2007 Pinot Noirs
Six Vineyards (Lemelson) Willamette Valley Pinot Noir • $22 (2,472 cases)
with sweet, tasty fruit and layered notes of oak, red cherry and spice. Resolved tannins, zesty acidity. In other words, a light delight. This is an example of what can be achieved in a year where winemaking skills are crucial.
2007 Rex Hill Willamette Valley Pinot Noir • $28 (13,248 cases)
Lots of flavor interest, including tar, flinty mineral, a hint of wood smoke and ripe, plummy fruit. Nicely balanced with a soft, velvety mouth impression and long berry-laden finish.
2007 Agate Ridge Estate Rogue Valley Pinot Noir • $24 (201 cases)
Ripe, rich and fruit-forward are terms that attract fans of round, full flavors. When varietal characteristics also come through, it completes the Pinot package. Assertive young tannins don’t get in the way of the sweet fruit.
2007 Cubanisimo Willamette Valley Pinot Noir • $22 (1,180 cases)
Good from the get go was one taster’s take. Tantalizing aromas of caramel, cardamom, cedar, oak vanillin and tobacco lead to a round, smooth, slightly sweet, black cherry taste impression.Still young, but already yummy.
2007 Hawkins Cellars Willamette Valley • $14 (325 cases)
Piquant, floral aroma, bright cherry and a hint of oak make this a light-bodied, nose- and palate-pleaser reminiscent of Burgundian Côte de Beaune charmers like Volnay and Auxey-Duresses, whose strong suits are finesse and refinement.
2007 Misty Oaks Stuckagain Heights Umpqua Valley Pinot Noir • $26 (132 cases)
This Southern Oregon Pinot displays a bigger style than its Northern Oregon counterparts. Plum and tar are upfront attractions followed by ripe, jammy fruit, firm tannins, plus peppery spice and touch of graphite.
2007 Stoller Dundee Hills JV Estate Pinot Noir • $25 (5,810 cases)
A middleweight with breeding from the winery’s younger vines. Fresh, zesty, strawberry-like fruit is complemented by hints of oak and smoke. Tasty finish with a long, lingering kiss of sweet butter at the end.
2007 Elk Cove Willamette Valley Pinot Noir • $27 (19,750 cases)
Among Elk Cove’s Pinots, this may be the workhorse wine, but it has a warm, round approachability that makes it immediately appealing. Well-balanced elements of fruit, acidity and youthful, yet unobtrusive tannins say you can consume now or keep a couple around for later.
2007 Coeur de Terre Willamette Valley Pinot Noir • $20 (107 cases)
The winery’s McMinnville AVA soils lend their distinctive terroir characteristics to a wine that was intentionally designed to be a drinker. Dusty dry earthiness joins youthful tannins and hints of vanilla and spice in complementing forward berry fruit.
The Oregon Wine Press tasting panel has selected the preceding wines based on overall quality and value within their respective categories. To the best of our knowledge, they are currently available in the retail marketplace. But a call to the winery or your favorite wine merchant will best determine where they may be purchased. The above wines have met the following criteria: Produced by an Oregon winery; retail price up to $30 per 750 mL bottle for Pinot Noir, or $25 for other varietals, currently available to consumers. Recommended wines were selected using a double-blind method and a 20-point ranking system for appearance, aroma, taste, balance and finish.