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2009 Oregon Pinot Noir All-Americans



First Team



2007 Antica Terra Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 1,270 cases, $46
Teasing aromas of berry tart and spiced raspberries with a hint of pine tree. Tasty dark berries, black cherries and plum with nuances of minerality, earthiness, seasoned oak, spice and musk, all of which come and go in the glass. There might be some pheromones in there as well as I could not turn away from the glass. This wine has plenty of richness to satisfy, but not in the über rich mold of SQN. It is very clean and silky with imperceptible tannins and impeccable balance. This beauty will hold your interest and is a truly unique artisan Pinot Noir.

2006 Daedelus Maresh Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 140 cases, $60
Very fruity scents of dark red berry compote with oak playing a pleasing supportive role. Luscious and vibrant core of raspberry fruit with a hint of brioche. Harmonious in every way with an unbelievable persistence on the aromatic finish lasting at least 30 seconds. The pedigree of the fruit really shines through. In my experience, it is extremely rare to find a Pinot Noir with such remarkable persistence.

2006 Dobbes Family Estate Quailhurst Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 237 cases, $65
Slightly reduced aromas of dark stone fruits, dark chocolate, charred oak and smoke. Lovely black cherry and berry fruit liquor attack the palate and coat every nook and cranny in the mouth. The fruit is ripe but stops short of over ripeness. The flavors are stunning, close to a slightly sweet and tart freshly baked cherry pie with a perfect crust and a hint of nutmeg spice. Everything is in harmony with supple tannins and a tangy finish. A distinctive wine with great charisma.

2007 Et Fille Wines Kalita Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 380 cases, $38
The most perfumed of the 2007 lineup showing scents of dark red cherries and red plums, red roses and a hint of oak. Delicious dark cherry bombast with accents of spice, brioche, pepper and toast. The tannins are gossamer and the cherry aromas linger endlessly on the teasing finish. This beauty has a gentle richness that is very sensual.

2006 J.K. Carriere Gemini Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 64 cases, $65
The nose is quite alluring as it expands in the glass over time revealing dark red stone fruits, especially black cherries, spice, oak and marzipan. Hearty core of red and black raspberries and cherries engulfed by flamboyant tannins. Two days later this wine was sampled from a previously opened and re-corked bottle and it was drinking beautifully, smoothly textured with more integration of tannins and more expressive fruit. The lesson here is to decant if you have to drink this wine now, but you would be well advised to keep your hands off of it for at least five years. It’s got backside 9s on lock.

2007 Ken Wright Shea Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir725 cases, $47
Deep aromas of black fruits, forest floor and loam draw you in. Earthy dark fruits flood the mouth and fill every nook and cranny. Noticeable oak and tar with a hint of citrus peel on the finish. Big boned and brooding. Picks up expression with time in the glass. This is a wine of obvious pedigree that has the potential to sparkle over the long term. Drank well the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. With this wine, patience will definitely be a virtue.

2006 Laura Volkman Rachel Estate Oregon Pinot Noir 100 cases, $38
Moderately deep reddish-purple color. Lovely aromas of black cherry jam and spice. Very tasty and perfectly ripe black cherry and raspberry fruit with a faint citrus underbelly. Hints of sandalwood, spice and earth add interest. A beautiful wine that is rich, yet lively, with supple tannins, a velvety texture and bright acidity on a lengthy finish. Still my favorite all-time Laura Volkman wine.

2007 Lenné Estate Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir $45
A selection of the best barrels in the cellar. Lovely scents of cherries, spice, violets and spicy oak. Succulent dark stone fruits fan out nicely on the palate enhanced by notes of cola, Asian spice, savory herbs and forest floor. Silky textured and perfectly balanced. This wine shows more terroir than the LeNez bottling from the same vineyard. One of the best 2007 Pinot Noirs from Oregon I have tasted this year.

2007 Lenné Estate Karen’s Pommard Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 73 cases, $55
The aromas recall an exotic perfume exhibiting wild dark red fruits and spring bouquet. The wine is powerfully flavored yet retains the delicacy and velvety texture that makes Pinot Noir so sensually appealing. Multi-layered flavors of red plums, ripe berries, currants, spice and a little earthiness. Perfect integration of t n‘ a. There is something magical about this vineyard.

2008 Privé Vineyard le nord Yamhill County Willamette Valley Pinot Noir $49
Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of black cherries, black raspberries and a hint of exotic spices. Rich and forthcoming with a blackberry and black cherry core clothed in caressing tannins and possessing the right touch of balancing acidity. More lush and forward than the le sud bottling. A dreamy wine with a creamy texture that is approachable now but will benefit from more time in the cellar. If this wine was a lover instead of a wine, it is the one that would make you abandon your family, leave your job, and forfeit your hard-won position in the community for just one more fling

2006 Shea Wine Cellars Homer Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 325 cases, $82
Penetrating and uplifting aromas of dark stone fruits. A great expression of Pinot Noir with layers of powerful flavors including mu shu plum sauce, black raspberry, gregarious baking spice and exotic tea. A tannic edge suggests age ability. A memorable wine that deserves to be opened for a special occasion.



Second Team



2006 Auteur Shea Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 313 cases, $75

2006 Carabella Inchinnan Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 250 cases, $54

2006 Domaine Drouhin Willamette Valley Oregon $39

2007 Kelley Fox Maresh Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 69 cases, $49

2007 Laura Volkman Jacob Estate Oregon Pinot Noir 135 cases, $45

2007 Lenné Estate Jill’s 115 Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 49 cases, $68

2006 L’iris Annie Amie Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 1,200 cases, $75

2007 Scott Paul Audrey Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir $65

2007 Shea Wine Cellars East Hill Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 325 cases, $55

2007 Shea Wine Cellars Pommard Clone Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 275 cases, $55

2006 St. Innocent Villages Cuvée Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2,043 cases, $25



Honorable Mention




2007 Adelsheim Boulder Bluff Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir 240 cases, $58
2006 Anam Cara Cellars Heather’s Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir 50 cases, $65
2007 Anne Amie Estate 150 cases, $50
2006 Dobbes Family Estate Meyer Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 42 cases, $65
2007 Domaine Drouhin Oregon Willamette Valley Pinot Noir $45
2007 Et Fille Maresh Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 151 cases, $42
2006 Evesham Wood Cuvee J Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 171 cases, $45
2006 Johan Vineyards Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 670 cases, $35
2007 Kelley Fox Wines Momtazi Vineyard McMinnville Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 133 cases, $39
2006 Laura Volkman Vineyards Jacob Estate Oregon Pinot Noir 200 cases, $42
2006 Ponzi Vineyards Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2,100 cases, $60
2007 ROCO Private Stash Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 300 cases, $70
2006 St. Innocent Vitae Springs Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Gris 783 cases, $17 (Included here because this is an exceptional example of Oregon Pinot Gris).
2006 Styring Vineyards Premier Estate Ribbon Ridge Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 75 cases, $45
2006 The Eyrie Vineyards Original Vines Reserve Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir $60
2006 Verve Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 110 cases, $33
2006 WillaKenzie Estate Aliette Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 793 cases, $48

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