Category Archives: Pinot Noir

2008 Raptor Ridge Pinot Noir Shea Vineyard

Garnet color. On the nose, youthful, medium intensity, black raspberry, marionberry, cherry, leaves, cola, clove, nutmeg, with subtle oak, and no earth to speak to. On the palate, dry, medium- tannin, medium acidity, on a medium body, beautiful balance, with layered dark berry cola, and baking spices on a seamless finish. Well worth the dollar!

2009 Castle Rock Pinot Noir Mendicino

I’m not sure why I forgot about this producer, that has always made delicious and inexpensive Pinots. Ruby color. On the nose, youthful, medium intensity, strawberry, raspberry, cola, straw, leaves, cooking spices, with balanced oak, and no earth to speak to. On the palate, dry, medium intensity, medium- tannin, medium acidity, layered with ripe red fruit, spice, silky mouth feel, with descent length to the finish.

2006 Domaine Drouhin Laurene Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

Light ruby color. On the nose, youthful, medium intensity, strawberry, raspberry, baking spice, leaves, some oak, with no earth to speak to. On the palate, dry, medium+ intensity, very silky red berry fruit, medium- tannin, medium+ acidity, follow by rhubarb pie component, very delicious, with good length to the finish.

2007 Shea Wine Cellars Shea Vineyard Willamette Valley

An old favorite of mine, from a not that great vintage. On the nose, youthful, raspberry, strawberry, sandlewood, cooking spices, leaves, pretty flowers, pine cone, with moderate oak, and subtle earth. On the palate, dry, medium intensity, medium acidity, silky tannins, pretty wine with good balance and a moderate finish. One of the better 07′s I’ve had lately.

2008 Solena Grand Cuvee Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

This winery has been acting as a crush facility for many vineyards in the Willamette Valley. If you grow grapes and don’t have a vineyard, you talk to these people, and ask the wine-maker to tend your fruit. Ruby color. On the nose, youthful, medium intensity, pretty and elegant, cherry, plum, vanilla, loaded with spice, a root beer component, slight earthiness, with subtle oak, and really nice depth. On the palate, dry, medium intensity, medium acidity, silky tannins, juicy red fruit, nicely balanced with spice, silky and luxurious finish. This is a steal, load up because this will deliver for a good bit of time.    

2008 Four Graces Pinot Noir Willamette

I’m happy to see the 2008′s arrive, as many producers had a rough go at it in 2007. Four Graces is on the rise, watch out for their wines to make a huge push in a lot of markets. Ruby color. On the nose, youthful, medium intensity, strawberry, cherry, raspberry, with some plum, lots of cooking spices, autumn leaves, subtle oak, and no earth to speak to. On the palate, dry, medium intensity, silky, sexy, intriguing, darker fruit, some cola, hay, with medium- tannins, medium acidity, and moderate length to the finish. Great effort for the price point.    

2007 Scott Paul La Paulee Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

I just had the 06 and was extremely impressed by it, 2007 in Oregon is considered an off vintage by most critics, but most growers say if you waited till the rains stopped to harvest, you made a nice Burgundian Pinot Noir. This guy has a true passion for Burgundy and you get that feeling when you taste his wine. The 07 was lighter in color, more of a see through garnet. On the nose, youthful, medium intensity, strawberry, raspberry, subtle smoke, mushroom, cooking spices, with slight oak, and also slight earth to it, although this is “New World” all the way. On the palate, dry, medium intensity, medium- tannin, medium acidity, nice balance, what this wine is lacking in intensity, it makes up for in prettiness, delicate velvety finish of red fruit, spice, and leaves. More people should be drinking this wine.    

2006 Martinelli Pinot Noir Zio Tony Ranch RRV

Revisited this wine last night. 15.5% alcohol, with a dark garnet color. On the nose, youthful, darker fruit, plums, blackberries, cherries, loaded with coffee, spice, no earth to speak to, and oak present but moderate. On the palate, dry, medium intensity, thick and creamy berry and coffee flavors, with medium acidity, medium tannin, spicy, a bit hot but enough going on that this wine feels balanced.