Sips of Recently Tasted Oregon Pinot Noir
Big Table Farm, Gaston, Oregon
2015 Big Table Farm Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir
13.9% alc., 2,393 cases, $42. Released March
6, 2017. Label depicts Big Table Farm pigs Kirby and Pickle. A blend of all 8 vineyards that the winery works
with and a representation of the northern Willamette Valley.
Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Nicely
perfumed with fresh aromas of cherry, berry and spice. Mid weight and very approachable in style, with flavors
of cherry, spice, espresso, and smoky toast. Silky tannins make for easy drinking, and attractive dark red and
purple berry flavors infuse the finish. A solid offering that will please at the table, although I found oak hogging
a little too much attention.
2015 Big Table Farm Pelos Sandberg Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Oregon Pinot Noir
13.3% alc. 402 cases,
$48. Released March 6, 2017. A maturing vineyard that offers wines of increasing complexity and depth.
Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Very welcoming aromas of cherry, cranberry, cardamon, bark and
musk. Discreetly concentrated flavors of black cherry, truffle, game and smoke. Noticeably silky in the mouth,
with secluded tannins, fresh natural acidity and a finish of redeeming excellence. A wine of impressive balance
that is of exceptional quality.
Coeur de Terre Vineyard, McMinnville, Oregon
The McMinnville AVA is known for intensely fruity wines with well-structured tannins and earthy overtones. The
wines of Coeur de Terre are true to this character with earth and shiitake notes pervasive in the Pinot Noirs.
The 2014 vintage is notable because the fruit is perfectly ripened and owner and winemaker Scott Neal has
embossed these Pinot Noirs with dreamy textures while taming the fruit tannins. These are the best wines
Scott has crafted since I have been tasting each vintage. Visit the website at www.cdtvineyard.com.
2014 Coeur de Terre Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir
14.2% alc., TA 0.61, RS 0 g/L, 2,509
cases, $22, screwcap. Harvest Brix 24.4º. 60% of fruit is from the Coeur de Terre Estate Vineyard
using a selection from all blocks. Clones include Pommard, 2A, 113, 114, 115, 667, 777 and Coury.
Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Bright aromas of fresh cherry and raspberry, spice and
sandalwood. Lighter weighted, with flavors that echo the aromas. Nice balance and fortitude with a
sweet cherry kiss at the end.
2014 Coeur de Terre Héritage Reserve Estate McMinnville Oregon Pinot Noir
14.1% alc., pH
3.52, TA 0.69, 727 cases, $36. Harvest Brix 24.5º. A barrel selection from the entire Estate Vineyard
meant to represent the whole of the vineyard and the spirit of the vintage from the estate.
garnet color in the glass. Pleasing aromas of plum, boysenberry and seasoned oak. Silky in the
mouth, with noticeable vibrancy, offering juicy flavors of purple berries and caramelized oak. Quite
seamless, with discreet sappy resolve, finishing with good verve.
2014 Coeur de Terre Sarah Jane’s Block Reserve Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir
14.3% alc., pH
3.67, TA 0.56, RS 0 g/L, 46 cases, $65. Harvest Brix 24.4º. Soils are Willakenzie in this block and there is a
mixture of six different clones of Pinot Noir. This block was planted in 2000 and farmed organically since its
Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of blackberry, spice, game, mulch, cedary oak and
walnut oil. Robust and concentrated yet soft and polished, with mid weight plus flavors of blackberry and
blueberry-pomegranate. Earthy, with a bit of savory herbs adding character. The most tannic wine in the 2014
lineup, but not unwieldy. The creamy mouthfeel makes an impression.
2014 Coeur de Terre Abby’s Block Reserve Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir
14.3% alc., 60 cases,
$65. Harvest Brix 24.3º. This block is located mid slope in the Estate Vineyard at 400 to 450 feet elevation. The
soils is a unique sedimentary based type. Organically farmed from inception.
Moderate garnet color in the
glass. Leading the way are attractive aromas of cherry, turned earth, mulch and dark chocolate. Very charming
in the mouth with a suave texture and an elegant disposition. Giving flavors of dark red berries and blueberries,
finishing with good intensity and a slight bit of astringency.
2014 Coeur de Terre Tallulah’s Run Reserve Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir
14.3% alc., pH 3.69,
TA 0.57, RS 0 g/L, 67 cases, $65. Comprised of two contiguous blocks, one planted to 667 and 777 and the
other to 115. Planted in 2004 to 1778 vines per acre. Organically farmed since its inceptions.
garnet color in the glass. An earthy nose adds an assortment of black fruit aromas with noticeable oak. Silky,
sexy and smooth in the mouth with a mid weight charge of purple and black fruits backed up with an iron-driven
minerality. Nicely composed, with mellow fine-grain tannins.
