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68-75 Pinot Noir - Lachini Vineyards

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					     TA S T I N G R E S U LT S                 pinot noir




68      W I N E P R E SS N O RT H W E ST • S UM M ER 2 0 0 5   W I N E P R E S S N W. C O M
                                                                                                                               TA S T I N G R E S U LT S

                                                                Our judges were: Parks Redwine of
         Pinot Noir                                        Atlanta, a wine importer, wine writer and
                                                           director of the Northwest Wine Summit
                                                                                                                               W I N E R AT I N G S
                                                                                                                   A L L R AT E D W I N E S are tasted blind and
                                                           competition; Coke Roth of Richland,                     placed in the following categories:
         Oregon Pinot Noirs                                Wash., an international wine judge and
                                                           lawyer; Bob Wo e h l e r, Wine Press                    Outstanding
         still reign supreme                               Northwest’s tasting editor; Paul Sinclair,              These wines have superior character-
                                                           Wine Press Northwest tasting panelist;                  istics and should be highly sought
                                                           Eric Degerman, Wine Press Northwest                     a ft e r.
         S T O RY B Y A N D Y P E R D U E                  associate editor; and Andy Perdue, Wine
         P H OTO S BY J A C K IE J O H N S T ON                                                                    Excellent
                                                           Press Northwest editor.
                                                                                                                   Top-notch wines with particularly
                                                                Redwine, who has been judging and
                                                                                                                   strong qualities.


         I     n the past few years, Oregon has
               made great strides in proving it’s
               about more than Pinot Noir. Whether
         it’s Syrah from the Rogue Va l l e y,
         Tempranillo from the Umpqua Va l l e y,
                                                           writing about wine since the late ’60s,
                                                           said of the Pinot Noirs he tasted, “On a
                                                           global scale, many of these can hold
                                                           their own with any in the world. You can
                                                           find top-quality wines in all price
                                                                                                                   Recommended
                                                                                                                   Delicious, well-made wines with tru e
                                                                                                                   varietal characteristics.

         Zinfandel from The Dalles or Caber n e t          ranges,” he added. “ Just as color is not               Best Buy
         Sauvignon from the Oregon side of the             an indication of quality, neither is price.”            A wine that is $15 ($20 Canadian) and
         Walla Walla Va l l e y, these efforts prove the        Redwine also talked about the grape’s              u n d e r.
         state’s diversity.                                notorious finickiness: “It’s legendar y ! ”             Prices listed are approximate retail
             But at a national — even global —             he declared. “ You make a great wine one                and should be used as a guideline.
         level, Oregon still is about the noble            y e a r, and it can be five or 10 years before          Prices are in U.S. dollars unless oth-
         Pinot Noir.                                       you make another great one, regardless                  e rwise noted.
             It’s not just perception: Oregon Pinot        of vintage or clone. You can say the same
         Noir acreage (7,637) is more th an ever y         thing about the famed wines of
                                                           B u rg u n d y. There are perhaps 1,000 vari-         Raptor Ridge Winery                  $29
         oth er wine grape in the state com bined                                                                2003 Stony Mountain Vineyard Pinot Noir,
         (6,063). And nearly half of all the Pinot         ables that can be pointed out, and each
                                                                                                                 Willamette Valley Yamhill County grape
         Noir is planted in Yamhill County, home           one is exacerbated when it comes to
                                                           Pinot Noir. ”                                         grower Stan Murayama and winemake r
         to nearly 10 0 Ore gon wineries and sev-                                                                Scott Shull combine to craft a Pinot Noir
         eral new app ellations.                                France’s Burgundy region is the ances-
                                                           tral home for Pinot Noir and still is                 of exceptional beauty. It opens with
             Mind you, Pinot Noir is grown else-                                                                 inviting aromas of cola, black cherr i e s ,
         where in the North west. A bit is planted         where most believe the greatest Pinots
                                                           are crafted. But Oregon has been making               tea and hints of leather, followed by
         in Idaho’s Snake R iver Va l l e y, and the
                                                           noise since the mid-’70s, a few years                 young, exuberant flavors of blackber r i e s
         fickle grape shows a lot of promise in
                                                           a f ter pioneers Dick Ponzi, David Le t t ,           and black cher ries. A big, fru i t - d r i v e n
         British Columbia’s Okanag an Va l l e y.
                                                           David Adelsheim and Dick Erath ar r i v e d           wine with plenty of backbone. —92 cases
         Washing ton rarely is th ough t of as Pinot
         c o u n t r y, b ut cooler areas such as the      in the Willamette Valley and started to
                                                                                                                 Argyle Winery                         $40
         Puget Sound, areas north of Po r t l a n d        plant grapes.
                                                                                                                 2002 Nuthouse Pinot Noir, Willamette
         and the emerging Chelan Valley provide                 Since then, other New World Pinot
                                                                                                                 Valley Rollin Soles arrived in Oregon
         hope.                                             Noir regions have emerged, especially
                                                                                                                 from Texas (via California and Au s t r a l i a )
             With this in mind, we gathered more           C a l i f o r nia’s North Coast and Russian
                                                                                                                 in the mid-’80s and has dazzled wine
         than 100 Northwest Pinot Noirs and put            River Va l l e y, as well as New Zealand. But
                                                                                                                 lovers ever since. This beautifully craft e d
         them to the test. The results were as             when a serious Pinot Noir discussion
                                                                                                                 Pinot Noir is complex from the first whiff
         expected: Oregon dominated the list               comes up among wine professionals,
                                                                                                                 of black cherries, cinnamon, leather and
         from top to bottom, with all but one              Oregon is more likely than not to be a
                                                                                                                 vanilla through the vibrant flavors of
         among the top-ranked “Outstandings”               big part of the conversation.
                                                                                                                 s t r a w b e rries, cher ries and chocolate.
         being from the Beaver State.                           On to the wines.
                                                                                                                 Mature tannins and bright acidity provide
             Of the 107 wines we began with, 83                                                                  p e rfect balance for drinking now or cel-
         made our cut as “Outstanding,”                    O U T S TA N D I N G                                  laring for a few years. —3,936 cases
         “Excellent” or “Recommended.” Among
         the top wines emerged several young               Carabella Vineyard                       $35          Namasté Vineyards                     $30
         stars, including Namaste, Freja and               2002 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley O u r              2003 Prosperity Block Reserve Pinot Noir,
         Lachini (with two top-ranked wines), as           judges deemed this “the class of the tast-            Willamette Valley This Dallas, Ore., win-
         well as veterans Willamette Va l l e y            ing,” thanks to aromas of dried strawber-             e r y is fairly new and off to a strong start.
         Vineyards, Argyle and WillaKenzie. The            ries, sweet spices and hints of moist                 The grapes are from the estate vineyard
         lone non-Oregon Pinot Noir was from               earth, as well as elegant flavors of round,           in the Eola Hills, and they provide for a
         Mountain Dome, a Spokane winer y best             rich red fruit with silky tannins and                 beautiful Pinot with aromas of sweet
         known for making sparkling wine. Its              beautiful length. Crafted using estate                c h e rries, cranber ries, spices and mint,
         grapes came from a vineyard in White              f r uit from the northern Willamette Va l l e y.      followed by round, rich, velvety flavors
         Salmon north of the Columbia Gorg e .             —550 cases                                            of sweet strawberries and a hint of

