Pinot Noir

2015 and 2016 vintages concentrated, balanced

Raptor Ridge 2015 Estate Whole Cluster Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains

Earth-driven nose offers subtle oaky vanilla notes, plus a savory, floral element and Rainier cherry. Palate is underpinned with the flavor of rich soil sweetened with vanilla; while cherry is the most pronounced. Integrated structure makes for a truly balanced wine. $50;
132 cases

Coeur de Terre 2015 Heritage Reserve Estate Pinot Noir, McMinnville

Dark with savory and sweet aromas of fresh plum, blackberry, cloves, black tea leaves, violet and the tangy, concentrated spiced scents of plum sauce. A savory plum sauce element repeats in the mouth, sweetened with flavors of Marionberry and vanilla. A pleasantly drying finish offers a delightful earthiness. $36; 932 cases

Vintage Overviews

The 2015 vintage began with warm weather conditions in the winter that continued throughout spring and summer. Light scattered showers in late August and a return to normalcy in September gave a break to what was an intense growing season. The result was concentrated, balanced fruit throughout the state. Similar to the previous two vintages, the 2016 growing season continued to push the envelope for defining the new normal in Oregon as one of the earliest on record. An unusually warm spring gave way to moderate summer conditions, providing even growing conditions through véraison. Though it was an intense growing season due to the early start, the fruit produced throughout the state resulted in wonderful concentration and complexity with characteristic natural acidity.

Pfeiffer Vineyards 2015 Robin’s Romance Blue Dot Reserve Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley

The subtle fruitiness of cherry, blueberry and strawberry combine with earth, dried mint and vanilla aromas. Flavors remind of a red rooibos tea with notes of vanilla and cola on a long finish. Soft tannins make for a satisfying texture. $90; 180 cases

Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards 2015 Pishon Bloc Pinot Noir, Umpqua Valley

Spiced nose reveals orange tea, Asian herbs, dusty straw and subtle cherry. The palate imparts flavors of orange oil and a black pepper bite similar to Angostura bitters. Balanced alcohol and respectable tannins give body and structure, yet the long finish focuses on flavors, not just texture. $34; 525 cases

ArborBrook Vineyards 2015 Estate 777 Block Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains

Rich chocolate on both the nose and palate? Yes, please. Boysenberry, mint and strawberry lemonade add sweet, enticing aromas. On the palate, chocolate notes marry with heavier elements of earth and spice. The well-balanced wine lingers with flavors in full force. $55; 325 cases

Blakeslee Vineyard Estate 2015 Estate Reserve Select Cluster Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains

Fresh cherry meets the depth of toasted wood, the tang of orange zest and the homey spice of clove-studded oranges. Light and fresh on the palate with strawberry and Royal Anne cherries that persist across a long finish. $48; 681 cases

Ponzi Vineyards 2015 Anniversary Reserve Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley

Aromas entice with toasted wood, warm baguette, marshmallow and a lightly floral, soft sweetness. No hard edges to this wine, expertly integrated and incredibly smooth. Easy to enjoy with jammy notes of black cherry, raspberry and blackberry. $65; 1,500 cases

Dobbes Family Estate 2015 Grand Assemblage Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley

Begin with aromas of pain au chocolat and flower petals, then move to a palate so fruit-forward, stewed plum and red currant “dances in the mouth” and doesn’t rest until the experience is complete. An officially “yummy” wine. $28; 3,500 cases

David Hill 2015 BlackJack Estate Block 21 Coury Clone Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley

A complex nose of river rock, tobacco and light cherry starts the taste experience. Flavors of tea leaves, cranberry and cherry end with a pleasant bite and a clean finish. Lightweight but structured for longevity. $55; 190 cases

Compton 2015 Llewellyn Cuvée Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley

The confected aromas of candied orange and butterscotch get a lift on the palate with a zip of zingy acidity. A mouth-filling texture ushers in cola, dried fig, allspice, cherry and milk chocolate. A squeeze of citrus refreshes on the finish. $38; 329 cases

Carlton Cellars 2016 Seven Devils Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley

Rich, smooth and ready to enjoy. A nose of dried plum and golden straw is followed by flavors of cherry and cola, ending with bright acidity and a kiss of butterscotch. $25; 1,200 cases

Joleté 2016 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley

Aromas of fresh strawberry and a dusting of cocoa predict a palate with chocolate flavors and velvet texture. Plums and notes of earth deepen the palate and a burst of acid lifts at the end. Incredibly enjoyable right now. $29; 266 cases

Fairsing Vineyard 2016 Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton

“An almost warmth-like quality emanates from the glass” with the inviting aromas of blood orange and cocoa. The lusciousness continues with a rich color and intense, almost brooding, flavors of fresh-picked blackberry and herbaceous evergreen rosemary. Finishes with a nibble of red licorice. $46; 1,260 cases

Denison Cellars 2016 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley

Shy at first, but give it a minute and wait for the aroma of herbs, cola and leather to reveal. The palate, not bashful at all, tastes of tobacco leaf, plum, tart cranberry and warm mulling spices. $26; 380 cases

Walnut City 2016 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley

Herbaceous fresh mint and the grounded aroma of leather combine on the nose. An approachable fruit-flavored palate delights with tart rhubarb and lingonberry. Bright and zingy with fresh acid that punctuates a mouthwatering finish. $20; 1,690 cases

Jacob Martin 2016 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley

A potpourri of spice and perfumed dried flowers meets fresh juicy fruits. Lavender, boysenberry and raspberry on the nose repeat on the palate with sharper black pepper. Balanced structure and long flavor-driven finish. $32; 100 cases

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