“A Boss in the Glass”

To help readers discover new wines during the COVID-19 pandemic, wine education site Vinepair has given prominent sommeliers a challenge: find the best case possible for $250 at a major wine retailer. According to VinePair “these wine pros sifted through hundreds of bottles to find the best case possible — so you don’t have to.

When Sommelier Phillippe André selected wines for his case, he had two main goals: pick bottles with “epic value,” and prove that you can have a “great range of styles while balancing the budget.” One of his choices? our 2016 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir:

Philippe André (center) with Elk Cove Winemaker Adam Campbell (right) and Willakenzie founder Bernard Lacroute (left)

“I’ve visited the Willamette Valley in Oregon more than any other wine region. There is an excitement every time I land and I know I’m back in my home away from home. Elk Cove Vineyards is a 45-minute drive from Portland. A beautiful property, including a few legendary Pinot Noir vineyards run by second-generation family-owner and winemaker Adam Campbell. The 2016 Pinot Noir is a boss in the glass and represents a region founded by hard work and passion — something I experienced while working harvest in 2013. An awesome balance and complexity, [this wine] offers one of the best representations of Pinot in this great nation. Pair with baked salmon and decant for 30 minutes and please serve at cellar temp.”

– Philippe André, Sommelier

André is a Chicago-based, second-generation sommelier and restaurateur who serves as the U.S. brand ambassador for Charles Heidsieck Champagne. As of June, he is also a board member of the United Sommeliers Foundation. When he’s not educating about wine, André “geeks out” about cigars and foreign cars. He also dabbles in the world of DJing. “Like wine, music can be so personal, intimate and barrier-breaking at the same time,” he says. “Pair the two together, and you’ve got some serious soul healing and recharging going down!”