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     TA S T I N G R E S U LT S                  pinot noir




      chocolate. Pe rfectly balanced through                   flavors of bright fruit with intense acidi-   graceful flavors of bright, glorious fru i t .
      the lengthy finish. —100 cases                           t y, well-integrated oak and a wonder f u l   Drink early and oft e n . —5,500 cases
                                                               f i n i s h . —175 cases
      Freja Cellars                         $30                                                              De Ponte Cellars                         $28
      2001 Winemakers Reserve Pinot Noir,                      WillaKenzie Estate                    $45     2002 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley Ta k i n g
      Willamette Valley We’re getting used to                  2002 Emery Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley      advantage of old vines in Oregon’s
      seeing elegant Pinot Noirs from Fr e j a                 Considered one of Oregon’s finest and         Dundee Hills, this young Pinot Noir pro-
      o w n e r / w i n e m a ker Willy Gianopulos. This,      most innovative wineries, WillaKenzie         ducer uses the services of globetrotting
      from his winer y ’s fourth vintage, is                   c r a fts no fewer than 10 different Pinot    w i n e m a ker Isabelle Dutartre, who com-
      loaded with classic aromas of strawberr y                Noirs, many of which go only to wine          mutes from her French home. The result-
      and raspberr y jam that mingle with hints                club members. This one comes from the         ing wine is rich in aromas of Ra i n i e r
      of cloves and sweet herbs. Bright, youth-                E m e r y estate vineyard. Its upfront aro-   c h e rries, strawberries and black tea, fol-
      ful flavors show off delicious notes of                  mas of violets, earth, cola and raspber-      lowed by subtle, understated flavors of
      c h e rries, raspberries and spices, all                 ries give way to intense flavors of red       sweet herbs and black cher r i e s .
      b a c ked up with plush, evolved tannins                 f r uit backed with well-handled oak,         Beautifully balanced, this will pair with a
      through the memorable finish. —125 cases                 bright acidity and harmonious tannins.        broad menu of food. —1,250 cases
                                                               —602 cases
      Silvan Ridge                         $28                                                               Brandborg Vineyard and Winery$18
      2002 Reserve Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley               Mountain Dome Winery               $19        2003 Benchlands Pinot Noir, Umpqua
      This longtime Eugene winer y (first vin-                 2001 Pleasant Prairie Pinot Noir,             Valley Te rr y and Sue Brandborg moved
      tage 1979) produces a broad range of                     Washington The top Washington wine from       their winer y from the Bay Area to
      wines, from Chardonnay to Syrah to                       our judging comes from sparkling wine         S o u t h e rn Oregon’s Umpqua Valley and
      Zinfandel, and its efforts often rise to                 producer Michael Manz, who uses grapes        are quickly making their mark. This gor-
      the upper echelons of our judgings. This                 from the Cr ystal Pheasant Vineyard near      geous and affordable Pinot Noir offers
      is no exception, thanks to complex aro-                  the Columbia River Gorge. Aromas of           aromas of strawberr y jam, cola, leather
      mas and flavors of licorice, bright fru i t              lilacs, strawberries and black pepper meld    and earth and dark flavors of rich, bold
      and hints of leather and chocolate. — 3 3 0              with smooth, classic varietal flavors of      f ruit that is balanced with bright acidity
      cases                                                    fresh berr i e s . —500 cases                 and just-right tannins. —453 cases

      Lachini Vineyards                     $37                Willamette Valley Vineyards        $18        Willamette Valley Vineyards         $17
      2003 S Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley This is             2004 Whole Cluster Fermented Pinot Noir,      2003 Whole Cluster Pinot Noir, Oregon
      one of two Lachini wines that earned our                 Oregon One of Oregon’s largest wineries       Though meant to be consumed quickly
      top rating in this judging. The grapes                   annually releases this fresh, ebullient       a fter release, this nouveau-style Pinot
      come from Lachini’s estate vineyard in                   Pinot Noir just a few months after har-       Noir still is showing beautifully 18
      N e w b e rg, Ore., and the resulting wines              vest. Made in a nouveau style, this shows     months later, thanks to bright, tangy aro-
      reveal warm, inviting aromas of spicy                    off aromas of strawberr y jam, vanilla        mas of strawberr y candy and bing cher-
      c h e rries and hints of vanilla, as well as             bean and raspber ries that lead to petite,    ries and jammy flavors of fresh red

