Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2006
"The sweet and tart flavorsof ripe, red cherry and cranberry areaccented by hints of vanilla, earth andspice. Lingering notes of cinnamonand clove spice round out the finish.2006 was a warm year and experiencein the cellar created a wine with flavors in balance with acids and alcohol. Drink now-2012.Serving Suggestions:A great complement to wild salmon. Also try with roasted duck, grilled lamb, mushrooms, and medium cheeses." Winery Notes
Pinot Noir / $19 Wilamette Valley / Oregon A good friend just returned from Portland, and picked up some Oregon Pinot Noir for us to try. We tasted three wines, all in the $20 range. Only one stood out, and for the $20 price tag, Willamette Valley Whole Cluster Pinot is a fabulous value. Oregon is a hotbed for American Pinots. There is very little difficulty in finding 20 or more at your favorite wine store. The difficulty is finding one you like at the $20 price point. Jim Bernau purchased the estate in 1983. A former plum orchard, this land was well suited to the cool climate varietals he wanted. He cleared the the old orchard and planted his first Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris taking care to hand water the vines until established. For Jim, passion of the grape is shared with passion for the environment. Stewardship is a catchword in much of his winery literature. He has implemented a variety of programs to limit the winery's carbon footprint. Recycled corks, free bio fuel for his employees, credit for each returned empty bottle or cardboard shipper are just a few of the innovative programs in place. Willamette is one of the few vineyards certified sustainable. They plant, maintain and harvest their grapes using methods safe to the local watersheds and wildlife. This is expensive stuff that certainly effects the bottom line. You would not find this type of environmental consciousness at a corporate owned vineyard. Kudos to Jim and company for their work. The best way to let wineries know that this environmental consciousness is appreciated is to buy their wine. <span style="font-style:italic;">(Allow me to now step off my soapbox...)</span> Lets talk about the wine a bit. It pours a beautiful clear ruby color. Swirling the wine releases loads of strawberry, raspberry and candied fruit aromas. You can tell from the nose this is going to be a hedonistic wine. The strawberry leads the charge when tasted, with raspberry, cherry and a bit of spice following closely. It has a nice mid-palate with an interesting cherry coke nuance. The finish, although not long, is pleasant. All too often Pinot in this range has bitterness or off tastes on the finish. The wine is generally well balanced, dangerously easy to drink, and will be a crowd-pleaser wherever served. This wine is delicious. I was genuinely surprised at the $19 price tag. I spoke with a representative of the vineyard who promised to follow up to provide some local retailers for this wine. The beauty of a smaller winery is the care they take to make their wines. The difficulty of the smaller winery is finding a reliable distribution channel for their product. It is times like these I wish I lived in Oregon.
Nose: Freshly picked raspberries, light smoke, peat and loam. Color: Bright red. - See through. Taste: Very light mouth feel, too bright, grapejuice. Finish: Slightly puckered, salt, fleeting.
My first red of the day. Somewhat bitter, not very pleasing in the mouth. Thin, with muted flavors. Earthy, raspberry, and just a touch of leather.
Hey, a step back in the right direction! Still not as tasty as the 777 clone, but this is close, very close. Berry fruit over saddle leather and dirt, with a touch of chocolate on the finish.
A step back from the 777 clone. The sweetness is gone, replaced by some tannins that, while not unpleasant, don't add anything to the flavor. Mouthfeel is nice, between the thin 114 clone and robust 777 clone.
Much brighter than I anticipated. This wine should be decanted for at least 30 minutes to release all of its fruit. Yes, there is actually a hint of banana, but the berry fruit and cherry are the more dominating aromas. Some spice. Overall, a very soft and exceptionally well balanced with clean acidity which highlights the fruitiness and spice. A much better wine than the vineyards other '06 Pinot. This wine will age nicely, only getting better until about 2012
This wine is pairs nicely with pork, lamb and beef but not as well with turkey. Best if decanted for 20 to 30 minutes. Very few bubbles and nice plum color. Initial nose of cherry, spices and Pinot earthiness. Spice carries with nutmeg and slight mineral overtones but the cherry and strawberry flavors are ripe and balanced throughout. Finish is pleasant; good acidity and balanced tannins. Good wine overall but I prefer the '06 Whole Cluster
External Reviews for Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir Willamette Valley
The 2006 Pinot Noir has sweet, delicatearomas of raspberry, licorice andviolets, with a juicy entry and silkymouthfeel. The sweet and tart fl avorsof ripe, red cherry and cranberry areaccented by hints of vanilla, earth andspice. Lingering notes of cinnamonand clove spice round out the fi nish.2006 was a warm year and experiencein the cellar created a wine with fl avorsin balance with acids and alcohol. Drinknow-2012.
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