Browse Tag

willamette valley

A Duzer of a wine

Van Duzer 1999 Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley) – There was a time when I quite liked this house. And then there was a time where everything they made seemed wretched. This was from the first era, and though it has mostly clung and lingered rather than blossomed, it’s still not bad. A fair bit more menthololic and herbal than pinot noir of only eleven years should be, with all the stripped-down structure but few of the developed berry-leaf aromatics that one expects. Still, it’s pretty enough, in an overly freckled sort of way. Drink up, and soon. (10/10)

You’re not my brother

Beaux Frères 2005 Pinot Noir Ribbon Ridge (Willamette Valley) – Overwhelming. Intensity dialed past ultra-high to pure caricature, with a liqueur-like texture (minus the sweetness). Black fruit gelatin. This is like drinking a migraine. One can admire the skill, I suppose, but…ugh. (8/09)

Siduri Cruise

Siduri 2006 Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley) – The immediate aromatic impression is of walking into a furniture factory: freshly-cut wood (not, I need to clarify, a comment on the wine’s élevage), paint, and varnish, all powerfully intense. Then comes light fruit that’s been charred to dark anger, perhaps with some beet and blood orange rind, which make me think that this could be a good ringer in a tasting of the Central Otago’s brawniest styles. There’s bright acidity throughout, the alcohol (14.1%) is felt but does not intrude, balance is mostly achieved, and the wine’s by no means actively unpleasant to drink (though it’s a little assaultive to smell), but…well, I feel like I’m drinking a tightly-clenched fist. This is a wine that wants to take a swing at someone. (4/09)

Cumberland farms

Bergström 2006 Pinot Noir “Cumberland Reserve” (Willamette Valley) – Open a bit longer than the ideal, perhaps, because the stemmy greenness has come to dominate the nose. The palate is pure enough, with good acidity and a crisp, red-fruited microburst of fruit, but the finish returns to tones of green and brown. Iffy. (1/09)

Chicken Cooper

Cooper Mountain 2001 “Estate” Pinot Gris (Willamette Valley) – Juicy-fruity. Pear and light fennel, plus a bit of pollen-infused honey; the wine has a dry, mead-like texture that’s fairly interesting in a wine. Good acidity. Very approachable. (12/08)

Go-to Coteau

[grapes]Domaine Coteau 2006 Pinot Noir (Eola-Amity Hills) – Big and shoulder-y, as usual, but with more grace than in previous vintages…or maybe the fruit is just stronger in relation to the structure, which in the past has seemed to dominate this wine. Deep-toned, with some oven-roasted earth underneath all that broody fruit. (8/08)

Two first names

[vineyard]Scott Paul 2006 Pinot Noir “La Paulée” (Willamette Valley) – This takes a little while to rev up the engines, and drinking it now isn’t all that rewarding an experience. But it’s very, very good under its thick, downy blankets of youth; dark fruit, satiny earth-flecked morel, and a plush texture yet to be revealed. Wait for it. (6/08)

The red arrow

Archery Summit 2004 Pinot Noir Red Hills Estate (Dundee Hills) – Dark, concentrated fruit. Beet and cedar. Crunchy. Decent, but simple, and lacking the promise of future complexity; the wine is awfully monolithic. (2/08)