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Oregon Pinot Noir suggestions needed

  • t

I went to Portland in February and my friends and I brought back some Pinots to have at a future wine tasting. Well, the future is now and we are having the tasting this weekend. One friend is keeping the stash in her cellar and I misplaced my list of what we purchased, I hthink I was fuzzy headed after tasting so much wine. All of what we purchased is supposed to be hard to find in California (where we live). I'd like to purchase a couple more bottles. My friends preferred the more substantial, earthier Pinots and the group who will be tasting the wines are Zin and Syrah fans. I am interested in a very fruit foward Pinot, perhaps as a way to start the tasting. We do blind tastings so I am also looking for ideas for a ringer as well. I can spend up to about $30 a bottle. I have two high end wine shops in my neighborhood as well as a Bev Mo and World Market/Cost Plus. TJ's is close too but it is a mad house due to the holiday. Thank you in advance.

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  1. Sounds like you may have tried the Raptor Ridge PN, but if you are looking for things to put in the tasting that are as you describe, try finding Patton Valley, Van Duzer, WillaKenzie, Elk Cove, or Ponzi.

    1. I have found "Firesteed Pinot Noir" from Oregon to be excellent especially when you consider the price. Somewhere around 10 to 12 a bottle. I have found it at Bev Mo.

      1. O'Reilly's is an excellent Pinot and very good value.

        1 Reply
        1. re: cap

          I enthusiastically second the O'Reilly's suggestion. This is a great, fruity Pinot at a very reasonable price point (about $14).

          I am very fond of most of the wines that come from the O'Reilly's/Owen Roe/Sineann group. Not only are they very well-crafted, but their bottles are beautiful.

        2. For those that like CA Zin and Syrah, I'd recommend Archery Summit and St. Innocent. They both make very massive, tannic, highly extracted Pinot Noirs. Not my style, but they have their fans. Archery Summit is more austere (not to mention very expensive), while St. Innocent wines tend to be a bit more earthy and approachable. I've always enjoyed any Pinot made from the Freedom Hill vineyard (Bethel Heights is one, but there are others I can't presently recall that use that fruit). Domaine Drouhin and Domaine Serene are some of my other favorite producers. Rex Hill's entry level is a decent option for a relatively inexpensive OR Pinot Noir.


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          1. Ah, Oregon Pinot Noir - a subject near and dear to my heart.

            If money is no object, look for one of Ken Wright's single-vineyard wines. They run about $40-$45 in Minnesota, but might be cheaper in California. I LOVE these wines!

            Maybe you could buy an inexpensive Pinot to balance out the expense of a pricy one. Last year, I fell in love with Hunter-Chaps (sp?) Pinot Noir; it's rich and fruit-forward and very yummy, and costs about $8 or $10 here. But I couldn't find it in MN, because the distributor sold out. You might have better luck in CA.

            And if you do food with your tasting, don't forget the Tillamook cheddar - it's perfect with Oregon Pinot Noir. (But any good aged cheddar will work.)

            Have fun at your tasting!

            1. My GFs just e-mailed me their lists of Pinots and not one that all of you suggested is on it (no duplications). Thanks to all of you we should have a nice well rounded tasting. We are going to use a California Pinot Noir as the ringer. Thanks again.

              1. One of the most foward Oregon Pinots I've had lately is Argyle's Nuthouse. It runs closer to $48, here in SoCal, but it is quite amazing.

                1. Some wineries that I love in Oregon are Chehalem, Rex Hill (especially for value), and Willa Kenzie. While Archery Summit Pinots can be expensive, their entry-level wines are some of the most consistently good, with a lighter, more Burgundian style than some of the newer, cultish producers. Freja and Cristom are excellent value producers but might be hard to find. Penner-Ash puts forth very big, meaty wines. For a splurge, Domaine Serene's Evenstad Reserve is always fabulous (and would make a good ringer in a tasting of Russian River pinots for next time maybe).

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: monday

                    I second Monday's rec of Chehalem, Yam Hill...also seek out Domaine Serene...
                    I've found a huge difference between the regular and reserve Pinot Noirs of Oregon.
                    I'm in love with the Reserves...will check my notes for more recs if I have time...
                    Generally, I find the fruit from the Chehalem and Yam Hill areas to be a bit brighter and deeper than some of the other areas...Let us know how the tasting goes...

                  2. Evesham Pinot Noirs are excellent quality for around #30.

                    For a real splurge, you may want to have a bottle of Beaux Freres Pinot Noir (all of the recent vintages have been outstanding)

                    1. My favorites of the 2004's so far are Shea, Aramenta's Reserve, Scott Paul, Cuneo, Bethel Heights. I find Archery Summit to be very overpriced and overhyped, they sell an image more than a wine. Ditto for Bergstrom. Unfortunately the best Pinots rarely get out of the Northwest.

                      1. We've been really liking Witness Tree, it drinks as well if not better than wines twice its price. The Estate bottling is in the mid 20's.


                        1. I really like the www.langewinery.com low end pinot noir for the value. The '04 with the rose on the lable is the one I'm buying for $15 at the local wine store lately.

                          1. Benton Lane or Tori Mor are a couple of great
                            pinots in the price range you described

                            1. Has anyone tasted Le Cadeau pinot noir? I attended a wine dinner last fall ('06) in Delaware at Domaine Hudson wine bar and eatery, and I seem to recall that it was very good. I've heard they're now releasing their 2005.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Nancy99

                                Le Cadeau is excellent! But probaby not in the right price range.

                                For me, in your price range you might be able to find the basic Domaine Serene Yamhill Cuvee which would fit the bill.

                                You should deffinitely be able to find the lesser Soter Pinot for about $25.

                                If you can splurge, for $45 Soter Beacon Hill is my favorite OR Pinot. (Although the very expensive Domaine Serene Grace Vineyard comes close)

                                1. re: whiner

                                  whiner - you seem to be a particularly knowledgeable sort; have you had any "John Thomas" pinot? have been reading some intriguing things about it on another board and put myself on a list for some coming out in September

                                  1. re: ibstatguy

                                    Sorry, ibstatguy, I haven't had that one. I can poke around, for you, though...