70      W I N E P R E SS N O RT H W E ST • S UM M ER 2 0 0 5                                                                                  W I N E P R E S S N W. C O M
                                                                                         pinot noir                   TA S T I N G R E S U LT S




          b e rries. A hint of sweetness makes this a    appeal. Velvety tannins provide a round,          has been leading the charge for Oregon
          p e rfect entr y wine for first-time Pinot     approachable experience. —2,274 cases             Pinot Noir. Second-generation winemake r
          Noir drinkers. —5,000 cases                                                                      Luisa Ponzi continues to craft wines of
                                                         King Estate                          $24          grace and balance. This reser ve-style red
          Lachini Vineyards                      $36     2002 Pinot Noir, Oregon King Estate is            provides intriguing aromas of ripe fru i t ,
          2003 Lachini Family Estate Pinot Noir,         taking the message of Oregon Pinot Noir           sun-dried tomatoes and forest floor, as
          Willamette Valley This just-released Pinot     to the nation, thanks to its broad distri-        well as expansive flavors of supple fru i t ,
          Noir from one of Oregon’s hottest new          bution. The message here includes aro-            black pepper and a velvety mouth feel.
          boutique producers shows off stylish aro-      mas of elegant strawberries and cherr i e s       —796 cases
          mas of spicy dark fr uit, moist earth and      and bold flavors of raspber ries and light
          pipe tobacco, as well as opulent flavors       oak. Smooth tannins and bright acidity            Hamacher Wines                            $35
          of ripe cherries and blackberries. A com-      give this food-friendliness. —16,500 cases        2001 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley T h i s
          plex, dark, layered wine that should age                                                         boutique producer in Carlton, Ore., has a
          w e l l . — 825 cases                          ElvenGlade Vineyard                    $18        Ponzi connnection, as winemaker and
                                                         2003 Pinot Noir, Yamhill County Tu c ked in       n a m e s a ke Eric Hamacher is mar ried to
          Henry Estate                           $18     n o r t h e rn Yamhill County, ElvenGlade is      Luisa Ponzi. The handcrafted result is a
          2001 Pinot Noir, Umpqua Valley T h i s         quickly earning a reputation for beauti-          g o rgeous Pinot with aromas of moist
          S o u t h e rn Oregon pioneer (first vintage   fully crafted wines. This Pinot Noir is a         earth, dark cher ries and sweet pipe
          was 1978) continues to shine with              great example, thanks to classy aromas of         t o b a c c o, followed by silky flavors of
          Oregon’s trademark red. It is a prototyp-      c h e rries, cola, moist earth and vanilla,       round, balanced fruit and plenty of
          ical Pinot with aromas of strawberr i e s ,    followed by bright, balanced flavors of           l e n g t h . —1,542 cases
          earth and tobacco and flavors of pie           spicy fruit. —300 cases
          c h e rries. Well-managed oak doesn’t dom-                                                       Freja Cellars                                 $16
          inate the fruit, and right-on acidity          Torii Mor                            $22          2002 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley
          brings it all together. —1,204 cases           2003 Pinot Noir, Oregon For the past              W i n e m a ker Willy Gianopulos’ mainstream
                                                         decade, Torii Mor has been ear ning a             Pinot Noir is a beauty with elegant, sub-
                                                         reputation as one of Yamhill County ’ s           tle aromas of dried cherries, cola and
          EXCELLENT                                      finest Pinot producers. This bottling             hints of blueberries and flavors of
                                                         shows off aromas of dried cherries, vanil-        approachable strawberries. Smooth tan-
          Belle Vallee Cellars               $20         la and hints of oak, followed by rich fla-        nins give this youthful approachability.
          2002 Pinot Noir, Oregon This young             vors of raspberries, chocolate and hints          —1,200 cases
          C o rvallis, Ore., winer y is making a big     of licorice. A balanced and delicious
          splash quickly, thanks to wines like this.     w i n e . —4,809 cases                            Ana Vineyards                           $39
          It opens with aromas of spicy cherr i e s                                                        2003 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley A n d y
          and hints of cedar and leather that            Ponzi Vineyards                      $50          Humphrey bought an older Dundee Hills
          quickly give way to bold, rich, elegant        2002 Reserve Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley        vineyard in 2001 and makes this wine in
          flavors of dark fruit with hedonistic          For more than 30 years, the Ponzi family          collaboration with Mike Etzel of famed

