Oregon Uncorked: Top Ten Pinot Noir Picks

“You don't have to be clinically insane to make Pinot, but it’s a distinct advantage.”  ~ Michael Hill Smith, co-owner Australia's Shaw & Smith winery

I recently read a well known blog [which will remain nameless] with a bit of amusement. Why, because it took their so-called panel of "experts" to come up with just five picks from the vast Oregon Wine Scene. I on the other hand, [brag alert] with only four days [the time I spent in Oregon just last month] I was able to come up with an overflowing list of top rated must-haves labels. 

By the way; these are all wines presently sitting in my own cellar, because as it's said, "there is nothing like putting your money where your mouth is" and this mouth has had bath-tub sized amounts of amazing Oregon Pinot swirling about in it recently. If you're keeping score, the answer is "yes, I do spit". Without any further ado, now is the time to spill the beans and name, names.

A few of the names you will see on the list below, are wines I've already reviewed recently and if you click the link to the right of the bulleted numbers below, you can read the full review. 

I thought compiling them all here in one nice tight list, may just be a bit more helpful for the thirsty vino-sapien in search of a shopping list. If you have any trouble finding any of these wines yourself, I know someone who can make your shopping experience so much easier, just ask via the comment section below. Enjoy! 

1. Youngberg Hill: 2008 Jordan Block Barrel Select 

4. Ken Wright Cellars: 2008 Savoya Yamhill-Carlton AVA
5. Bergstrom Wines: 2009 De Lancellotti Vineyard Pinot Noir. A stunning example of Oregon PN from the Chehalem AVA, immediately accessible and supremely enjoyable. I know it may seem an impossible task, but wait, it will improve immensely with just another year in the bottle. 93 Points.

6. Bergstrom Wines: 2011 Shea Vineyard: At first blush, this wine is chock full of sweet baking spices, red currant, dried cherry and savory herb thing, wrapped around well integrated tannins. Definitely one for the cellar, hold. 92 Points.

7. Bergstrom Wines: 2009 Oregon Pinot Noir: Another amazing offer from this great producer; dark ruby colored in the glass, aromas of dark cherry and blackberry entice the first slurp. A quick swirl on the palate reveals sweet spice and fresh cherry baked pie-crust, I can still taste it. 90 Points.

8. 2009 Dukes Family Vineyards: Pinot Noir "Charlotte" Eola - Amity Hills AVA: Here's another very nice example of Oregon Pinot Noir, with a lot going on. I just uncorked this bad-boy the other night, wowsers [technical term] an intense, ripe youthful aromas of dark cherry, red raspberry draw you in for the first slurp, sweet spices, red-berry flavors, wrapped around the smooth rich tannins. Balance is excellent, length good and final impressions delicate, plus complex equal smiles all around. 90 Points.

9. 2009 Wahle Vineyards and Cellars Pinot Noir: Another Holme Hills gem from the Eola Hills. What else do you need, an immediately approachable wine boasting layers of ripe fruit, outstanding volume, vibrant acidity, and a lengthy, velvety finish. At a SRP of $36 it's a best buy. Score 91 points.
10. The Eyrie Vineyards 2010 Dundee Hills Estate Pinot Noir: Mrs. Cuvee and I ran into this bottle over dinner at the very popular "Thistle" restaurant in McMinnville, OR. They had this fantastic, food-friendly Pinot that just screamed Oregon. A pioneering producer on the Oregon Wine Scene, long before everyone else hopped on the purple stained bandwagon. 

Color was hard to come-by, but a light cranberry color. Lovely nose, rich earthy aromas and bouncy red fruits, a nice pop of morello [a chef’s go-to] cherries on the palate, and spices, baked crust and wet forest floor playing in the back ground. Spread across a canvas of firm, yet silky tannins. Score 91 points. SRP on this wine is $36 another best-buy. 

Bonus: 2009 Hawks View Pinot Noir: Hello Chehalem Mountains AVA. You can see that review here.

If this list wet your appetite and you'd like to know about a few more fantastic sources for Pinot Noir, then please as they say, stay tuned! As I'm going back to the SLH Tasting once more, in a couple of weeks and I can't wait to let you know all the gems I'm sure to find there. Until next sip long and prosper cheers!
Post a Comment

Popular Posts