Thursday, 10 September 2020

A fascinating vogage of vinous exploration

In late 2017 and again in 2018, uber-talented winemaker Peter Dredge set of on a voyage of vinous exploration.

His mission: to explore the varied terroirs in the fast-rising, cool-climate wine region of Oregon in the north-west of the US.


Dredge, also known as Dr Edge, or Dr Ongo, sourced pinot noir fruit from two different parts of Oregon: making a Williamette Valley blend along with individual wines from two of its sub-appellations: the Chehalem Mountains (organic and biodynamic) and Eola-Amity Hills (sustainable). He also made a gamay I'm saving for the weekend.

Those wines arrived in Australia late last month and provide a counterpoint to Dredge's various regional Tasmanian wines under the Dr Edge label as well as his work for Meadowbank.

The former Petaluma and Bay of Fires winemaker is also behind rebel brand Brian, made in collaboration with Joe Holyman and Mike Bennie, and is a finalist in this year's Gourmet Traveller WINE Magazine winemaker of the year awards.

There were not enough of his 2017 Oregon production to make it home to Australia, but the 2018s are fascinating and thrilling pinots at the cutting edge.

My favourite was clearly the edgy and ethereal Dr Edge Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir from a steep, cool site, followed by the blend. Another tester's preference was for the 2018 Dr Edge Eola Amity Hills Pinot Noir, a more rugged and savoury individual.

Dredge's connections with Oregon stretch back to his days as a winemaker at Petaluma in the early 2000s - while he has long had an obsession with pinot noir.

In Oregon, which is warmer than Tasmania, he was able to source fruit from two sustainable/organic vineyards. The three pinots together cost just $195 - superb value, but they are already in very short supply.

Move quickly - or miss out. www.dr-edge.com/

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