2014 Coeur de Terre Renelle’s Block Reserve Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir
14.3% alc., pH 3.64,
TA 0.59, RS 0 g/L, 82 cases, $65. Harvest Brix 24.4º. This is the original block planted at Coeur de Terre in
1999 and has been farmed organically since its inception. It is the mother block supplying cuttings for all the
other blocks in the Estate Vineyard. Due south exposure with sedimentary soils that have a high clay
component on the south side, to a more sandy composition on the upper end. Yield 2.6 tons per acre.
Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Oak dominated nose and palate upon opening, but the oak infusion
dissipates soon in the glass. Aromas of blackberry, peppery spice and vanilla lid to a mid weighted wine that is
soft in the mouth with firm but balanced tannins. Complex and interesting, with flavors of black cherry,
blackberry, mushroom, earth and a brush of spice. A lot going on in this wine that comes together beautifully
and exudes charm over time in the glass.
Evening Land, Salem, Oregon
Magnum formats are available for the wines reviewed here (and the Seven Springs Chardonnays reviewed in
this issue). A 30th anniversary Commemorative Wooden Box 6-pack of the 2014 vintage bottlings of Seven
Springs Estate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay is available for $500, and a Reserve Case containing 2 bottles each
of 2014 Anden Pinot Noir and 2014 La Source Pinot Noir, 3 bottles of 2014 La Source Chardonnay and 5
bottles of 2014 La Source Pinot Noir for $1,000. Visit www.eveninglandvineyards.com. The Evening Land
Seven Spring Vineyard Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are among the most-heralded world-class wines now being
offered from the 2014 vintage in Oregon.
2014 Seven Springs Estate Eola-Amity Hills Oregon Pinot Noir
13.1% alc., 2,078 cases, $45. Produced
from own-rooted Pommard and Wädenswil vines planted in 1984. 75% of fruit de-stemmed. Aged 16 months in
French oak barrels, 30% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Moderate garnet color in the glass. Embraceable
aromas of black cherry, cardamom spice, toast and burnt tobacco. Mid weight flavors of black cherry with an
earthy riff in a very engaging style. There is noticeable smoky oak overlay but it is not excessive. The tannins
are silky, and the tart cherry finish has good persistence and cut.
2014 Seven Springs Estate La Source Eola-Amity Hills Oregon Pinot Noir
13.1% alc., 1,611
cases, $75. Since 2012, this wine has always been a selection of the very best barrels in the cellar.
For this vintage, rather than hew to tradition, Sashi Moorman and Rajat Parr tasted through all
individual blocks of Seven Springs Vineyard. The uppermost blocks planted to Dijon clones set
themselves apart from the older vines downslope. The upper vines are in rockier soils and exposed to
windier conditions making them stressed. Adjacent to the top block is a small vineyard called Clos de
La Fôret that is encircled by a dense grove of Douglas Fir (see photo below). This block performs
beautifully in a warm vintage like 2014. This wine was aged in French oak barrels, 30% new, and bottled
without fining or filtration.
Moderate garnet color in the glass. Welcoming aromas of cherry, pomegranate, rose
petal, exotic spices and sweet pipe smoke. Delicious attack of cherry fruit with added notes of spice and rose
water. Luscious, yet balletic, with refined tannins, complimentary oak, and an aromatic finish featuring cherry
and strawberry at its best. This wine is a perfect example of why people get so excited about Pinot Noir. It
simply grabs your heart. Still superb when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked
2014 Seven Springs Estate Anden Eola-Amity Hills Oregon Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., $. The lower
half of Seven Springs Vineyard is home to the original 1984 plantings of Pommard and Wädenswil
clones of Pinot Noir planted on their own roots. This wine celebrates the history of Seven Springs
focusing on vines that are slowly succumbing to the ravages of phylloxera. The smallest and most
beautiful clusters are harvested and fermented on the stems. The wine was raised in 100% new
Ermitage barrels and bottled without filtration.
Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Very shy nose
initially, even reductive, picking up appealing aromas of cherry, spice and toasty oak over time. Very
fulfilling in the mouth, with a whole cluster fermented demeanor, offering flavors of dark cherry, spice and burnt
tobacco. There is also a savory underpinning that is intriguing. Very subtle oak support, integrated tannins and
a juicy finish. Even better when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle
indicating this wine will benefit from more time in the cellar.
