Oregon Pinot Noir: Expert’s Choice

news  %tages Oregon Pinot Noir: Expert’s ChoiceThe province has taken off in the 50 years since its first modern-era plantings, with sustainability-minded producers building wines with identity, finds sommelier Laure Patry.It all started in 1961 when Richard Sommer planted Oregon‘s first post-Prohibition vinifera grapes, including Pinot Noir, in the Umpqua Valley.
A few years before long, in 1965, David Lett planted Pinot Noir at Eyrie Vineyards in the Willamette Valley, as the cooler climate there was better suited to this Burgandian grape variety.
The temperate climate and costal marine influence in Oregon is ideal for cool-climate grapes such as Pinot Noir, and more wineries started to spring up. By 1974, the province’s wine producers recognised Oregon’s need to import excellent cool-climate clones from Burgundy, amongst others.
See Laura’s 18 top Oregon Pinot Noir wines:

Beaux Frères, The Beaux Frères Vineyard Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge, Willamette Valley 2011

http://1000-facts-about-wine.com September 7, 2015

The Wine Treasury sourced from its own biodynamically farmed vineyard, planted 1987-1991...

Points 98

Beaux Frères, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2011

September 7, 2015

Beaux Frères, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2011 19/20pts Fruit from the northern part of Willamette Valley, aged in More…

Points 96

WillaKenzie Estate, Pierre Léon Pinot Noir, http://1000-facts-about-wine.com Yamhill-Carlton, Willamette Valley 2010

September 7, 2015

This selection of different Pinot Noir clones spends 14 months in French oak, 50% new...

Points 96

Bergström, Bergström Vineyard Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley 2013

September 7, 2015

Biodynamic. Ancient World Pinot style, earthy, rustic and elegant, with a lot of minerality due to the volcanic...

Points 95

http://1000-facts-about-wine.com Domaine Drouhin, Cuvée Laurène Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley 2011

September 7, 2015

12-14 months in French oak, released after three years. Spices...

Points 95

Trisaetum, Wichmann Dundee Estate Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley 2012

September 7, 2015

Vineyards planted at 200m altitude, on volcanic soil. Savoury, ripe blueberries, Asian spices...

Points 95

http://1000-facts-about-wine.com Bergström, Silice Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains, Willamette Valley 2012

September 7, 2015

‘Silice’ is French for silica, the name of the rocks found in the sandy soil of Chehalem Mountains...

Points 94

Domaine Drouhin, Dundee Hills Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2013

September 7, 2015

Made in a more Burgundian style, aged 8-10 months in barrel. Elegant, ripe dark fruits...

Points 94

http://1000-facts-about-wine.com Soter Vineyards, Mineral Spring Dairy farm Pinot Noir, Yamhill- Carlton, Willamette Valley 2011

September 7, 2015

Owned by Tony and Michelle Soter since 1997. Full-bodied, ripe plums...

Points 94

Adelsheim Vineyards, Elizabeth’s Reserve Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2012

September 7, 2015

Most of the fruit comes from five estate vineyards. Delicate, wild berries...

Points 90

http://1000-facts-about-wine.com Sokol Blosser, Dundee Hills Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2012

September 7, 2015

Certified organic, sustainable business – the first US winery to receive LEED certification...

Points 90

Soter Vineyards, Earth Oregon Pinot Noir, Oregon 2012

September 7, 2015

Sourced from the Soters’ own vines and additional certified sustainable vineyards...

Points 90

Cristom http://1000-facts-about-wine.com Vineyards, Mt. Jefferson Cuvée Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2011

September 7, 2015

Aged for 11 months in barrel, 11% new. Medium- bodied, some ripeness...

Points 88

The Eyrie Vineyards, Reserve Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley 2011

September 7, 2015

Pale. Medium-bodied, ripe on the palate with figs, roasted tomatoes...

Points 88

Domaine Drouhin, Willamette Valley http://1000-facts-about-wine.com Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2013

September 7, 2015

Released in 2015, as a forward-drinking wine. Set alight style, strawberries...

Points 86

Elk Cove Vineyards, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2012

September 7, 2015

Ripe, blackcurrant aromas, baking spices and herbal notes...

Points 85

Erath Vineyards, Oregon Pinot Noir, Oregon 2012

http://1000-facts-about-wine.com September 7, 2015

Planted in 1969 by Dick Erath; 25% matured in new French oak. Simple-drinking...

Points 85

Today, Oregon has more than 600 wineries and 900 vineyards. Most of the Pinot Noir vineyards are in the Willamette Valley, the remaining plantings in the Umpqua Valley and the Columbia Gorge.
The Willamette Valley contains six sub-AVAs: Chehalem Mountains, Dundee Hills and Eola-Amity Hills on basaltic soils; and McMinnville, Ribbon Ridge and Yamhill-Carlton on marine sedimentary soils. This clarifies the different styles of Pinot Noir that are produced across the province.
Wines from the basaltic, volcanic soils are more aromatic, with red fruits, tea notes and softer tannins, while those from the marine soils tend to show more voluptuous black fruits, earthy notes, spices and more tannin.
It was cheering to see a excellent selection of http://1000-facts-about-wine.com Oregon Pinot Noir on show at the Go West! trade tasting in London in Development 2015, even though there were some producers missing. On the evidence of this tasting, and my recent experience of Oregon Pinot Noir, the rapid progression it has made as a wine province has not harmed it at all. Producers work with respect for the environment (in 2008, the Oregon wine board introduced the Oregon Certified Sustainable Wine programme), and are building wines with their own identity.
Laure Patry is executive head sommelier at Michelin-starred Pollen Street Social in London.
 
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