The Wine Write "Meet Erica Orr"
2017 Orr Old Vine Columbia Valley Chenin blanc. Real chenin character with dried-pineapple and peach-skin aromas that follow through to a medium body, tight and juicy fruit and a phenolic, slightly tannic finish. Fun. Dry. Drink now. 91 points May 2018
The 2015 Orr Wines 'Old Vines' Chenin Blanc is an outstanding effort from superstar winemaker Erica Orr. Orr has had previous stints at some really famous spots including Rudd Estate, Cain Vineyard, Domaine Dujac, and Yering Station. In the glass aromatics are slowly released after a one hour decant. The wine begins with a bouquet of unripe pear, cantaloupe, and lemongrass with hints of beeswax. There are flavors of honeydew melon, Japanese pear, and starfruit with a nutmeg edge. This is balanced wine that needs a bit of warming up to be fully expressive. There is nice weight and texture on the mid-palate that impresses. This is a really nice value at this price point. (Best 2016-2021) - May, 2016 (OB) 90 points
Stephen Tanzer for VINOUS
2016 Orr Old Vine Columbia Valley Chenin blanc. (aged in neutral barrels): Bright yellow. Subtle stone fruits and a whiff of almond on the nose. Juicy, savory and quite dry, offering subtle flavors of wet stone and spices that reminded me of Savennières. Very laid-back, uncompromisingly dry white wine. Stephen Tanzer 88 points
2016 Orr Columbia Valley Grenache. (from Stillwater Creek): Medium red. Aromas of plum, redcurrant and spices are accented by a tangy cherry quality and a note of herbs. Fine-grained and brisk if not especially fleshy or deep, with its flavors of dried cherry, herbs and flowers conveying good energy. Finishes with fine-grained tannins and good length and lift. Stephen Tanzer 88 points
2015 Orr Old Vine Columbia Valley Chenin blanc. (made with wild yeasts): Full straw-yellow. Good floral lift to the ripe aromas of pineapple, spiced apple and honeysuckle. A very rich but adamantly dry Viognier with notes of crab apple, ginger and macadamia. Substantial and persistent but without the brightness of fruit for 90 points. Stephen Tanzer 89 points
2014 Orr Old Vine Columbia Valley Chenin blanc. Pale, bright straw-yellow. Orange zest, apricot, mint, flowers, resin and straw on the nuanced nose. Rich, spicy, slightly tart citrus zest flavors are given punch by a firm spine of acidity. A touch of wet wool reminded me of Savennières. This is the project talented consulting winemaker Erica Orr, who currently is also involved at Guardian Cellars and Baer Winery. Stephen Tanzer 89 points
2013 Orr Wines Old Vine Chenin blanc Columbia Valley. (just 12.4% alcohol; from 40-year-old vines): Very pure, discreet aromas of white currant, greengage plum, lemon zest and minerals. Very intense and fresh, offering sharp definition to the flavors of Granny Smith apple, pineapple and damp stone. Nice texture and a touch of sweetness, plus a hint of tannins on the firm finish. I like this! The first vintage for this wine, under the new label of talented consulting winemaker/enologist Erica Orr. Stephen Tanzer 91 points
Orr Wines 2014 old vine chenin blanc, Columbia Valley, $22: Erica Orr has fashioned a gorgeous, dry chenin blanc from two vineyards, planted in 1974 and 1979. There is a wonderful texture, subtle pear/apple fruit and bright acidity. A true Washington seafood wine.
FOOD & WINE
7 Washington State Whites for the End of Summer by Charles Antin | posted August 28, 2014
Washington state is best-known for its reds, but a recent trip has me convinced that some of its best bottlings are white. These wines are perfect for anyone who doesn’t want to give up chilled whites as summer turns to fall; they’ll hold up well during the last few weekends of grilled salmon on the deck. Here, seven Washington state whites to try now.
2013 Orr Old Vine Chenin Blanc ($22)
Chenin Blanc’s spiritual home is the Vouvray region in France’s Loire Valley, but Erica Orr makes a stellar example in the Columbia Valley. After quitting her job as a lab tech at the University of California, San Francisco, Orr worked in wineries all over the world: Rudd Estate (Napa), Domaine Dujac (Burgundy) and Yering Station (Australia’s Yarra Valley). The aromatics are subtle in this wine and the acidity is racy, just like a good dry Vouvray.