Ghost Hill Cellars, Carlton, Oregon
The wines reviewed here were estate grown and produced and bottled by Ponzi Wines in Sherwood, Oregon.
2014 Ghost Hill Cellars Bayliss-Bower Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Oregon Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., pH 3.39,
520 cases, $42. Released May 1, 2017. A blend of 45% Pommard, 20% Dijon 777, 20% Dijon 114 and 15%
Wädenswil. Aged in French oak barrels, 10% new.
Light ruby red color in the glass. Highly fragrant aromas of
red cherry, red cherry hard candy, honeysuckle, earthy flora and sweet oak. Light to mid weight in style, with
delicate, but flavorful tastes of red cherry, raspberry and spice. A genteel wine with admirable balance and a
2014 Ghost Hill Cellars Bayliss-Bower Vineyard Prospector’s Reserve Yamhill-Carlton Oregon Pinot
13.5% alc., pH 3.42, $55. Released May 1, 2017. A blend of six barrels that created a more masculine
and intense reflection of the site and vintage. Wädenswil, Pommard, 777 and 114 clones from the oldest part of
Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Conspicuous aromas of cherry and forest floor lead to a
mouthful of black cherry, blueberry and plum flavors that linger in the mouth and on the finish. Fine-grain
tannins back up the fruit that is deftly touched by oak. A polished wine with gratifying balance that will benefit
from a little more time in bottle to ameliorate the tannins.
Gran Moraine, Yamhill, Oregon
This winery takes its name from the cataclysmic floods that occurred in the northern Willamette Valley of
Oregon during the last ice age. The Missoula floods traveled across the Columbia basin carving out the
Columbia Gorge. The Willamette Valley became a large temporary lake left with huge deposits of silt and giant
boulders (erratic rocks). The erratic rock outcroppings manifest themselves throughout the vineyard. They were
once part of the giant dam’s moraine - thus the name “Gran Moraine.”
Planting of the vineyard was completed in 2005 with multiple Dijon clones of Pinot Noir including 667, 777, 115,
and 114, and Pommard and Chardonnay (clones 76 and 95). The vineyard director is well known viticulturist
Ken Kupperman. The winemaker is Shane Moore, an experienced winemaker who has spent stints in wineries
in Canada, Western Australia, Israel’s Golan Heights and California. He moved to the Willamette Valley in 2013
to build the winemaking program for the newly-established Gran Moraine winery and became the Winemaker
at Gran Moraine in 2016. Tasting is available daily at 17090 NE Woodland Loop Road in Yamhill. Visit
2014 Gran Moraine La Première Yamhill-Carlton Oregon Pinot Noir
14.3% alc., pH 3.56, TA 0.64, 85
cases, $85. La Première is French for “the first.” Limited production. 100% Gran Moraine Vineyard. Depending
on vintage, block and clone, grapes undergo a 3 to 10-day cold soak. Matured in 100% French oak barrels.
Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of dark berries, vanilla, spice and sweet oak blend together.
Mid weight assortment of black fruit flavors are accented with notes of oak-driven smoke, tar and anise.
Agreeable tannins and balanced acidity, with some length on the finish. A very good wine, but I wish it had
slightly less oak influence.
2014 Gran Moraine Estate Reserve Yamhill-Carlton Oregon Pinot Noir
14.1% alc., $65. The
Estate Reserve Vineyard surrounds the Gran Moraine Vineyard and consists of 35 acres planted in
2007 to a variety of Dijon and heritage clones.
Dark garnet color in the glass. The aromas of fresh
dark fruits rise up over time in the glass. The onslaught of delicious black raspberry, blackberry and
black cherry flavors are luscious and seductive. Big by Oregon standards, with great depth of fruit, but
still charming along with a soothing texture. When tasted the following day from a previously opened
and re-corked bottle, the nose had taken on plenty of spice and floral aromas (my notes say “terrific”)
and the wine had assumed a harmonious demeanor. I would cellar this wine for a couple of years to achieve
full enjoyment. Still a good friend now.
Kramer Vineyards, Gaston, Oregon
2014 Kramer Vineyards Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir
13.0% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.67, 200 cases, $22.
A blend of grapes from Stormy Morning Vineyard and Kramer Estate Vineyard. Harvest Brix 22.5º. 100% destemmed,
4-day cold soak, aged in French oak barrels, 25% new.
