Compton Cellars: Pinot Noirs Kissed by an Angel
Matt and Tabitha Compton operate a small, family-owned boutique winery located in the town of Philomath in the southern Willamette Valley. Philomath is not on the tip of the tongue of most Pinot Noir connoisseurs, but there are two other highly-respected Pinot Noir focused wineries in the locale including Lumos Wine Company and Cardwell Hill Cellars. Philomath is located in Benton County at the base of Marys Peak, the highest point in the Oregon Coast Range, and 80 miles south of Portland. The area enjoys the mild climate of the middle Willamette Valley.
The winery was originally founded as Spindrift Cellars in 2004 but has since changed its name to Compton Family Cellars. The focus now is on Pinot Noir from special vineyards that Matt manages through his West Vine Farms vineyard management company. Besides a farmer, Matt is an experienced winemaker with well over twenty years of experience in the Oregon wine industry. As a result, the Pinot Noir wines have the handprint of an experienced grower and talented winemaker.
I last wrote about this winery in 2019 and what I said then still holds: The wines represent extremely good value, especially since I consider them equal in quality to any Pinot Noir wines currently being produced in the Northern Willamette Valley.
Tasting is offered at the winery and the wines are easily obtainable through the winery’s website at www.comptonwines.com. The three wines reviewed here are part of the winery’s Old Vine Collectors Series.
These wines are true to the Pinot Noir ethos and the classic Willamette Valley style – perfectly ripened but not over-ripened fruit, modest alcohol levels, good, refreshing acidity, and elegant demeanor. All three wines were noticeably better when re-tasted the following day from a previously opened bottle and held up for another two days suggesting high quality, balance and age-ability.