$100 Winemakers' $30 Pinot

Horsetail Pinot Noir 2022

Horsetail Pinot Noir 2022

We only recently launched Horsetail 2022 and the re-orders and feedback are already streaming in. Our favorite so far: "This recommendation is a great one. Really really excellent Pinot. My kind of wine at an excellent price point." We can't say it better than that (thank you, G.F.!). Here's the original writeup—if you didn't grab some on the first round, don't miss it today.

You've seen our reviews on previous vintages of Horsetail but after a lot of reflection and an especially excellent 2022 vintage, we're going to lay out the story and the math differently:

We take the winemaker at Beaux Freres and the winemaker at Domaine Roy—two Willamette Valley estates where bottles run well north of $100—and we tell you that together, these two winemakers produce a sub-$30 Willamette Valley Pinot noir under their own label. That we've tasted. That is outstanding.

This is Horsetail from the Etzel brothers, sons of Beaux Freres founder Michael Etzel. And we're telling you: the math, the story, and the flavor are particularly compelling in the '22 vintage and that adds up to a highly recommended Pinot.

As we note above, the 2022 vintage is especially strong for Horsetail. The flavor is like a big bowl of fresh Oregon blackberries with raspberry and thyme highlights; it is a pure delight. There is extra depth to it yet more vibrancy, too. And where it really shines is its pillowy texture and weight. I don't impress easily and holy crap, color me impressed.

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Welcoming Walter Scott 2022s

As we tasted and re-tasted through the 2022 Walter Scott single vineyard Pinot noirs, we were struck by how welcoming they are—so full of flavor and life, so gracious in how they show it. That lead us to reflect on previous releases from the team we consider a benchmark producer not only for the Willamette Valley, but for all of American wine.

Walter Scott 2022s are incredibly, immediately charming without sacrificing a day of age-worthiness—'22 represents a new benchmark for the winery. That's what hyper-focus on craft and dogged determination in all aspects—truly from the ground up—have produced. The bottled essence of this can be found in our favorite ever Freedom Hill, the heart-and-soul Sojeau, the incredible debut of Witness Tree, the joy-bringing Koosah...you get the picture.

Much like the winery pours Chardonnays after Pinot noirs, we are thrilled to follow the Pinots with these groundbreaking—and we'll use the term "benchmark" again—Chards.

Walter Scott's impact on Willamette Valley Chardonnay cannot be understated or downplayed. They have been instrumental in helping our region gain attention and respect for more than Pinot noir by championing Chardonnay in the cellar and marketplace and by delivering the goods in the bottle. Specifically, what they deliver in a bottle of 2022 X Novo Chardonnay changes the conversation yet again about the heights to which Willamette Valley Chardonnay can and does aspire. We need to be talking about Walter Scott's X Novo Chardonnay not as one of the Willamette's great Chardonnays but as one of the world's—it is transcendent and not to be missed.

Do not stop there. You'll find such thrillingly electric Chardonnays with each and every single vineyard. This is Walter Scott, this is what they do and who they are. There's more than enough reading below so we'll let you get to it. Add these to your collection today.

Heed the call of Cabernet perfection.

Cabernet fans: the clock is ticking. What we're counting down to is the day a reviewer drops 100 points on the 2021 Force Majeure Red Mountain Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. Based on our tastings, it could even happen more than once.

Here's what we know regarding the '21 Red Mountain Estate Cab: only one pre-release score has been published, 98-100 points, a "candidate for perfection, possibly legendary" Cabernet. And we know what we tasted is a 100-point Cabernet. We've seen what happens when triple-digit scores are published—the last 100-point Force Majeure Cab had to be allocated in single-bottle increments.

But today, we don't have to fool around with allocations or limits. We can just fill requests and orders with abandon for what we believe is the best Washington Cabernet Sauvignon available. This is the master at work. You can wait until someone drops the official 100 points on the Red Mountain Estate Cab—which we are confident will occur—but if you do wait until then, we can't/won't make any promises as to how much will be left and what will happen to the price. Lock yours in today.

While we have a special fondness for Force Majeure's Red Mountain Cab, the true mastery lies in a comparative tasting of Todd Alexander's epic 2021 Walla Walla Estate Cab and jaw-dropping Épinette. We strongly encourage you to add these to your mix, too. Hear that clock, heed the call of Cabernet. Today.