A lighter style wine with aromas and flavors
of black cherry, cranberry, raspberry, exotic spice and white pepper. Noticeable oak overlay with sprightly
acidity leading to a tart finish of some persistence.
2014 Kramer Vineyards Yamhill-Carlton Oregon Pinot Noir
13.0% alc., 125 cases, $34. A blend of grapes
from the Estate Vineyard and Yamhill vineyards. 100% de-stemmed, 4 to 5-day cold soak, aged for 16 months
in French oak barrels, 25% new.
Moderate garnet color in the glass. Nicely appointed nose with aromas of dark
red and purple berries, dark chocolate and clove. Richly extracted, with earthy flavors of boysenberry,
blackberry, and black tea infused with juicy acidity and backed by sinewy tannins.
2014 Kramer Vineyards Estate Yamhill-Carlton Oregon Pinot Noir
13.0% alc., pH 3.46, TA
0.67, 375 cases, $28. A blend of clones from several blocks of the Estate Vineyard, including ownrooted
and grafted vines planted between 1985 and 1995 and consisting of Wädenswil, Pommard
and Gamay Beaujolais clones. Harvest Brix 21.4º. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, aged in
French oak barrels, 25% new.
Moderate garnet color in the glass. Aromas of earth, oak and
balsam dominate upon opening. Plenty of like able fruit on the palate including flavors of black
cherry, black raspberry and pomegranate. Well-composed with a savory thread adding interest.
When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, more dark fruit showed up on
the nose and the finish offered more aromatic persistence. Decant if you must drink now.
2014 Kramer Vineyards Cardiac Hill Yamhill-Carlton Oregon Pinot Noir
13.0% alc., 125 cases, pH 3.55,
TA 0.59, 125 cases, $45. Sourced from the steepest hillside of vines in the Estate Vineyard. A high clay content
in the soil stresses the vines leading to low yields. Pommard and Dijon 115 clones. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day
cold soak, aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 25% new.
Moderate garnet color in the glass. The aromas of
earth and forest floor play off fruit aromas of raspberry, cranberry and strawberry. Darker fruited on the palate,
with mid weight flavors of blackberry and black raspberry that attack with notice and are expansive in the
mouth. The refined tannins provide good structure and the finish exceeds expectations with generosity. Still
sumptuous when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle.
2014 Kramer Vineyards Rebecca’s Reserve Yamhill-Carlton Oregon Pinot Noir
12.1% alc., pH 3.54, TA
0.61, 75 cases, $48. Rebecca’s block in the Estate Vineyard was planted to high vine density and Pommard
and 115 clones in 1992. 100% de-stemmed, 6-day cold soak, aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 33% new.
Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Highly individualistic, with a rustic and
earthy character. Aromas of cherry, blueberry and mulch lead to flavors of wood-infused cherry and blueberry
fruits framed by firm tannins. There is a noticeable oak imprint, and the wine finishes with some power and
tartness. Still dominated by earthy, oaky elements when tasted the following day from a previously opened and
re-corked bottle. I found it challenging to cozy up close to this one.
2014 Kramer Vineyards Heritage Yamhill-Carlton Oregon Pinot Noir
12.9% alc., pH 3.35, TA 0.68,
125 cases, $45. Sourced from the oldest block of Pinot Noir in the Estate Vineyard. Own-rooted
Pommard clone planted in 1989. Harvest Brix 22.1º. 75% de-stemmed, 4-day cold soak, aged 18
months in French oak barrels, 25% new.
Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The nose starts off
great after opening and builds in charity over time in the glass. Aromas of black cherry, rose, spice and
cola are replicated in the mid weight flavors on the palate along with notes of plum and Marionberry.
Gentle in the mouth, with seductive tannins and bright acidity in superb balance, finishing with
enduring length and a subtle citrus note. This wine just kept getting better and better over time in the glass so
decanting would be advised. This Pinot offers depth, dimension and freshness in a compelling package.
Walter Scott Wine, Salem, Oregon
2015 Walter Scott Clos des Oiseaux Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Oregon Pinot Noir
13.4% alc., 275 cases,
$50. Walter Scott began leasing this 2.8-acre vineyard in 2011. Today the land is owned by Kecia and John
Keller who farm the vineyard organically, with Ken doing most of the tractor work, sprays and helping with the
hand work under the direction of viticulturist Ryan Hannaford. Fermented with ambient yeasts and aged 15
months in French oak barrels, 40% new.
Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Reductive upon opening
with aromas of flinty oak, resolving over time as elevating blackberry aromas arise. Luscious by Oregon
standards, with a mid weight plus core of blackberry and Marionberry fruit flavors that offer intense sappiness.
Despite the concentration, the wine is streamlined and balanced with a wonderful fruited finish. More giving the
following day when tasted from a previously opened and re-corked bottle with an extraordinary fruit-filled finish.
With this richness of fruit you might think Syrah, but this wine is Pinot at heart all the way. I sense that this wine
is still a bit tight so patience will be rewarded.
2015 Walter Scott Sojourner Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Oregon Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 300 cases, $50. This vineyard
is located at the southern end of the Eola-Amity Hills, facing west towards the Coast Range at 650 feet
elevation. 16 acres planted to Dijon 115, Pommard and Wädenswil Pinot Noir clones and 3.26 acres of
Chardonnay. Soils are rocky, volcanic clay. Clones were co-fermented with ambient yeasts and aged 15
months in French oak barrels, 40% new.
Moderate garnet color in the glass. Slight flinty reduction upon pulling
the cork, yielding to aromas of purple and black fruits over time in the glass. Very tight, with a reductive nature,
offering mid weight black fruits back by toasty oak and elevated by juicy acidity. When tasted the following day
from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the nose remained subdued but pleasant, but the wine was
more expressive on the palate with layers of well-spiced black raspberry fruit, resolution of the flinty reduction,
and a lengthy finish. Cellar for a year or two.
2015 Walter Scott Dubay Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Oregon Pinot Noir
13.8% alc., 125 cases,
$50. This small vineyard is located on a steep, rocky hillside and is farmed by viticulturist Ryan
Hannaford. Yields were 1.6 tons in 2014. Fermented with ambient yeasts and aged 15 months in
French oak barrels, 40% new.
Moderate garnet color in the glass. Aromas of well-ripened blackberry,
cassis, Asian spices, nut oil and vanilla in a moderately rich styled wine with impressive balance and a
fulfilling finish replete with exuberant blackberry, blueberry and pomegranate fruit. Somewhat
unyielding at this young age, but the charm and pedigree is evident. Considerably better when tasted
the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, with aromas of exotic spices, lush fruit flavors,
and good cut on the juicy finish.
2015 Walter Scott Seven Springs Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Oregon Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 125
cases, $ 65 (sold out). Sourced from one acre of the original 1983 plants of un-grafted Pinot Noir vines
found in the lower half of the vineyard. Walter Scott is one of the few wineries to get fruit from this
vineyard outside of the estate holder, Evening Land. Fermented with ambient yeasts and aged 15
months in French oak barrels, 40% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Moderately light garnet color
in the glass. The nose is very open and giving, offering soaring aromas of cherry, strawberry and
spice. Redder fruit is profiled in this mid weight wine with superb harmony. More open at this young
age, sporting regal spiced fruit and a juicy finish filled with black cherry delight. When tasted the following day
from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the quenching finish and invigorating acidity stood out.
2015 Walter Scott Temperance Hill Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Oregon Pinot Noir
13.6% alc., 100
cases, $50. This iconic vineyard sits on the crown of the Eola-Amity hills at elevations of 600 to 900
feet. The site, farmed by owner Dai Crisp, is exposed to cool afternoon marine breezes that define the
wines and contribute to late ripening. Sourced from a block containing 24-year-old vines. Fermented
with ambient yeasts and aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 40% new.
Moderate garnet color in
the glass. I was at a loss of words in describing this joyful nose offering aromas of dark berries, spice
and underbrush with a feral tone. One can really taste the Temperance Hill terroir in this wine, with its
structured sense and its typically vigorous black cherry and black raspberry fruit flavors. The wine is in perfect
harmony, with a silky mouthfeel, gracious acidity, fine-grain tannins, and a lasting finish. Still an overwhelming
experience when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Pinot Noirs from this
vineyard are consistently captivating.
2015 Walter Scott Freedom Hill Vineyard Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir
13.9% alc., 325
cases, $50. Vineyard planted in 1982 by Dan and Helen Dusschee who own and farm the vineyard
sustainably with their son Dustin. The vineyard is located in the foothills of the Oregon Coast Range
and vines are planted on Bellpine loam soils. The wines are typically structured and powerful.
