Thinking about the upcoming International Pinot Noir Celebration this weekend got us thinking about our own Willamette Valley Pinot celebration, one where we choose our favorite Pinot noirs of '19 so far, regardless of ratings. And we celebrate them.
There's plenty of reading and no shortage of strong opinions below, so no need to pontificate further. Thanks so much for reading and for your support!
$62.05 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case* order ($68.95 regular)
The best smelling Pinot noir from the 2017 vintage and when you consider that 80% of what we taste comes from smell, we believe you're seeing the picture. It's everything red that we love, melded together in the most heavenly perfume. It expresses the pure beauty of Pinot noir like no other Willamette Valley wine: old vines, picked at the perfect time, treated the right way, unobscured by new oak, wonderfully balanced in its unstoppable fruit and elegant, buoyant freshness. As Jim Maresh has said many times, this exquisite, old vine fruit needs no makeup. It glows like a red sun over the Dundee Hills. From the most prized blocks of Maresh Vineyard, the fifth oldest in the Willamette Valley. As crazy as it may sound, given which other Oregon wines occupy the space of $60, this wine is a bargain.
$25.15 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case* order ($27.95 regular)
A sublime wine of quiet authority. We've now tasted this a half-dozen times and each time, we've been completely enthralled. What makes the 2017 so special is its paradox of weight and weightlessness, that magical ah-hah that Pinot noir is uniquely equipped to deliver and that this vintage has gift-wrapped for us. Always, always one of our favorite Pinots at any price, an interesting note is how excited winemaker Erin Nuccio is about the '17. That classic Evesham mix of cherries and rosemary blossoms, so perfectly marrying sweet and savory. La Grive Bleue is the northern block of Evesham's estate, certified organic and now over 20 years old. Always tiny production, it only leaves Oregon by way of a FedEx or UPS truck, so let us help secure your stash.
$49.45 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case* order ($54.95 regular)
Our professional opinion, based on having tasting every Walter Scott wine since the beginning, many multiple times: the best wine Walter Scott has released. Each bottle we've opened (a lot) gets finished in minutes -- it is screaming good right now. The complete package. A serious wow. Our favorite of the Walter Scott '17s (duh). Ken described power, grace, and elegance -- we're in complete agreement -- and there's more. Sensual and rich, fresh and surging with electric Pinot vivacity, accentuated by savory, spice, and mineral threads, held together by expressive Oregon red berries. Wonderfully elegant while also superbly deep, the essence of Walter Scott Pinot noir.
$58.45 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case* order ($64.95 regular)
One of the most exquisite Pinot noirs in the entire Willamette Valley, Ayoub's Estate defies conventional descriptors. Even more about feel than flavor, it's a silky, sensual wine wine that's an absolute must-have for Oregon Pinot lovers. Mo's Estate Pinot always comes back to one word: silk. It's the texture and the way the wine moves. Since we don't have to stick to one word, we can say that the 2017 Estate is aromatically gorgeous, too, boasting red fruits and nutmeg cream. The elegant, understated power surges effortlessly, creating a sense of completeness. Having tasted each and every vintage of Ayoub Pinot noir, we're fully confident in agreeing with Mo that this is one of his best Estate Pinots ever and will be an exceptionally long-lived wine.
$67.45 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case* order ($74.95 regular)
It's impossible to contain our enthusiasm for this wine and this vineyard. Daphne Vineyard is the second oldest (planted in 1974) and highest elevation (890 feet) Eyrie vineyard. It is exposed, cold and windy, the soil is extremely shallow. The vines are almost bonsai-like and stripped of bark because of the harsh environment (see below); the clusters they produce are tiny. The stressed conditions breed a unique and awesome wine. A glowing orb of energy, Daphne's brilliance radiates outward, packed with so much intensity of aroma and flavor that we don't know where to begin. Rose-accented red, blue, and purple tones, exotic spices, surprisingly overt and showy already yet with a 15-20 year cellar life ahead of it.
$19.75 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case* order ($21.95 regular)
In the most technical of wine terms, holy crap this is good. Get it? GET IT. Seriously outstanding Oregon Pinot for the dollar, this wine over delivers then backs the truck up and delivers some more. To love this wine is to love the style of Marcus Goodfellow, whose wines have been favorites of ours for many years. His wines are as enjoyable as they are intellectual, beguiling you and refreshing you in equal doses. Made from Durant, Whistling Ridge, and Fir Crest vineyards priced more than humbly because hey, that's just the way Goodfellow rolls.
$62.95 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case* order ($69.95 regular)
Perfection in aged Pinot. To catch this rare Pinot in such a perfect drinking zone was a thing of beauty; to be able to share the experience with you is absolutely sublime! This was the favorite wine of the visit and over the course of the next two days before we couldn't take it anymore and had to finish the bottle! So smooth and silky we want to make it into a sweater that we can wear every day.
A handful of wines would be listed above if they were still available and chances are, you already own most/all of them!
We're looking forward to helping you with an order. Thank you!
Purple Wine Company, Inc., a California limited liability company, and its AVALON brand are not in any way affiliated with Avalon Wine, Inc, an Oregon corporation, or Avalon Wine's store at its physical location in Oregon.
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