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Go Beavers- Corvallis's Oregon Pinot Champs

"Insider" Values - Corvallis's Champion Pinot noirs

  720 Cellars' Chris Heider with the 2004 Pinot noir

Before Corvallis was known for being the home of the PAC-10 College Baseball National Champions, we were home to great Pinot.
That reputation is growing each vintage as new wineries are booming and older wineries are honing their craft.  Some of our local favorites are at it again, making Pinot that shows up in few places outside of Oregon (if any!). 

In the last 2 years we’ve featured a handful of the best
Corvallis-area wineries in our Reserve Pinot Noir Club. 
They are 720 Cellars, Belle Vallee Cellars, and Lumos

These three wineries have new releases and well,
they just plain rock.

720 Cellars Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2004 $18.86/$20.95

We love Chris Heider’s 720 Cellars wines.  He converted his garage to a winery and hasn’t looked back.  We had the benefit of tasting his 2004 barrels for the last several months but nothing prepared us for the finished wine. 

The nose is filled with roses, red cherry and raspberry, pomegranate and subtle cola spice.  As one of us put it, “this wine doesn’t flirt,” meaning those aromas follow through to the flavors.  We love the creaminess in the finish—it’s just like biting into crème brulee with a touch of cardamom.  The 720 is an outstanding food wine; match with any of your lighter summer and fall favorites, from grilled fish to pasta salad.

The 2004 720 Pinot is 100% Croft Vineyard fruit, even though it doesn’t say so on the label (sometimes it helps to have the “insider” connection).  And 13.3% alcohol?!  We love the restraint and balance!

Belle Vallee Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2004 $17.87/$19.85

Belle Valle Pinot noir 2004  

Belle Vallee is our “urban” Corvallis winery.  They burst on the scene in 2002 with some excellent Pinots, and we’re excited about the direction of their wines.  The ’04 Willamette Valley starts with spicy white pepper and violets on the nose, with some brown sugar and blueberry coming out with time.  Black cherry, blackberry, and blueberry streaks lead you towards lovely, mildly spicy oak tannins.  The white pepper and tannins provide beautiful bookends to a delicately-bodied wine.  Outstanding value! 



Lumos Temperance Hill Pinot Noir 2003 $19.75/$21.95

The last time we wrote about this wine it was a new release.  Why are we mentioning it again?  Pinot turns corners and while we liked it a few months ago, the 2003 Lumos is really strutting its stuff right now. 

The 2003 Temperance is an elegant, refreshing Pinot noir with great balance and an easy drinking character. Scents of black raspberry, pink peppercorns, and hints of red currant echo in the flavor, with the addition of blackberry and a hint of red cherry essence. The finish has notes of nutmeg and warm spicy pepper, with absolutely no heat in the finish. It's a 2003 with only 13% alcohol, 100% Temperance Hill Vineyard fruit, and the signs of excellent vintage management are here in the balanced soft tannins and crisp, subtle acidity.

  Dai Crisp manages Temperance Hill Vineyard we have the good fortune of seeing him on a regular basis.  With each vintage, Dai is polishing the gems that are his Pinots.

Territorial Pinot noir 04 $16.88/$18.75

  Territorial Pinot noir 2004

Congratulations Territorial!

Although Territorial is from Eugene (25 miles to the south and home of fival Uof O), we love them just the same.  Our local and web customers do too!  We can barely keep their wines on the shelf.  They continue to rack up great press—this time it’s from Wine Press Northwest

Several months ago, we featured the Territorial Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2004 in an insider value Pinot e-mail.  A couple days ago, the wine was picked as “Wine of the Week” by Wine Press Northwest and received an “Outstanding” rating from the magazine.  Territorial’s WV ’04 delivers awesome flavors for the value!

Here's what Wine Press NW had to say: " Winemaker John Jarboe receives our highest rating a second time in three years for this release. It exhibits pleasing aromas of oak, rich plums, cinnamon spice, violets and Dr Pepper. The mouth feel is rich with red tones such as Rainier cherries and lingonberries. Ample acidity and silky tannins provide beautiful balance. Rated "Outstanding" by Wine Press Northwest magazine. Price: $19."


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Marcus, Chris, Kevin, and Wendy, and Jean

Avalon Wine
201 SW 2nd Street
Corvallis OR 97333

Marcus Looze

Chris Haggerty
Customer Service

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541-424-8004 (direct line)

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