A Truly Special Vintage: McKinlay 2016

How does a winery designate an okay vintage, a good vintage, a truly special vintage? 

Not a single winery of the hundreds in the entire Willamette Valley puts their money where their mouth is like McKinlay. The pickiest winery in the Valley, some vintages you get only one McKinlay Pinot, sometimes two.

Only in vintages they deem truly special  like 2016  do they choose to make all three “reserves.” The drum roll is long and loud...after a year and a half wait since we first tasted them, and for the first time since 2012, we are genuinely thrilled to announce the release of 2016 McKinlay Ladd Hill, Estate, and Special Selection Pinot noirs! 

We first tasted the ‘16s a full year and a half ago; they were the best wines in the room, but we knew we had to wait. We were transfixed, almost haunted by them, because we wanted to turn right around and sell them!.

McKinlay's winemaking style accentuates and preserves the essence of Pinot noir: succulence, sweetness, transparency and authenticity. The full suite of '16 Pinots are hidden treasures, easily among the handful of undiscovered Willamette Valley gems. They are drool-worthy.

$216 (save 10%)
2 bottles each 2016 Ladd Hill, Estate and Special Selection Pinot noirs.

Grab a 6-pack for a comparative tasting dinner party; grab two 6-packs so you can stash some in the cellar. Whatever and whichever option, the essential point is that you get them.

The individual wines, with our notes:
$35.95 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case order ($39.95 regular)

I love this wine. Succulent, savory, sweet and broad red fruits — the perfect summer strawberry adding to the classic raspberry love bomb of Ladd Hill — are joined by touches of lavender and mint. There’s so much to fawn over right there but wait, there’s more! The super-silky flow of it, the effortless, elegant weight, the pure Pinot sweetness so masterfully on display, clinging to your senses. I love it as a young wine and know it will be better after a few years of cellaring, with a potential for well over a decade of enjoyment. 

Ladd Hill boasts some of the Valley’s oldest vines, planted in 1976 and farmed by McKinlay. It is a hidden treasure of Oregon wine.

$35.95 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case order ($39.95 regular)

The rarest of McKinlay Pinot noirs, with a nose signaling this is open for business! Darker fruit than Ladd Hill, it's wonderfully cohesive from beginning to end. Sweet summer blackberry patch, fall leaves, salty minerals and dried herbs, denser and weightier than the typical McKinlay style. Finishing like a dark red velvet robe with red licorice sash. Try one now over a couple days and sock away a few more for several years.

$35.95 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case order ($39.95 regular)

A beautiful combination of the best qualities embodied in Ladd Hill and Estate. On the nose, more similar to the Estate's aromatic fireworks then showing raspberry succulence. Nervy and bright, with a wave of freshness meeting savory- sweet, McKinlay-pure Pinot fruit through the finish. This beauty has everything it needs to last a long time but boy, is it tasty today, too.

A little more about McKinlay:
McKinlay, AKA the Kinnes, are friendly, funny, humble, hard-working, low-key and welcoming; their wines are a direct reflection. In the classic model of the small family winery, the cellar is actually in the cellar, under their house.
The Kinnes at right: founders Matt and Holly with second generation winemaker, Jake.