September 29, 2015

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Reviewed Wines from the current Newsletter
PinotFile 10/18

From Willamette Valley’s 50th Anniversary: A New Look at the Old Guard

2014 Elk Cove Willamette Valley Pinot Gris

13.0% alc., pH 3.16, TA 0.66, RS 3.9, 25,689 cases, $19. The winery’s most successful wine that is widely distributed and turns up on “Top Wine” lists year after year. Grapes are sourced for four estate vineyard sites, some planted by the founders in 1985 as well as young vines that were added to the Mount Richmond site in recent years. The Pinot Gris undergoes shoot and crop thinning for low yields to maximize quality and concentration. Fermented only in stainless steel tanks. · Very light golden yellow color in the glass. Lovely aromas of apple, pear and floral notes. Slightly creamy on the palate, with fresh flavors of apple and honey. A quintessential Oregon Pinot Gris that offers a lip-smacking finish. Very easy to like. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Amity Vineyards Willamette Valley Pinot Blanc

13.0% alc., pH 3.20, TA 0.68, RS dry, 181 cases, $22, screwcap. Amity was one of the first wineries to plant Pinot Blanc in the Willamette Valley when the estate vineyard was grafted over to Pinot Blanc from Chardonnay. No oak treatment. · Very light golden yellow color in the glass. Aromas and flavors of white peach, pear, honey, lemon and grapefruit in a bright, clean style with tight, mouthwatering, citric acidity on the finish. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2013 Broadley Vineyards Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.66, 850 cases, $25. Aged in 15% new Francois Frères oak barrels and the balance in 1 to 2-year-old French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Shy, but pleasant aromas of cherry, strawberry and sous-bois. A forward drinking and likable wine with a mid weight core of fresh cherry fruit accented with a hint of cola and oak. Rather simple, but fruity, with mild tannins, and a finishing note of cherry goodness. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Cooper Mountain Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., pH 3.58, TA 0.60, RS dry, 3,200 cases, $28, screwcap. This wine is a blend of all four of the estate Biodynamic vineyards. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. Brooding aromas of underbrush, stem and beet root. More fruity and giving on the palate, with a luxurious core of purple and black fruits accented with spice and backed by muscular tannins and a good grip of acidity. The wine finishes with a burst of sweet dark fruit and a wave of tannins. Unusually rich and bold for Oregon, but reflective of the vintage. Probably less tannic and better overall in a couple of years. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Lange Estate Willamette Valley Reserve Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.75, TA 0.55, 3,700 cases, $35. Aged in 35% new French oak barrels, with the rest in 2 and 3-year-old barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Reserved aromas of black fruits and toasty oak. Layers of black cherry and blackberry fruits envelope the palate with an added note umami shitake flavor. The texture is highly seductive, like touching purple satin. Nicely balanced with a silky and satisfying finish. Very enjoyable now, but should age beautifully. Score: 91. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 REX HILL Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.48, TA 0.62, 9,518 cases, $35. A blend of sustainably grown grapes from every AVA in the Willamette Valley. Only the very best are selected from the winery’s 75 Oregon A to Z contracted vineyards. Aged 14 months in French oak barrels, 28% new. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. A richly fruited offering with plenty of black cherry and dark berry goodness. Fruit-driven and slightly sweet, with balanced tannins, a compliment of oak, and some finishing intensity. More fruity than complex, this wine is a good one to drink without contemplation. Score: 88. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Sokol Blosser Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.52, 7,600 cases, $38. The winery’s flagship wine made from organic grapes. It is distributed around the world. Aged 16 months in 100% French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. An oak-dominated nose leads to a mid weight core of juicy black cherry fruit that lacks some Pinot character because of a strong tug of tobacco-laced oak. The wine finishes with some delicate fruit, somewhat vigorous tannins, and a hint of alcoholic warmth. Score: 87. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Ponzi Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., pH 3.68, TA 0.57, 8,000 cases, $40, screwcap. This wine is considered a benchmark Oregon Pinot Noir. It is a blend of certified sustainable fruit from some of the oldest and finest vineyards in the Willamette Valley, including Ponzi’s Madrona and Aurora vineyards, as well as Avellana Vineyard, which is planted entirely by clonal massale. Aged for 11 months in 100% French oak barrels, 35% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Enticing mix of black cherry, Asian 5-spice and smoky oak aromas. Like the nose, the wine offers an inviting marriage of black cherry and marionberry fruit with spicy oak. Forward drinking, with balanced tannins and some finishing power. Score: 89. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 St. Innocent Winery Freedom Hill Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.71, 948 cases, $42. This vineyard is planted in ancient marine sediment. Located very far west at the base of the Coast Range of mountains, it is warmer in the day and more quickly cooled in the evening than most Oregon sites. The resulting wine is said to have dense minerality, well-developed tannins and good acidity. The original vines died of phylloxera in 2003 and were replanted. The new plantings produce more balanced fruit that is less prone to disease. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 28% new. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Welcoming aromas of black cherry and sousbois. A discreetly concentrated core of fresh black cherry fruit is embellished with notes of iron, earth and blackberry. The entry demands attention, as does the finish that exhibits uncommon length. Plush and dreamy on the palate, this young wine has a rigorous backbone of fine-grain tannin that should be matched with a good steak if you drink it now. Score: 90. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Erath Prince Hill Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.56, TA 0.75, 1,203 cases, $50. This wine represents a tie both to the winery’s past and to its future. Prince Hill Vineyard is owned and managed by Erath’s founder, Dick Erath, who first planted the vineyard in 1983. Currently, Erath uses a majority of the fruit from Prince Hill as the centerpiece of its range of single-vineyard Pinot Noirs. Aged 12 months in 100% French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose leads with hi-tone aromas of red cherry, strawberry and sandalwood. The delicious cherry and strawberry flavored mid weight core explodes on the palate and lingers on the finish for an eternity. Juicy and vibrant, with well-matched tannins, this superb wine really stands out from the pack. Score: 94. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Adelsheim Elizabeth’s Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.58, 2,386 cases, $60. This wine has been produced in 29 vintages and is consistent in style. The name was first used in 1986 to designate a blend of the best barrels in the cellar. From 1987 to 1999 it was designated a single vineyard wine, but in 2000 returned to a barrel selection.Aged in small, medium-toast French oak barrels, 31% new. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with bright aromas of cherry syrup, macerated strawberries and a gift of oak. Intense on the attack with an expanding presence of fresh cherry fruit in the mouth, lasting with boundless energy on the citrus-infused cherry finish that is memorable. A special wine with sturdy, but soft tannins, and admirable balance. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 CHEHALEM Ridgecrest Vineyards Ribbon Ridge Willamette Valley Reserve Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.65, 463 cases, $80, screwcap. Aged 11 months in French oak barrels, 42% new and 42% once used. This is the winery’s top-of-the-line wine and is the first vintage Wynne was responsible making in total Ridgecrest’s 28th harvest. A rare hailstorm in the spring on Ribbon Ridge clipped the crop short to half normal and helped to concentrate the wine even more. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Penetrating aromas of black cherry syrup with a compliment of nutty oak. A robust mid weight plus wine that offers both power and elegance. Very soft in the mouth, with an intense charge of well-ripened boysenberry, blueberry and pomegranate fruits and a touch of cedary oak in the background. The finish has impressive staying power and there is enough structural tannin to predict a long life ahead. Score: 92. WINERY » ARTICLE »

Robert Parker’s 100 point wine scoring system, which became popular in 1983 and adopted by the Wine Spectator in 1988, has been a homing beacon for consumers seeking to buy good wine. Currently, a majority of United States based wine critics and magazines use the 100 point scale.

The reality is that the 100 point scale is actually a 10 point scale. MORE»
A Note About Prices

Price shown in a tasting note is either the winery-direct price or the retail price paid by the Prince.