Well you knew it was coming. This guy can't possibly pass up an opportunity to rave about Oregon wine and, in particular, Oregon Pinot. But, in keeping with the theme of the first two posts, this is about great Fall values. So I have selected a half dozen or so of what I consider to be some of the best Oregon Pinot values this Fall. They are readily available and true bargains. Two phrases that are not often used for wines from this region. So here goes. Enjoy!
BROADLEY VINEYARDS. 2014
First up, a brand we can all respect and appreciate. As someone who stops by this winery every chance I can, I have come to really enjoy their particular style of Pinot. From a good 2014 vintage (as are all the wines listed here), this is a fruit forward, well balanced, medium bodied Pinot. In other words, perfect for Fall food pairings and cooler, damp nights.
JIGSAW PINOT 2014
I love pointing folk to this wine as most have not had it before. This is Pinot value in a bottle. Very traditional NorthWest style with fresh fruit flavors of raspberries and cherry. Rich color and aromas that explode from the glass. Food friendly, for sure, but just a treat as a Fall sipper.
VISTA HILLS, WILLAMETTE VALLEY 2014
Darker and richer than most on this list. Dare I say that it is a little more "old world" in its style. There is an element of tradition and timelessness to this wine that is hard to define. All I know is that it is great with what has come to be known as comfort food. You know, pot roast, meatloaf, a hearty stew.... You get the picture.
COLENE CLEMENS. 2014
Another producer that I just love introducing people to. These wines are consistently great examples of the style of Pinots currently being produced in the Northern Willamette Valley. Which means they are consistently great. Lovely fruit, firm acid and very balanced. This Pinot tends to be more savory than fruity and just screams Fall nights. Harder to find than most but worth searching for.
TERRITORIAL VINEYARDS, SILVER LABEL 2014
Always like the wines from this winery, particularly the efforts of winemaker Ray Walsh. One of the first urban wineries in Eugene and true to its South Willamette vineyard sources. And there is a definite urban edge to this Pinot. Structured, no nonsense, crisp and unpretentious. An amazing value in a honest to goodness Oregon Pinot. Be surprised.
BROOKS RUNAWAY RED 2014
I had the pleasure of knowing and working with Jimi Brooks before his passing, so wines from this winery always hold a special place for me. If you don't know the story and legacy of these wines, look it up. That said, you only have to see the image of Trotsky on the label to know this is not your typical Oregon Pinot. Cinnamon, pomegranate and orange peel are just some of the surprising elements. Add in a little herbaceous note and you have it. Now what part of that doesn't sound like Fall.
BENTON LANE. 2013
Kudos Steve Girard. An outstanding 2013 Pinot. Benton Lane has been doing this for years and the 2013 doesn't disappoint. Which is why it is added to this list. A challenging vintage always brings out the truly talented winemakers. This wine has great notes of black cherry, cola, and currant. A little lighter than some other vintages, it only makes this wine that much more balanced and drinkable right now!
Proof that you don't always need to spend crazy money to get a real nice Oregon Pinot. And thanks for representing the best of the South Willamette.
So there you go. I've been told that the wines from parts 1 & 2 seem to have had a little surge in interest and sales. Let's just chalk that up to coincidence. But I might suggest that you take this shopping list and grab a little of each while you can.
And Wine Events Oregon is starting to fill up its Fall and Winter events. So go check out the website for info on some fun holiday activities. Yep, it's that time already.