


Just 49 cases were produced.  Wholesale $25.00 Magnums $53


The current release of this wine is the 2012 vintage.  More information on the current wines and the winery’s upcoming Sprint release is available on their website.



2010 Helioterra Pinot Noir Vintner’s Select

This was a new winery for me last year.  Since that time, I met the owner/wine maker Anne Ebenreiter Hubatch when she returned to her home state of Wisconsin.  After tasting through close to a dozen of her wines, I became convinced this is an up and coming winery to keep an eye on.


This has 13.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a very light ruby red color.  The very enticing nose has cherries, strawberries, baking spices, some earthiness, and a nice herbal note.  This has light to medium body, great acidity, and some subtle tannins.  On the palate there is a very nice balance between the fruit and spice with the herbal note coming in late.  The finish has nice length and again shows very nice balance.  This isn’t a big, ultra ripe, highly extracted Pinot, this is much more feminine and nuanced.  This is tasting very nice but is still on the young side.  (92 pts)

2010 Helioterra Pinot Noir Vintner's Select

2010 Helioterra Pinot Noir Vintner’s Select



Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.


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This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2013 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.




***** Shameless Self Promotion *****


Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.






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Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.



Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.



All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.