W I N E P R E S S N W. C O M                                                                           S UM M ER 2 0 0 5 • W IN E PR E S S N O R T H W E S T   71
     TA S T I N G R E S U LT S                  pinot noir
      Beaux Freres. The resulting Pinot Noir is
      complex, thanks to aromas of sweet
                                                                            AT TAC K O F THE C LO NES
      herbs, bing cherries, chocolate and                                                                P I N O T NO I R
      earth. Flavors of intense, dark-toned
      f ruit are backed with well-managed tan-
      nins and bright acidity. —195 cases                      J   ust about any discussion among serious Oregon Pinot Noir lovers is likely to
                                                                   include clones. We aren’t talking about British sheep or Star Wa r s here. We’re talk-
                                                               ing about different versions of the noble Pinot Noir grape. A clone is a genetic muta-
      Dobbes Family Estate                     $50
                                                               tion that can occur in a vineyard or lab because of disease or propogating a vine from
      2002 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley Fo rm e r
                                                               a seedling. Much research goes into creating clones on purpose that are more adapt-
      Willamette Valley Vineyards winemaker Joe
                                                               able to various climates.
      Dobbes now crafts wine for a number of
                                                                   Outside of Burg u n d y, no other region in the world works as hard at clonal selection
      Oregon projects, including Wine by Joe,
                                                               as Oregon. Because the Willamette Valley is cool, grape growers and winemakers do
      Paschal Winer y and this new label. This
                                                               e v e r ything they can to get their grapes ripe before autumn rains arrive. This means
      Pinot Noir opens with complex aromas of
                                                               planting the right clones in the right locations (along with dozens of other factors).
      lilacs, leather and raspberries, followed by
                                                                   Sorting out Oregon’s seven Pinot Noir clones can be daunting, so we turned to
      ripe, bold flavors of bing cherries, choco-
                                                               Ken Wright, arguably Oregon’s most famous winemaker and owner of Ken Wr i g h t
      late and earth. Well-managed tannins give
                                                               Cellars, our 2005 Pacific Northwest Winer y of the Ye a r.
      this youthful approachability. —145 cases
                                                                   Wright said that when the root louse phylloxera showed up in the early ’90s in
      Best Buy                                                 Oregon, many replantings and new vineyards focused on the new Dijon clones, but in
      Amity Vineyards$15                                       the past five years, growers and winemakers have recognized the importance of the
      2002 Pinot Noir, Oregon W i n e m a ke r                 two older clones. “Both have a big place in creating complete wines here,” he said.
      Myron Redford has crafted distinctive                        Here is his take :
      Oregon Pinot Noir for better than a quar-                LON G TIME OR E GO N C LON E S : Two clones of Pinot Noir made up Oregon’s early
      ter centur y, and this affordable, easily                acreage, Wadensville and Po m m a r d .
      accessible version is a great example.                   WA D E N S V I L L E : This Swiss clone is a traditional part of Oregon’s wine grape history.
      Subtle aromas of cher ries, spices, mint
                                                               Chris Camarda of Washington wine fame.              estate vineyard and winer y in Hillsboro,
      and cranberries give way to round, mel-
                                                               It provides beautiful aromatics of ripe             Ore. This delicious example opens with
      low flavors of sweet, silky fruit. This is
                                                               r a s p b e rries and cherries with hints of        inviting aromas of cher ries, violets,
      drinking beautifully now and shows a lot
      of promise for the future. —2,690 cases                  oak and spice. The rich, expansive fla-             sweet spices and vanilla, followed by
                                                               vors show off strawberr y jam and cur-              supple flavors of rich fr uit, leather and
      CedarCreek Estate Winery$35 CDN                          rants. Supple tannins lead to an elegant            tea. Velvety tannins lead to a particularly
      2002 Platinum Reserve Pinot Noir,                        f i n i s h . —125 cases                            long finish. —575 cases
      Okanagan Valley British Columbia shows
      great promise for producing elegant                      Torii Mor                              $35          Bishop Creek Cellars                 $25
      Pinot Noirs, and this Kelowna winer y is                 2002 Reserve Deux Verres Pinot Noir,                2003 Barrel Select Pinot Noir, Oregon T h i s
      leading the way in quality. Winemake r                   Willamette Valley This reser ve-style Pinot         Portland winer y relies on fruit from its
      Tom Di Bello is crafting gorgeous reds,                  Noir from a high-end Yamhill County                 12-acre Yamhill County vineyard. This
      and this reminds us of Old and New                       producer provides aromas and flavors                excellent example of Pinot Noir offers
      World styles, thanks to complex notes of                 that are a cross of New and Old Wo r l d ,          aromas of cherries, vanilla and black
      clove, cherries and earthiness. Luscious                 with notes of moist earth, sweet herbs              pepper and flavors of opulent dark fru i t
      f ruit and mild oak treatment provide bal-               and cherries on the nose and spicy fru i t          that shows off underlying notes of mint
      ance and approachability. —1,003 cases                   and chocolate on the palate. A well-                and peppercorns. —700 cases
                                                               s t ructured wine with a smooth finish.
      Maryhill Winery                          $18             —988 cases                                          Torii Mor                            $40
      2002 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley M a ry h i l l                                                            2002 Seven Springs Vineyard Pinot Noir,
      has made a Pinot using Willamette Va l l e y             Domaine Coteau                           $27        Polk County Seven Springs is an Eola Hills
      grapes for a few vintages, though it’s like-             2003 Pinot Noir, Yamhill County M i n n e s o t a   vineyard that is highly regarded by a num-
      ly to drop the wine from its portfolio in                native Dean Sandifer relocated to                   ber of Willamette Valley wineries. To r i i
      the future. The ’02 version offers rich,                 Oregon’s Yamhill County in the mid-’90s             M o r’s version is a rich, complex Pinot
      dark, intense aromas and flavors of                      to plant a vineyard and make Pinot Noir.            that includes hints of oak, leather and
      chocolate-covered cherries with hints of                 This youthful red provides spicy, smoky             b a rnyard along with aromas and flavors of
      mint tea. It’s a fruit-driven wine with                  aromas of cher ries and chocolate and fla-          fresh strawberries and black cherr i e s .
      approachable tannins. —1,100 cases                       vors of sweet red fruit, cola and tea. A            Rich acidity and modest tannins give this
                                                               hint of residual sugar is balanced with             t e rrific length. —210 cases
      Christopher Bridge Cellars            $28                modest tannins and bright acidity. — 9 0 0
      2003 Satori Springs Pinot Noir, Willamette               cases                                               Best Buy
      Valley This winer y and vineyard near                                                                        Firesteed Cellars                   $10
      Oregon City, south of Portland, is fairly                Beran Vineyards                         $30         2002 Pinot Noir, Oregon Considering how
      new on the wine scene but is off to a                    2002 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley Bill and         affordable this wine is — and how much
      strong start. This wine from estate                      Sharon Beran are building a reputation              is available! — this must be among the
      grapes was made by the owner ’s brother,                 for high-quality Pinot Noirs at their               best bargains in the world of wine. Sweet

