Region: Willamette Valley, OR
Grapes involved: Pinot Noir
Food pairings: salmon, grilled veggies or chicken, sushi (maybe? like tuna-heavy sushi more than crab), strawberries (I’d imagine – I *hate* strawberries so I’m not going to verify), lighter cheeses
Etc: the vineyard is certified sustainable and Salmon Safe
Rating: 87 – Wine Enthusiast
This is a fun wine – it has, flat out, the strangest tannin structure I’ve ever come across. I’ll explain in a moment.
Scent-wise, this is mostly cherry with undertones of vanilla, leather, violet, stuff like that. Like any good Pinot Noir, almost any scent you can think of is hiding in there somewhere – Pinots tend to be a wine snot favorite because of their complexity.
Flavor-wise, the cherry (think bright red cherries – not maraschino, but something bright red rather than dark or golden or sour) is the centerpiece, surrounded by violet leaf, rose petals, and a touch of earth and sage - it’s kind of like the wine equivalent of being in a flower-strewn cherry orchard. It’s light-bodied, light enough that it would be fantastic with seafood.* As any good Pinot Noir should be, this wine is quite dry.
And then there are the tannins. They’re… they’re, like, mouth-scrapey almost, but not in that tooth-coating way that means it’s impossible to rub your tongue on the roof of your mouth – it’s sharper than that, not quite so powdery, so that the wine comes across as slightly astringent. This isn’t bad (even if I’m not making it sound that great) – the feeling is really strange in a fun, different way. I wouldn’t want it in every wine, but coming across it in this was quite a bit of fun. It made me enjoy sipping it alone more than I usually do – the sensation in my mouth was so interesting that I wasn’t interested in spoiling it with food.
So, you know, grab some and enjoy. It’s not the cheapest Pinot Noir out there, but you’re flat out not going to get a cheap Pinot Noir from Oregon – they’re too good. As they go, this is well-priced and lovely to drink.
*Because seriously, that “pair reds with meats, whites with chicken and seafood” rule is so, so tired.