Of the 42 Oregon Pinot Noirs priced at $25 or less, I only found five that I don’t believe will lift your spirits in this
2006 Belle Pente Yamhill-Carlton District Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.6% alc., $23. This has been a
consistently fine producer of Pinot Noir and this may have been an off bottle. I did not have a second bottle to
Primarily oak and cigar box on the nose with a hint of ripe berries. In the mouth there are flavors of
black cherries with a heavy dose of smoke and oak. The tannins are soft and the texture is silky. Just too
much oak for its own good.
2007 Kings Ridge Oregon Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., $15.
Light reddish-purple color. Unusual aromatic profile
of herbs, green underbrush, mustard and a touch of fecundity. In the mouth there is restrained red cherries
and strawberries with a vein of savory herbs running through. Light and clean with a short finish. Tastes much
better than it smells.
2007 Zoot Allures Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13% alc., $19. Second label
from J. Christopher Wines in Linn, Oregon that is very popular.
Shy brambly red
fruits with Mediterranean spice on the nose with some alcohol peeking out. This
wine is light in weight displaying decent earth-dusted cherry, cranberry and rhubarb
flavors but there is some green notes that would suggest under ripe fruit. The
acidity is fine and the tannins are held in check. Great label.