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                                                                                                   pinot noir                     TA S T I N G R E S U LT S


          Wright describes it as a pretty grape with notes of violets and blueberries. “Te x t u r a l l y, it’s       leads to an elegant finish. —3,579 cases
          not as tannic,” Wright said. “It keeps wines from being overly dense. It helps the wine
          feel like it has lots of dimension.” This grape often provides more red fruit components.                    Solena Cellars                         $25
                                                                                                                       2003 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley Fo rm e r
          P O M M A R D : Another longtime clone planted in Oregon, this French version is seen as
          the frame of many Pinot Noirs. Color, structure and density can come from Po m m a r d                       WillaKenzie winemaker La u r e n t
          because it has more breadth, tannin and density. “It played a huge role in the early                         Montalieu’s winer y in downtown Carlton,
          development of Oregon Pinot Noir ’s reputation,” Wright said.                                                Ore., focuses on wines from throughout
          N EW D IJ ON C LO N E S: In the past decade, five new clones developed at the Dijon
                                                                                                                       Oregon, including Southern Oregon
          Experimental Station in France have gained in importance in Oregon. These new                                Syrah. This Pinot is subtle in the nose
          grapes tend to have smaller ber ries than Wadensville and Pommard, thus providing a                          with hints of tobacco, cherries and pep-
          greater skin-to-juice ratio that results in darker colors and more tannins. They also                        p e r. But in the mouth, it explodes with
          tend to ripen earlier and show darker tones in their aromatics and flavors.                                  intense flavors of sweet dark cherr i e s ,
          6 6 7 : Wright described this as somewhat erratic in the vineyard, with berr y size and
                                                                                                                       integrated chocolate and black tea. Serv e
          cluster weight often uneven. But it can produce a fascinating wine with complex aro-                         with duck. —449 cases
          mas and textures.
                                                                                                                       Cuneo Cellars                       $50
          7 7 7 : More consistent in the vineyard than 667, clone 777 can produce a denser wine,
                                                                                                                       2002 Cana’s Feast Cuvée G Pinot Noir,
          and Wright describes it as the most complete clone for overall complexity, texture                           Willamette Valley Our Oregon Winer y of
          and aromatics. “It has more going on.”                                                                       the Year has crafted a reser ve-style wine
          1 1 3 : This has terrific texture, Wright said, and is a little more expressive early on                     with rich aromas and flavors of bing
          than other clones.                                                                                           c h e rries, sweet pipe tobacco and black
          114 AND 115: These two clones are more powerful than 113, Wright said. They are not                          tea. A hint of residual sugar brightens
          as openly textured or expressive in their youth as 113, but they do open up with time.                       the palate through the enjoyable finish.
              Want to taste these clones? Many Oregon wineries separate their clones and some-                         This will be released in 2006. —264 cases
          times bottle them by themselves. WillaKenzie Estate near the town of Yamhill actually
          produces clone-designated Pinot Noirs specifically for its wine club members. e                              Willamette Valley Vineyards         $28
                                                                                                                       2002 Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir,
          spices, strawberries and hints of oak on             of Willamette Valley V ineyards’ portfolio,             Willamette Valley From one of Oregon’s
          the nose lead to flavors of gorg e o u s             Tualatin continues to craft delicious                   l a rgest producers comes a big wine with
          upfront strawber ries and cola. We l l - m a n-      wines. This vintage shows off har m o-                  generous amounts of fruit from first
          aged oak and smooth tannins provide a                nious aromas and flavors of lush, fresh                 whiff through the lengthy finish. Notes
          memorable finish. —50,931 cases                      f ruit, leather and black tea. Silky tannins            of earth, oak and sweet herbs mingle
                                                               lead to a memorable finish. —1,305 cases                with flavors of ripe strawberries. We l l -
          Best Buy
                                                                                                                       balanced acidity, tannins and fruit make
          Spruce Goose                         $15             King Estate                           $50
          2002 Hughes Flying Boat Pinot Noir,                                                                          this a wine that likely will age gracefully.
                                                               2002 Domaine Pinot Noir, Oregon K i n g
          Willamette Valley This wine is made for                                                                      —192 cases
                                                               Estate’s Domaine wines are made from
          E v e rgreen Orchards, a hazelnut farm i n g         estate, certified-organic grapes and rep-               Adelsheim Vineyard                   $40
          company that also owns the Everg r e e n             resent a new direction for the Eugene-                  2003 Elizabeth’s Reserve Pinot Noir,
          Museum, home to Howard Hughes’ infa-                 area giant. This new release is still pretty            Yamhill County This blend of Pinot Noir
          mous Spr uce Goose airplane. The Pinot               tight, but it’s beginning to reveal its full            from five vineyards represents the best
          offers elegant aromas and plush flavors              potential with aromas and flavors of                    b a r rels from this longtime Ya m h i l l
          of cherries and raspberries with hints of            l o g a n b e rries, cherries, leather and tobac-       County producer. Though still ver y
          oak. A tasty drink-now wine. —2,700 cases            c o. It’s showing a lot of oak now but                  youthful, this Pinot Noir provides a
                                                               should become better integrated with                    glimpse of where it’s going: Aromas of
          Laurel Ridge Winery                      $38
                                                               t i m e . —1,060 cases                                  bright cherries, cranber ries, violets and
          2002 Wirtz Vineyard Reserve Pinot Noir,
                                                                                                                       spice lead to penetrating flavors of opu-
          Willamette Valley W i n e m a ker Jason Bull is      Ponzi Vineyards                        $20              lent sweet fr uit, black tea and hints of
          reinvigorating a winer y that moved to               2003 Tavola Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley               l e a t h e r. A well-balanced wine with great
          Yamhill County from Forest Grove in                  This Pinot Noir is a blend of seven                     l e n g t h . —8,400 cases
          2001. This delicious reser ve-style Pinot            Willamette Valley vineyards, providing
          Noir offers aromas and flavors of black              broad complexity that reveals itself with               Silvan Ridge                            $19
          c h e rries, strawberries, vanilla and a hint        aromas and flavors of spicy pie cherr i e s ,           2002 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley T h i s
          of oak. It’s incredibly easy drinking now            moist earth, fresh strawberries and hints               well-b alanced, fr uit-driven Pinot Noir
          and should age well for a half-decade or             of leather . —2,088 cases                               from a top Eugene, Ore., producer is
          s o. —700 cases                                                                                              rich in aromas and flavors of spicy cher-
                                                               Ponzi Vineyards                          $30            ries, ripe strawber ries and even hints of
          Tualatin Estate                           $28        2003 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley A n o t h e r        c i t rus. It’s an easy-drinking red with
          2000 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley T h i s           delicious wine from one of Oregon’s tru e               austere use of oak and lovely acidity.
          n o r t h e rn Willamette Valley vineyard was        Pinot pioneers, this is a graceful,                     Pair with ever ything from salmon to
          planted more than three decades ago,                 restrained red with aromas of blueber-                  b e e f. —985 cases
          and the resulting wines have long been               ries, earth and chocolate and balanced
          favored by Oregon wine lovers. Now part              flavors of plush cherries. Modest acidity               Kramer Vineyards                              $25

