Archive for April, 2010

March 2010: Oregon Pinot Noir

Most Seattleites know and love a well-made Oregon Pinot.  Oregon’s new world style Pinot is known for its baked cherry pie accompanied by earthy, campfire smoky flavors.  The lineup is strong, and the winners are … 

Alloro 2007 Pinot Noir (91 points)
Region:  Willamette Valley; Varietals: Pinot Noir; Retail $22
Tasting Notes:  Now that’s the nose of pinot – roses & mushroom.  Please let the mouth be good too … oh yes! Juicy – nice acidity, even citrus … it’s feminine (the kind of pinot I enjoy … sshh).  Something tells me it will become more elegant with time.  Very balanced & nicely done. (Gina)  Tasting Notes: N: roasted meat aromas (duck, pheasant?), plums, plump nose, black cherry, sage. P: cherry vanilla cola, summer herbs coming through, plum sauce, more cooked flavors, wet dog!  I love it! (Ken)  Tasting Notes:  Some gamey notes on the nose, some black truffle notes. Some strawberries & green grass on the palate, very soft finish. (Fernando)

Domaine Serene 2007 Yamhill Cuvée (91 points) 
Region:  Willamette Valley; Varietals: Pinot Noir; Retail $45
Tasting Notes:  Wonderful aromas of wild flowers and black cherries. Elegant, complex, with lots of depth. Excellent integrated acidity.  Full of flavors in the middle. Lots of dark cherries and raspberries. Fantastic aftertaste. (Jens)  Tasting Notes:  This is pretty sexy. It has beautiful notes of dark berries, with well-balanced tannins and body. Extremely well-balanced, long lasting finish. Yummy.  A good Oregon Pinot Noir. (Giuseppe) Tasting Notes:  Darker fruit on the nose – brambleberries with vines intact – very nice complement of herbs and woodsy notes.  Much higher toned fruit on the palate balanced by a beautiful expression of terroir. Brown earth, tobacco, leaf with grippy tannins and acidity. (Theresa)

The Four Graces 2007 Pinot Noir (90 points)
Region:  Willamette Valley; Varietals: Pinot Noir; Retail $
Tasting Notes:  Very expressive nose, what I was looking for, concentrated berries, grained with spicy tannins, a glamorous Pinot. (Catherine)  Tasting Notes: Dark red, very distinct. Tight aromas of bright wild fruits. Just like “fruiti di Bosco.” This is a powerful Pinot Noir. The flavors are very intense! Beautiful finish blends well tobacco, leather & fruit. (Giuseppe) Tasting Notes:  Nose – Pinot on steroids with a touch of fatty meat. Also modern, with a fair amount of leather & cedar on finish. Fruit has layers of cherry and raspberry with a hint of cocoa. Not my style but delightful. (Gina)

Coeur de Terre Vineyard 2007 Pinot Noir (89 points)
Region:  Willamette Valley; Varietals: Pinot Noir; Retail $ 24
Tasting Notes:  Oh, beautiful aromas of black cherries, raspberries and cocoa. Smooth, elegant and complex.  Good acidity all the way through. Great flavors of mainly black cherries and raspberries. Flavored with some spicy, toasty notes. Nice tasty finish. (Jens) Tasting Notes:  Sweet Jolly Rancher balck cherry candy on the nose – with a dusting of brown earth and spice. Balck cherry cola flavors with baking spices – leaning towards the savory – big tannin & acid. This is a red meat Pinot! (Theresa) Tasting Notes: Nice raspberry color. Some tobacco notes and sweet chocolate. Nice and sweet on the palate, not much to say. Some berries at the end. (Fernando) Tasting Notes: N: smells like classic Oregon Pinot, charred twigs, pepper, thyme rhubarb & cherry, espresso roast. P: slight Campari bitters flavor, pomegranate molasses, plums & mocha. (Ken)

The Pines 1852 2006 Pinot Noir (88 points)
Region:  Columbia Gorge; Varietals: Pinot Noir; Retail $27
Tasting Notes:  Nose… suspiciously doesn’t smell like Pinot … maybe it was fertilized by an ox or garlic? Or was formerly a field of blackberries. OK – if I were to judge this as a pinot I would say it has big, ripe jammy black fruit with a touch of cinnamon or I would say it would double as a smooth syrah. (Gina) Tasting Notes: Dark red color. But no classic Pinot Noir aromatics noticeable. Instead notes of dried cherries and faint hints of aldeuyes due to oxidation. Decidedly fruity flavors and soft finish. How much Syrah did they put in this? More than they’ll admit. * This is good but if it purports to be Pinot Noir it is in trouble for illicit blending. (Matt) Tasting Notes: N: smalls hefty, dark, spicy, currents, hot bricks, summer savory + thyme. P: Big, jammy style Pinot, Syrah-like-fruit-blackberries, Masata spice, blackberry compote. (Ken)

Westrey 2007 Abbey Ridge Vineyard (88 points)
Region:  Willamette Valley/Dundee Hills; Varietals: Pinot Noir; Retail $30
Tasting Notes:  Color somewhat alarming. Light orangey-red. Authentic Burgundian aromas of damp earth, mushroom, roasted root vegetables. Full-bodied, tannic finish and zesty acidity with smokey wood notable but not dominant. (Matt) Tasting Notes: Clear in color. Shows some brick color on the edge but yet elegant. Aromas of red meat and sandal wood. Green olives on the palate and some dark chocolate. Very delicate but not a long finish. (Fernando) Tasting Notes:  Good barnyard smell, but I find a bit too much sulfur on the nose. Still well-balanced, good, sweet finish! Drink it with crostini with chevre cheese & sun-dried tomato.  Good! (Giuseppe)

Raptor Ridge 2007 Reserve Pinot Noir (88 points)
Region:  Raptor Ridge; Varietals: Pinot Noir; Retail $33
Tasting Notes:  Pretty nose, rose petals & raspberries, streamlined anise spice, favorite so far [3rd of 8], layered, fresh but multi-dimensional, silky. (Catherine) Tasting Notes: Nose has spice & dark fruit … more plum & black cherry. A more modern style … luscious cherry jolly rancher, yes cherry. Bold in the mid-palate. Finish lacks a little, mostly get fruit. (Gina)

Winter Hill Vineyards 2006 Pinot Noir (87 points)
Region:  Willamette Valley; Varietals: Pinot Noir; Retail $
Tasting Notes:  Nice aromas of red cherries and mushrooms – mainly fruit flavors of red and black cherries. Good acidity but a little bit too hot. Fine tannins, but short finish. (Jens) Tasting Notes:  Color clear, transparent ruby. Aromas of mixed freshly crushed peppercorns, cherry and hints on mushroom & menthol. Palate alas is ruined by dominant flavors of wood and alcohol, along with cherry candy. (Matt)

March Tasting Panel:  Jens Strecker, Gina Gregory, Theresa Slechta, Catherine Reynolds, Ken O’Hara, Matt Gubitosa, Fernando Martinez, Giuseppe Caraturro

The following wines are in-stock or can be ordered at:
Portalis Wine Shop + Wine Bar
phone: 206-783-2007


April 21, 2010 at 4:32 pm Leave a comment