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Vintage Standouts

Domaine Drouhin, Eyrie, Brick House,
Evesham Wood, Arterberry Maresh

Avalon Wine


It's late in 2009 - harvest time for Oregon Pinot - and that has us reflecting on vintages past. Virtually all of the 2006 Oregon Pinots have been released, which means we're ready pick the standout wines of the vintage.


Two of them were just released: Domaine Drouhin "Laurene" Pinot noir 06 and Eyrie Reserve Pinot noir 06. They offer the attractiveness of the warm 2006 vintage combined with exceptional balance and grace.


The 2007 Oregon vintage is more than halfway released - including several standouts that warrant attention. Many of the standout wines of the 2007 vintage have come from winemakers whose "house style" leans towards the elegant, classic mode of Pinot noir. The wines are pure and pretty, perfect for the cellar and tasty now, too. Evesham Wood, Brick House, Arterberry Maresh and Eyrie (again) made 2007 Pinots that are sure to be in our top picks of 2007.

Avalon Wine

Domaine Drouhin
"Laurène" Pinot noir 06
$67.95 or $61.16 by the case

(mixed cases OK)

Great fruit and silky texture. Super-pretty wild strawberry, fresh raspberry and cherry that shows extraordinary purity from start to finish. Has the concentrated, bold style and long finish that the Laurene is known for. It is very balanced for aging with buckets of sweet fruit and seamless tannins - Marcus & Jean


Parker's Wine Advocate 92 points: "The 2006 Pinot Noir Laurène is medium/dark ruby colored with an alluring perfume of pain grille, mineral, spice box, cherry, and black raspberry with some blue notes in the background. It has more depth and concentration than the "cuvee classique" with gobs of sweet, ripe fruit, enough structure to evolve for 3-4 years and a 45-second finish. Drink it from 2012 to 2021. Domaine Drouhin remains one of the standards against which other Oregon Pinot Noirs must be measured."


The 2006 Laurène recalls the softer, plusher qualities found in the 2004 vintage, but with the slightly more ample body that 2006 brought to all of our wines. On the nose and on the palate, there is a wealth of deep black berries, red fruits and Dundee Hills spice. The finish is very long, and I expect to enjoy the 2006 Laurène for at least 10 more years! - Vèronique Drouhin-Boss, August 2009


Avalon Wine

Eyrie Vineyards
Estate Reserve Pinot noir 06
$59.95 or $53.95 by the case

(mixed cases OK)


We opened the 2006 Eyrie Reserve last week and attempted to capture its essence with mere words. We need a new dictionary. Complexity and completeness is where I started, with "sexy" underlined in the margin next to my notes. Mouth coating, richly textured, balanced fruit and earth. Powerful but elegant, this Pinot is transfixing. Made from Oregon's Original Pinot noir vines by Jason Lett, who also makes the Black Cap wines. - Marcus

Standout 2007 Oregon Pinot noirs


Avalon Wine

Evesham Wood
"Le Puit Sec" Pinot noir 07
$33.95 or $30.56 by the case

(mixed cases OK)


Silky and creamy, vibrant and fresh. It opens with scents of rose and raspberry, with a little cherry burst and a darker berry element beneath. There's a touch of forest before the finish, which holds a blackberry cobbler note mingling with ultra-subtle dried herbs. The 07 Le Puit Sec is deliciously drinkable right now - expect it to age nicely too. Highly recommended. - Marcus


Avalon Wine


Brick House
"Les Dijonnais" Pinot noir 07
$40.95 or $36.86 by the case

(mixed cases OK)


A nose of rich blackberry cream delivers right out of the bottle, and opens to intense cherry, raspberry, and blackberry fruit flavors. After an initial impression of fresh fruit, the wine gains weight and texture, opening like a Japanese fan - each fold a new layer of fruit, rose petals, toast, raspberry compote, cherry fruit leather, and a note of brambly herbs. There's a fullness and sweetness here not expected from the 2007 vintage. This is a fascinating wine - spend an hour with it, and every five minutes, you'll find something new and delicious. - Jean


Avalon Wine

Eyrie Vineyards
Estate Pinot noir 07
$24.95 or $22.45 by the case

(mixed cases OK)


Simply mouthwatering. At first pour, there's a wiff of youth which quickly gives way to ethereal aromas of fresh red fruits, cedar and turned earth. The seamless cherry, raspberry and strawberry flavors glide into the finish with that uniquely-Pinot sweetness. White pepper, strawberry and cream, sweet herbs and truffles delicately echo. - Marcus



Arterberry Maresh
Dundee Hills Pinot noir 07
$21.95 or $19.75 by the case

(mixed cases OK)

Avalon Wine


Fantastic value in classic Oregon Pinot noir. Fresh cherries and pie cherry expand to raspberry and brighter blueberry, with shavings of fresh cinnamon stick. Like the 07 Maresh Vineyard, there's a sweet edge that has nothing to do with sugar, and everything to do with the essence of Pinot noir. Very silky, with a ribbon of dried thyme and Dundee Hills minerality. Beautiful, higher-toned fruit grows in complexity with air, and we recommend decanting or cellaring for 1-2 years. - Marcus


Arterberry Maresh
Maresh Vineyard Pinot noir 07
$74.95 or $67.45 by the case

(mixed cases OK)

Avalon Wine


Voluptuous. There's a sexy sweetness that can only be found in the best Pinot noir. It's an indescribable nuance that inspires, that turns wine lovers into Pinot-crazed fanatics. The aromas are gorgeous and mouthwatering, with red fruit perfume filling your senses. Stunningly pure cherry, deep strawberry, and raspberry creme brulee builds, adding succulent darker berry accents and soft baking spice, showing great depth and concentration. The finish is persistent but delicate. - Marcus

New on the Avalon Wine Blog


for 10-8-09

Wine Terms Defined - Goblover, Sodsucker
Oregon Wine harvest - Whimsical Equipment
Harvest Update - Brittan, Hamacher, Ayoub, Andrew Rich
New Wine Reviews and Tasting Notes
Brick House - Harvest Update
Harvest Updates -
Ken Wright, Belle Pente, Shea, Patricia Green Cellars
Washington Wine - Fielding Hills
Oregon Wine Limerick Contest
Broadley Willamette Valley Pinot noir 08 Parker Review
Jim Maresh, Matt Kinne in October's Food & Wine Magazine
Owen Roe- The YAK is BACK

Recent Avalon Wine Newsletters and Articles


10-5 Betz Family Winery
Master of Syrah
La Serenne, Besoleil, Cote Rousse 07's


9-29 Brittan Vineyards
Finding the Gestalt of Oregon Pinot noir

9-23 Fielding Hills
Steady as the Seasons

9-18 Limericks
$20 Oregon Pinot noirs
Broadley, Evesham, Dollar Bills Only, Westrey

9-16 Evesham Wood New Pinot noirs
Le Puit Sec, Willamette Valley

9-9 The YAK is BACK
Owen Roe Yakima Red 07

8-28 Owen Roe New Releases

8-25 Eyrie Pinot noir Reserve 06
Extended tasting notes and comments

We're available by phone at 541-752-7418
from 8 AM Pacific time until 6 PM Pacific time,
Monday through Friday, and we answer email
on Saturdays and Sundays

Marcus, Jean, Adrienne, and Wendy

Avalon Wine Avalon Wine
201 SW 2nd Street
Corvallis OR 97333

Marcus Looze
VP Marketing & Sales
541-752-7418 store

Wendy Brown
& Gourmet Sales

Jean Yates
541-424-8004 (direct line)

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