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     TA S T I N G R E S U LT S                  pinot noir
     2001 Rebecca’s Reserve Pinot Noir,
     Yamhill County This longtime Ya m h i l l
                                                           ed an Old World-style Pinot Noir that pro-
                                                           vides spicy aromas of cranberries, earthi-
                                                                                                                 RECOMMENDED
     County winer y has crafted a reser v e - s t y l e    ness and a bit of oak, followed by ripe
                                                                                                                 Cuneo Cellars                             $25
     red that is loaded with fruit and com-                flavors of bing cher ries, rhubarb and just
                                                                                                                 2003 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley T h i s
     p l e x i t y. Aromas and flavors of cherr i e s ,    a hint of intriguing tar. —300 cases
                                                                                                                 tasty Pinot from a Carlton, Ore., produc-
     rhubarb, red currants and hints of mush-
                                                           Best Buy                                              er offers subtle aromas of oak and ch er-
     room are layered with hints of bitter-
     sweet chocolate. Should pair well with                Henry Estate                      $13                 ries and flavors of round, sw eet fr u i t
                                                           2002 Umpqua Cuvée Pinot Noir, Umpqua                  with good length. —1,152 c ases
     s i r l o i n . —100 cases
                                                           Valley A delicious and affordable
                                                           S o u t h e rn Oregon Pinot Noir, this offers         Amity Vineyards                      $16
     Benton-Lane Winery                     $20
                                                           aromas and flavors of spicy cherries and              2002 Cattrall Brothers Vineyard Eco-Wine
     2002 Pinot Noir, Oregon Using fr uit from
                                                           hints of licorice and strawberries. A bold-           Pinot Noir, Oregon This wine from certi-
     this southern Willamette Valley winer y ’ s
                                                           ly structured, well-balanced wine with                fied organic grapes has no sulfites
     estate vineyard, this delicious Pinot Noir
                                                           rich chocolate notes on the finish.                   added. It offers delicious aromas and fla-
     shows off classic aromas and flavors of
                                                           —1,930 cases                                          vors of ripe cherries, hints of strawber-
     spicy dark fruit, minerally earth, violets
                                                                                                                 ries and light oak. —1,480 cases
     and tart cherries. Initially, it shows a tan-
                                                           Willamette Valley Vineyards          $17
     nic side, but it loosens up when decant-              2002 Vintage Select Pinot Noir, Oregon                Torii Mor                           $40
     e d . —13,800 c ases                                  Willamette Valley V ineyards’ mainstream              2002 Temperance Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir,
                                                           Pinot Noir is a delicious wine at a good              Polk County Temperance Hill V ineyard is
     Dobbes Family Estate                    $20                                                                 highly regarded by Oregon’s top wine-
     2002 Grand Assemblage Cuvée Pinot                     price. Classic aromas of spicy cherr i e s ,
                                                           lilacs and vanilla lead to gentle, silky fla-         m a kers, and it’s easy to see why. This
     Noir, Oregon W i n e m a ker Joe Dobbes sees
                                                           vors of red fr uit. A young, ready- t o - d r i n k   version is rich in bright aromas and fla-
     all of Oregon as his vineyard. He chooses
                                                           wine that will hit store shelves in July.             vors of strawber ries, pie cherries and
     grapes from throughout the state to craft
                                                           —16,500 cases                                         hints of white pepper. —165 cases
     his wines. This cuvée is a bit mysterious
     in the glass, with notes of smoke, tar,                                                                     Bridgeview Vineyard                   $20
                                                           Koenig Vineyards                     $18
     earth and even maple syr up on the aro-               2003 Albers Vineyard Pinot Noir, Idaho                2000 Reserve Pinot Noir, Oregon This richly
     mas and dark, understated cher ries in                S o u t h e r n Idaho’s Snake R iver Va l l e y       s t ructured red from one of Oregon’s
     the mouth. Tamed tannins and bright                   grows a bit of Pinot Noir, th ough the                l a rgest producers offers aromas and flavors