Fermented with ambient yeasts and aged for 15 months in French oak barrels, 40% new.
dark garnet color in the glass. The nose is reserved but alluring with wafting aromas of cherry
blossom, raspberry coulis and tobacco and an earthy underpinning. Unctuous on the palate with
perfectly ripened fruit flavors of strawberry, cherry and raspberry. As typical with this vineyard, the tannins are a
bit imposing but are not drying, and they smooth out over time in the glass. Wines from this vineyard can be a
bit gruff, but that quality is not evident in this wine. I remained infatuated when I tasted this wine the following
day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. This one will stay the long course.
Youngberg Hill, McMinnville, Oregon
Youngberg Hill is a 50-acre estate with 20 acres of sustainably farmed vineyards. Oregon wine legend Ken
Wright planted the first vineyards on this property in 1989 to source fruit for Panther Creek. The first wine
labeled as Youngberg Hill was made in 1996. Current proprietors Wayne and Nicolette Bailey acquired the
property in 2003 and transformed the land into a sustainably farmed wine estate and hospitality center. The
vines are among the most westernmost in the Willamette Valley and receive considerable marine influence.
The original own-rooted Pinot Noir vines planted 60% to Pommard and 40% to Wädenswil clones encompass
12 acres and are are called Jordan and Natasha blocks, after the two oldest Bailey daughters. The winery
offers several Pinot Noirs each year along with estate Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. Tastings are available daily
at the winery. Lodging is also available. Visit www.youngberghill.com.
2014 Youngberg Hill Cuvée Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., pH 3.20, TA 0.62,
RS 0, 243 cases, $35. A blend of clones 777 and “828,” from vineyards in the McMinnville and
Eola-Amity Hills AVAs. Average vine age 9 years.Harvest Brix 22.7º. Aged 14 months in French
oak barrels, 40% new.
Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Aromas of dark red cherry and
berry with savory notes of bark, timber and underbrush. Somewhat lush on the palate, with a flavor
core of dark red cherry accented with notes of red licorice, savory herbs and earth. Balanced
tannins, integrated acidity, finishing with cherry-fueled goodness.
2014 Youngberg Hill Natasha Block McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., pH 3.20, TA
0.62, RS 0, 437 cases, $50, screwcap. Willakenzie marine sedimentary soil. Harvest Brix 22.3º. 60% Pommard
and 40% Wädenswil planted in 1989. Aged 13 months in French oak barrels, 35% new. Dark garnet color in
Deeply aromatic, with scents of very ripe black cherry, black raspberry accompanied by a slight
oxidative note in the background. Full-bodied with plenty of ripe, sappy, and sweet black fruits underlain with a
thread of oak. The lower pH and muscular tannins lead to some astringency and bitterness on the finish.
2014 Youngberg Hill Jordan Block McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.7% alc., pH 3.20, TA 0.67,
RS 0, 448 cases, $50, screwcap. Volcanic soil. 60% Pommard and 40% Wädenswil clones. Harvest Brix
21.7º. Aged 13 months in French oak barrels, 35% new.
Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. The nose
offers aromas of blackberry jam, cassis, espresso and sage. Richly endowed with a mid weight plus charge of
purple and black fruits framed by a substantial but complimentary tannic structure. Nicely crafted, with deft oak
management, no bitterness, and some length on the pleasingly lengthy finish.
More Pinot Noir
2014 Argyle Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir
13.9% alc., $27 ($19.99 at Trader Joe’s), screwcap.
Fermented in small 1.5-ton lots and plunged by hand.
Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Aromas of
cherry, strawberry, briar and oak barrel lead to a mid weight style offering, featuring flavors of red cherry,
raspberry, cranberry and toasty oak. Secluded tannins, with juicy acidity and a modest finish.
2015 Farmlands Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir
13.1% alc., $22. Grown, produced and bottled by
Johan Vineyards in Rickreall, Oregon.
Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas pick up
intensity over time in the glass, revealing notes of dark cherry, underbrush and toast. Light in weight and
featuring a core of juicy black cherry fruit, this pleasant wine has silky tannins, a compliment of herbal oak, and
a modest finish. A good value play available in supermarkets.
2015 Siduri Yamhill-Carlton Oregon Pinot Noir
14.2% alc., 1,830 cases, $37, screwcap. Cellared and
bottled by Siduri.
Aromas of oak vanillin and shy purple fruits lead to a mid weight charge of succulent black
raspberry and boysenberry fruits backed by balanced tannins. The oak treatment is overwhelming on the nose,
but is well integrated on the palate. The finish offers a pleasingly boisterous fruit presence.