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Oregon Pinot noir – Pioneers & Rising Stars


Pioneers and Rising Stars
Of Oregon Pinot noir

Oregon Wine Pioneers Eyrie and Patricia Green Cellars have 41 and 20 Oregon vintages under their belt (respectively). With all of their combined experience and and the winemakers’ reknowned skills, they continue to deliver rocking value Pinots.

Oregon Rising Stars Roots and Toluca Lane are tiny production, boutique wineries – they share winemaking space with other new wineries to help keep costs down. The 2009 vintage is Roots’ sixth. The Toluca Pinot noir 09 is a terrific value, ready to enjoy now. Chris Berg’s Roots wines are often compared to the Pinot noirs of Eric Hamacher, one of the winemakers he worked for.

Toluca Lane made a mere 305 cases of gutsy, beautiful estate-grown 09 Pinot noir. You know the wine tastes good, as co-owner Lane Crowther is a trained saucier and ran Bon Apetit Magazine’s food testing program for several years!

Pioneers & Rising Stars
Oregon Pinot noir Case

Contains 3 bottles of each Pinot noir


Jason Lett - Eyrie Vineyards



Eyrie Vineyards
Estate Pinot noir 09

26.95 in any 12 bottle order
$29.95 retail

Why is it we so love Eyrie’s wines? Because the winery is at the center of the history of Oregon Wine. Because winemaker Jason Lett’s life is woven into the vines he grew up with and he has a visceral, gut understanding of his family’s vineyards and the fruit they produce. Jason is the second generation of Eyrie winemakers- his father, David Lett, was a true Oregon winemaking Pioneer and one of the first to plant Pinot noir in Oregon.

Above, Jason Lett in the Eyrie Estate Vineyard.
Photo by Andrea Johnson

We love Eyrie wines because Jason makes Pinot noirs that evince a personal vision of Oregon while opening our palates to what Dundee Hills terroir is all about. Because, in his words, he wants “oak to be a veil, not an overcoat”. Because his passion for Oregon wine bodes well for the 21st century.

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Patricia Green



Patricia Green Cellars
Estate Pinot noir 08

$32.36 in any 12 bottle order
$35.95 retail

Patricia Green Cellars has a huge following – very time I go pick up wine there’s a group of fans hovered around the plank balanced on some barrels in the part of their cement warehouse they call a tasting room. Most people familiar with Patty Green wines say they are accessible from the moment the cork pops, and age well in the cellar. Green is able to get great fruit extraction from her wines, and wonderful aromatics.

At right, Patricia Green
in her Estate Vineyard

The flavors of the 2008 Estate Pinot noir are brimming with blackberry, currant, black cherry, cola and slate. The structure leans toward the powerful side with strong tannins providing heft and grip at the back of the wine. This is a substantial number every year and the 2008 packs a real punch. – Patty Green

Toluca lane owners 

Toluca Lane Pinot noir 09

$28.75 in any 12 bottle order
$31.95 retail

Fantastic value in a “bigger” style Oregon Pinot. Silky blackberry, black currant, bright red cherry and a sweet violet note that pops towards the end. Deep, lingering vanilla spice, caramel, and cocoa round out the lush black fruit finish.

at right, Lane and
Geoffrey Crowther

Aromas of plum and red cherries arise followed by a tinge of vanilla with soft violet florals. The ripe red fruit is partnered with an earthy “chewiness” as juniper berries hide in the background. The long big finish has a smooth texture and a rounded gentle mouth feel as the red fruit lingers on. – the winery

Toluca Lane made a mere 305 cases of gutsy, beautiful estate-grown 09 Pinot noir. You know the wine tastes good, as co-owner Lane Crowther is a trained saucier and ran Bon Apetit Magazine’s food testing program for several years!

Toluca lane owners 

Roots Cancilla Vineyard
Pinot noir 08

$25.15 in any 12 bottle order

$27.94 retail

Roots is the winery of Chris and Hilary Berg. Chris Berg makes about 100 cases each each year, and they are on the wine lists of some of Portland’s hottest restaurants. Price and value make his Oregon Pinot noirs a mainstay of our wine shop and wine writers’ “recommended” lists. He’s not just a rising star, he’s a dang exploding nebula (photo at right).

The Roots Cancilla Pinot noir flavors are predominantly blackberry, black currant, and earth. The Cancilla Vineyard’s characteristic hint of licorice and spice livens things up, and the tannins are smooth and balanced. Pair with lamb or pork and use light flavoring on the meat to let the wine’s sweet spice shine through.

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