     acidity give this Pinot good backbone for             region is tre nding toward war m e r- c l i-          of dark cherries, minerally earth and a hint
     the long haul. —786 cases                             m ate grapes. This example from our                   of mint. A delicious, silky mouth feel leads
                                                           20 05 Idaho Winer y of the Year show s                to a memorable finish. —582 cases
     Namasté Vineyards                     $20
     2003 Abundance Block Pinot Noir,                      good promise, th anks to intense arom as
                                                                                                                 Best Buy
     Willamette Valley Cool coastal breezes                and flavors of black cher ries and spicy
                                                                                                                 Quails' Gate Estate Winery$19 CDN
     swing through this Salem-area vineyard                oak. This is a young wine that needs                  2003 Limited Release Pinot Noir,
     and add to this wine’s character, which               time to loosen up. —131 c ases                        Okanagan Valley A tasty Pinot Noir from
     includes intriguing aromas of ripe straw-                                                                   one of B.C.’s top producers, this is
                                                           Battle Creek                             $50
     b e rries, currants and even black tru f f l e s .                                                          loaded with aromas and flavors of che r-
                                                           2002 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley C o ru s
     Supple tannins offer easy access to fla-                                                                    ries, straw ber ries and vanilla. A well-bal-
                                                           Estates & V ineyards in Seattle owns
     vors of plums and black cherries that                                                                       anced wine with good leng th and food-
                                                           wineries and vineyards in Washington and
     wrap up with a delicious finish. — 1 2 5                                                                    f r i e n d l i n e s s . —2,600 cases
                                                           Idaho and now has expanded into Oregon
     cases
                                                           with this new brand. This wine already                Yamhill Valley Vineyards              $33
     Summerhill Pyramid Winery             $45             has won a gold medal in an intern a t i o n a l       2000 Reserve Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley
     CDN                                                   competition. It’s Burgundian in style,                This McMinnville, Ore., winer y has craft e d
     2002 Platinum Series Pinot Noir, Okanagan             with aromas and flavors of minerally                  a well-structured reserve-style red with
     Valley Just south of Kelowna, B.C.,                   earthiness and underlying herbs and black             aromas of spicy cranberries, black pepper
     Summerhill owner Steve Cipes built a                  peppers. Hints of black tea and blackber-             and mint, plus flavors of tangy cherr i e s
     replica of the Giza P yramid in which he              ries provide additional complexity. — 3 3 5           and classic earthiness. —1,000 cases
     ages his wine. We aren’t certain about                cases
     how this harnesses energ y, but the wine                                                                    Carmela Winery                           $28
     is awfully good, thanks to aromas and                 WillaKenzie Estate                    $45             2002 Pinot Noir, Idaho This Southern Idaho
                                                           2002 Kiana Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley              w i n e ry is producing a wide variety of wines.
     flavors of strawberries, mint tea and min-
                                                           This classy wine is from an estate vine-              This Pinot Noir shows off aromas of straw-
     erally earthiness. Resolved tannins pro-
                                                           yard named after the winer y owners’                  b e rry pie and pumpkin pie spices, with fla-
     vide approachability for this complex
                                                           g r a n d d a u g h t e r. It shows off aromas and    vors of subtle strawberries, coffee and
     red.
                                                           flavors of sweet dark fr uit, well-integrat-          c h o c o l a t e . —350 cases
     Best Buy                                              ed oak and hints of chocolate on the fin-
     Chateau Lorane $12                                    ish. A solid, well-structured wine that               Tsillan Cellars                             $28
     2002 Pinot Noir, Oregon This small south-             has yet to reveal its full potential. —               2003 Pinot Noir, Columbia Valley
     e rn Willamette Valley producer has craft-            594 cases                                             Washington’s Chelan area holds a lot of
74      W I N E P R E SS N O RT H W E ST • S UM M ER 2 0 0 5                                                                                       W I N E P R E S S N W. C O M
                                                                                            pinot noir                        TA S T I N G R E S U LT S


