noirs You'll Want to Know About
Local and Very Small Production Wines for Insiders
November 2, 2005
A customer commented to me today that he'd been disappointed
by a lot of $50+ Red Burgundies - he was ordering the Shea 2004 Pinots,
which drink, he said, like a $275 French Burgundy. As you know, the Shea
wines are made in miniscule quantities and are not widely available.
On a value priced note, here are a few under
$25 Oregon Pinot noirs that taste like a lot more. They're all from small producers
whose wines are not widely known or available. Our local customers are
longtime fans of many of these wines, which we are now offering to a
wider clientele. We think you'll find excellent price/performance in
these lovely wines.
Evesham Wood "Le Puit Sec" Pinot noir 04 $25.61/$28.45
I know this wine is slightly over our $25 goal, but it's just such a
great value I had to include it.
Burghound is the respected wine writer Allan Meadows,
whose specialty is Burgundy and Pinot noir. He tends to rate most wines
of good quality at 88 points or so - a rating above 90 is rare. So
when he rated Evesham's "Le Puit Sec" Pinot noir 03 with
91 points, it means a lot. I believe it was his highest rating
for 2003 vintage Oregon Pinot noir.
Here's what he had to say: "This
is ripe yet elegant with earthy red berry fruits that carry only the
barest trace of wood and leads to rich, round, supple, plush and pure
middle weight flavors that possess beautiful texture and real sap with
a dusty, persistent and restrained finish. This is really a lovely effort
that is balanced and understated yet presents itself with finesse and
grace with no more than a hint of finishing warmth. This is much less
a creature of its vintage than most of the wines in this review as it
remains very pinot in style. In short, one of the
wines of the vintage.
We could not agree more. The Le Puit Sec 03 is a lovely
wine, with not a hint of the excess heat found in many 2003 Oregon Pinot
noirs. It's both lush and delicate, an elegant wine with lots of plush
fruit that will please a crowd and pair well with a wide array of foods.
Russ Raney is a real genius, one of Oregon's treasures, and his reasonable
prices make his wines even more of a "must-have".
Siduri Pinot noir Willamette Valley 04 $17.50/$19.45
Black raspberry, wild cherry, bittersweet chocolate and hints of licorice
in the nose are followed by more of the same in the mouth, nicely balanced
and succulent. Siduri's Adam Lee makes wines in Santa Rosa CA from both
Oregon andCalifornia fruit, and he knows Pinot noir.
Adam Lee and Dianna
Novy, now his wife, met while working at Neiman Marcus, in the wine and
gourmet food department. They fell in love with wine and decided to start
making Pinot noir, moving to California's Dry Creek Valley to work for
a small winery. One evening, after a few glasses of wine, they heard
that famed wine writer Robert Parker was staying at the Meadowood Resort
in the Napa Valley. Emboldened by the wine, they pulled a sample of their
first wine and left it with the concierge for Mr. Parker. This wine ultimately
received a 90-point rating in the Wine Advocate. Their winery, Siduri
Wines, took off from there.
The Willamette Valley is always a hot seller
from Siduri, the price is so reasonable. Expect this wine to sell out
in a few weeks.
Lumos Pinot noir 2003 $19.75/$21.95
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 (which winemaker Dai
Crisp manages), and the signs of excellent vintage management are here
in the balanced soft tannins and crisp, subtle acidity. This is a real
hottie here in Corvallis, one of our most popular wines with local customers.
Harmonia Pinot noir 2004 $18.86/$20.95
OK, so we mentioned this wine last time. Well, we've retasted the wine
several times and have decided it's good enough that we
are sending it to our Reserve Pinot noir Club in December.
We rarely send a $21 wine to the club, because our mandate is to send
the very best Pinot noirs from Oregon. But Michael's little Harmonia
Pinot has such great flavors for the price, we thought even our high-end
Pinot members would want to know about his wines.
Michael Beckley makes small amounts of
very well priced wine. He works for a number of wineries and makes his
own label on the side. All of his wines are made in tiny amounts, and
it's obvious that his years at Domaine Drouhin were used well. He's a
talented winemaker and a rising star whose wines we plan to watch for
His 2004 Harmonia
Pinot noir is everything you'd want and expect in a ready to drink
Oregon Pinot. Black berry fruitand soft cinnamon spice in the nose and
quite striking sweet spice and blackberry, black
raspberry, and more pie spice in the flavor, the wine has a
singularly pleasant cinnamon spice note on the finish. It's just a real
nice wine for the price. Michael also makes a delectable Chardonnay (Theia)
and a round, plush Syrah ( Hyperion).
Well that's this week's Pinot noirs that taste like a
lot more than they cost. We hope you find something you like, and give
us a call! We love to talk with customers - you give us our best ideas.
Jean, Marcus, Chris, Kevin, and Wendy
201 SW 2nd Street
Corvallis OR 97333