Epic Pinots: New 97, 96 Point Reviews

"This is truly a golden age for high-quality Pinot noirs from across Oregon."

It is fantastic to have such validation from the international wine press, in this case from the highly respected Vinous, which published its annual Willamette Valley Pinot report last week.

It continues: "The Willamette Valley’s winning streak, which has seldom been interrupted for almost the past two decades, continued through 2019, a year that has produced some epic Pinot Noirs of noteworthy elegance and energy.

We'll have more offers for you over the coming weeks as new wines arrive; here are seven of the most epic 97 and 96 point Pinot noirs from the Vinous report from a handful of our top wineries. Please note: quantities of some wines here are incredibly limited.

$84.95 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case order ($94.95 regular)

97 points Vinous: "Highly perfumed aromas of ripe red and dark fruits, incense and potpourri, along with an exotic spice nuance and a hint of smoky minerality. Palate-staining black raspberry, cherry and fruitcake flavors show sharp definition and deepen steadily as the wine stretches out. Deftly plays richness off elegance and finishes impressively long and chewy, with repeating cherry and floral character and building tannins adding final grip. 8% whole clusters and 26% new French oak."

Us: In a mere handful of vintages, Mimi's Mind has emerged as one of the Willamette Valley's top Pinot noirs. There's no secret—it's simply the magical, regenerative farming of Mimi Casteel, the wine's namesake.

3 cases available
$76.95 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case order ($84.95 regular)

96 points Vinous: "Deeply perfumed aromas of black raspberry and cherry-cola are complemented by hints of candied flowers, incense, vanilla and exotic spices. Broad and fleshy in the mouth, offering juicy red and dark berry liqueur, mocha and candied rose flavors and a suggestion of spicecake. Becomes more energetic with air and shows superb definition on the strikingly long finish, which features supple tannins and resonating berry, spice and floral qualities."

The winery: This wine is built to be great, comes from the best of the best sources and delivers every single vintage. Yes, this is an esoteric wine in the sense of how it is made, how it differs from all our other wines and that it is frequently our top wine of any given vintage despite being a blend rather than from a single vineyard. That is a bit of the fun of this bottling to go along with the pure deliciousness of the wine.

1 case available
$89.95 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case order ($99.95 regular)

97 points Vinous: "A highly complex bouquet evokes red and blue fruit preserves, along with suave Asian spice, floral oil and smoky mineral flourishes. Shows impressive definition and lift on the palate, offering spice-tinged boysenberry, cherry cola, Chambord, candied lavender and spicecake flavors that put on weight as the wine opens up. Finishes extremely long and lively, with fine-grained tannins providing closing grip to lingering raspberry and bitter chocolate notes.

The winery: This as-of-yet-but-possibly-soon-to-be-revealed vineyard brings the “WOW” factor and has every year. That it does it in this vintage says something beyond what we already knew about the special nature of this site. Even in a cellar loaded with great vineyards and great wines this pops in every sensory category. Just a spectacular wine of grace, richness, balance and burgeoning complexity. The 2009 recently tasted in a line-up of serious, serious heavy hitter Burgs from a single Grand Cru site held its own and then some.

$79.95 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case order ($99.95 regular)

96 points Vinous: "Powerful red and blue fruit, floral and exotic spice scents show excellent clarity and mineral lift. Sappy, alluringly sweet and penetrating on the palate, offering juicy boysenberry, Chambord, candied violet and star anise flavors that deftly blend depth and vivacity. Shows bright clarity and repeating florality on the strikingly persistent finish, which is framed by smooth, polished tannins."

The winery: This year marked the 50th anniversary of the iconic music festival. As a tribute to the festival’s message of harmony, cooperation and hope—and as a nod to the persistent rains that helped define both this year’s harvest and the 1969 festival—we bring you Woodstock, Sequitur’s melodic, inspiring 2019 vintage.

$89.95 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case order ($99.95 regular)

96 points Vinous: "Expansive red and blue fruit preserve scents show superb clarity and take on suggestions of pungent flowers, exotic spices and smoky minerality with air. Juicy and energetic on the palate, offering concentrated blueberry, black raspberry, five-spice powder and floral pastille flavors underscored by a vein of juicy acidity. The floral note repeats emphatically on a wonderfully long finish that features polished tannins and reverberating red fruit character."

Us: The Beaux Freres Vineyard bottling is an undeniably great wine, demonstrated through so many vintages and in so many ways. But let's talk 2019: when first opened it's super aromatic, showing delicacy and utter loveliness. The whole wine is steeped with a perfumed brilliance, exchanging breezes of sandalwood, crushed red fruits, and fir forest. The flavors are pure Beaux Freres Pinot–if you know it you love it–carried on a super silky slide. It's easy to enjoy now because of the intoxicating scents, the overall energy; I can feel the underlying layers that will make this a thrill to watch over the coming years.

$69.95 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case order ($79.95 regular)

96 points Vinous: "Assertive red berry, cherry, lavender and incense scents show outstanding clarity and spicy lift. Concentrated yet nervy black raspberry, cherry cola, spicecake and floral pastille flavors pick up a hint of smokiness. A discreet blood orange nuance adds refreshing cut to the strikingly long finish, which features polished tannins and reverberating spice and floral notes.

$69.95 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case order ($79.95 regular)

96 points Vinous: "Vibrant red fruit, floral and exotic spice qualities on the nose; deeper dark berry and licorice notes arrive with air. Juicy and tightly wound on entry, offering appealingly sweet raspberry, boysenberry, cherry cola, candied lavender and allspice flavors and a touch of vanilla. Shows superb clarity and mineral lift on the persistent finish, which features gently firming tannins and repeating cherry, floral and spice notes."