         promise for Pinot Noir because of its rel-      Pinot Noir from a longtime Corv a l l i s ,          planted in 1995 is beginning to show its
         atively cooler climate. This early example      Ore., winer y offers aromas and flavors of           s t u f f, as this wine reveals complex aro-
         offers a hint for the future with its aro-      s t r a w b e rries, blackberries and cranber-       mas and flavors of sweet plums, spices
         mas of raspberries and smoky cher r i e s ,     ries, as well as classic barnyard notes and          and chocolate. Deep, intense fruit leads
         as well as bright flavors of dark fr uit and    smoky oak. Aggressive tannins could use              to a long finish. —70 cases
         black tea. —253 cases                           cellar time or a ribeye steak. —825 cases
                                                                                                              Henry Estate                        $50
         Bainbridge Island Winery            $29         Beran Vineyards                           $34        1998 Winemakers Reserve Pinot Noir,
         2000 Pinot Noir, Puget Sound The only           2003 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley T h i s           Umpqua Valley This, the oldest wine in
         wine we judged from the Puget Sound             w e l l - c r a fted wine from the norther n         our judging, reveals aromas and flavors of
         appellation shows aromas of strawber-           Willamette Valley displays aromas and fla-
                                                                                                              spicy cranberries, strawberries and sweet
         ries, kitchen spices and vanilla, with fla-     vors of spicy cher ries, vanilla and hints
                                                                                                              c h e rries, along with complex underlying
         vors of bright upfront fr uit with a bit of     of raspber ries. The fruit and tannins are
                                                                                                              earthiness. A tasty wine that could get
         o a k i n e s s . —143 cases                    well balanced. —550 cases
                                                                                                              even more interesting.
         Adelsheim Vineyard                   $24        Benton-Lane Winery                     $35
                                                         2002 First Class Pinot Noir, Oregon T h i s          Winter's Hill Vineyard               $29
         2003 Pinot Noir, Oregon It says “Oregon”
                                                         blend of five Pinot Noir clones from                 2002 Reserve Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley
         on the label, but all the grapes come
                                                         B e n t o n - Lane’s estate vineyard in the          Owners Peter and Emily Gladhart have
         from six Yamhill County vineyards. The
                                                         s o u t h e rn Willamette Valley is a big, dark      been one of Yamhill County ’s most con-
         aromas remind us of blueberries and
         cream soda, and the expansive palate            wine with complex notes of cherr i e s ,             sistent small producers the past several
         offers flavors of R ainier cherries and         leather and pleasing chocolate. This wine            years, and this reser ve-style wine shows
         b l a c k b e rr i e s . —7,288 cases           has yet to fully reveal itself. —1,480 cases         w h y: It opens with aromas of subtle
                                                                                                              black cherr y and licorice aromas and
         Brandborg Vineyard and Winery$27                Willamette Valley Vineyards          $45             leads to dark, bold flavors. —50 cases
         2003 Northern Reach Pinot Noir, Umpqua          2000 Freedom Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir,
         Valley This delicious Souther n Oregon          Willamette Valley Free dom Hill is a vine-           WillaKenzie Estate                    $36
         Pinot Noir opens with subtle aromas of          yard in the Co as tal R ang e fo othills , and       2002 Aliette Pinot Noir cork-free,
         Bing cher ries and vanilla, followe d by        its g rapes ar e h igh ly pr iz ed by Oreg on’s      Willamette Valley WillaKenzie is a leader
         flavors of dark fr uit. Youthful tannins        top w inem aker s. Th is w ine pr ovid es            not only in viticultural practices and
         somewhat over whelm the fruit at this           ar omas and flavor s o f violets, co la, sub -       winemaking, but this Yamhill County win-
         point, so give this a little time in the        tle che r ries and sh ave d chocolate. A n
                                                                                                              e r y also is a pioneer in putting premium
         c e l l a r. —907 case s                        inte nse , layered w ine. —518 c ases
                                                                                                              Pinot Noir like this one under screwcaps.
                                                         David Hill Vineyards & Winery $30                    This medium-bodied red offers intense
         Foris Vineyards                      $17
                                                         2002 Cuvée Anna-Lara Pinot Noir,                     aromas of spicy fr uit and bold flavors of
         2002 Pinot Noir, Rogue Valley Most of the
                                                         Willamette Valley This northern                      black cherr i e s . —530 cases
         grapes for this wine come from three
                                                         Willamette Valley winer y has put togeth-
         estate vineyards in Southern Oregon.                                                                 Bridgeview Vineyard                 $20
                                                         er a tasty red with smooth aromas and
         Aromas and flavors include blackberr i e s ,                                                         1999 Reserve Pinot Noir, Rogue Valley
                                                         flavors of blueberries, vanilla and light
         tea and raspberries. Well-managed oak                                                                This older vintage still offers vibrant
                                                         c h e r ries. A richly flavored wine with a
         and bold tannins give way to a long, rich                                                            f ruit aromas and flavors, including notes
                                                         smooth finish. —225 cases
         f i n i s h . —4,825 cases
                                                                                                              of strawber ries, loganber ries and
                                                         Willamette Valley Vineyards          $50             rhubarb. And it still has plenty of back-
         Black Cap                            $40        2000 Signature Cuvée Pinot Noir,
         2003 Pinot Noir, Oregon This wine from                                                               bone with bright acidity and rich tannins.
                                                         Willamette Valley A balanced wine, this
         Portland’s Urban Wineworks is a big,                                                                 —491 cases
                                                         u p p e r-end b lend of Pinot Noir is rich in
         bold red with aromas and flavors of cher-       sp icy black cher ries and hints of choco-           Best Buy
         ries, cedar and mint. Modest tannins            late w ith licorice on the finish. Modest            Gold Digger Cellars                  $14
         allow the fruit to shine through the            tannins provide approachability now. —               2002 Pinot Noir, Washington Just south of
         memorable finish. This needs some time          225 c ases                                           the Canadian border in Eastern
         in the cellar. —95 cases
                                                                                                              Washington is Gold Digger Cellars, a pio-
                                                         Namasté Vineyards                       $25
         Champagne Creek Cellars             $26         2003 Prosperity Block Pinot Noir,                    neer in grape growing in Okanogan
         2001 Sims Vineyard Reserve Pinot Noir,          Willamette Valley On this winer y ’s label is        C o u n t y. This wine provides upfront, in-
         Umpqua Valley This single-vineyard Pinot        the symbol for yin and yang, which                   y o u r-face aromas and flavors of fresh
         Noir from Southern Oregon offers                m a kes sense because this wine is all               r a s p b e rries, strawberries and cranber-
         intriguing aromas of cherries, sweet pipe       about balance, from the complex flavors              ries. A big, juicy wine that’s meant to
         tobacco and maple syr up, with attractive       to the bright acidity to the modest tan-             drink now. —500 cases e
         flavors of black cher ries, licorice and cin-   nins and well-managed oak. —125 cases
         n a m o n . —60 cases                                                                                AN DY P E RDU E is editor of Wine Press N orthwest.
                                                         Raptor Ridge Winery                  $29             J AC KIE J O H NS TO N , a freelance photojournalist, is a
         Tyee Wine Cellars                         $16   2003 Harbinger Vineyard Pinot Noir,                  regular contributor and the page designer for Wine Press
         2001 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley T h i s      Willamette Valley This two-acre vineyard             N o r t h w e s t. Her Web site is WineCountry C r e a t i o n s . c o m .

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