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Oregon Wines-What does that conjure up to you?

I'm interested in What "Oregon Wines" means to the public at large.
(Public being the wine buying/drinking crowd beyond the NW and West Coast). Do you have an opinion, no opinion, curious, loves, hates, etc. There are no wrong answers; I'm wondering how the outside world views our Wine Industry.

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  1. The great wines form Owen Roe and Sineann. Consistently excellent year after year.

    1. I've been enjoying Pinot Noir's from Oregon lately.

      1. Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris.

        1. I love Oregonian Pinot Noirs and for a while Evolution is one of my favorite summer "let's have a glass of wine and sit on the deck" wines.

          1. I'm in nyc, and my image of Oregon wines is favorable, overall....small wineries, careful winemaking, pinots are the wines that are marketed here, higher priced stuff overall (but that's not necessarily a minus if the wines are a good value for the $$). The "Oregon" profile has correlatives in other US wine-growing regions outside of CA, like the Long Island wine-growing region, for example. Boutique wineries, moderate- to expensive $$.

            1. To me, best case, it means expensive pinot noir or chardonnay that, while quite tasty and balanced compared with their over-oaked, flabby California counterparts, are not compelling values compared with French wines in the same price range.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                Agreed. But France (and Europe in general) has owned the "value" market and has never really been threatened by what's coming out of California, Oregon or Washington. California can certainly produce wines which are cheaper, but without the value attached that is available from France (and Europe).

                1. re: zin1953

                  I'm not sure what you mean by "value attached."

                  To me, a good value is among the best bottles that I can buy at a particular price range. Which countries' wines are to my taste the best values at a particular price point has in my experience varied over the years according to various factors including exchange rate and winemaking trends. It's often different in New York than it is in California.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    Don't look too deep for hidden meanings, Robert.

                    I mean that I find greater QPR [Quality-Price Ratio] in wines coming out of France (and Spain, Portugal, Italy) than I do -- generally speaking (there are, of course, exceptions to everything) -- coming out of California.

                    Look at what, for example, most new, "hot" California Syrahs are selling for. I can generally get much more enjoyment from wines out of the Northern Rhone, and for less money. The same generally holds with other varietal wines and other regions.

                2. re: Robert Lauriston

                  I've had numerous Oregon pinots under $20 that I like (Argyle, for example) and several others in the $20-30 range. Are there any French Burgundies that are drinkable in those price ranges? At least the few I've found recently have not impressed me - but I am fond of Yamhill Valley terrior.


                  1. re: Ed Dibble

                    For pinot in the under-$20 range I look for New Zealand, Germany, or Alsace.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      Different strokes . . .

                      I've only had a *very* few Alsatian Pinot Noirs that I thought were worthwhile, and only one from Germany. And none of those were under $20.

                      New Zealand, on the other hand, produces some stunning Pinots.

                3. If this is word association, then ...Really great Pinot Noir. That is what comes to mind when I think of Oregon.

                  1. Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, good, but not necessarily a lot of world class wines. More in the Burgandian style than the over the top CA PNs however.

                    1. One more vote for wonderful Pinot Noir

                      1. Makes me think of Willamette, and particularly Ken Wright's rich Pinots... I'm in NYC and you don't see enough Oregon wines out here -- I'd love to see more.

                        1. when i think oregon, i think BEER! mmmm, microbrews

                          1. Willamette! And some yummy budget-priced bottle called Kiona Lemberger
                            (Lemberger is better known as Blaufränkisch, a red German grape)
                            although on second thought, that could be from Washington State -- which blurs in my NY mind with Oregon. I only mention that because the OP wanted to know where they were on the radar....

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: pitu

                              Kiona IS a Washington State winery, and there is a sizeable number of acres of Lemberger planted there.

                            2. What comes to mind is more of a nostalgia, although one that informs present day wine-buying. I used to live in Oregon in the early nineties, and I would get wonderful pinot noirs from the Willamette valley from Fred Meyer for $7 or some such. Yes, the price informed my buying (I was a poor young thing) but the taste was quite nice. Before the pinot noir crze, I remember getting a really sensibly priced Adelsheim pinot noir at Citronelle. Actually, it may not have been Adelsheim but what do I know? I was enjoying something before it really started to go crazy: the Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. Of course, it's hard to deal with the fact that the price went well above the $7 that I had learned to appreciate. Then again, I may always miss Fred Meyer.

                              1. In the SE Va area I am trying as much of the PacWest as I can. In three weeks I am hosting a wine dinner of all Washington State wines. Five courses and everything from Chard to Cab to Syrah. I think my wine guy is even bringing an ice wine from Covey Run. Everything that I have tried I enjoy greatly. I will let you know how everything works out.

                                1. To me, here in the "vast midwest" it means Elk Cove Pinot Noir. Love it. Finding quality Oregon wines to purchase around here can be quite a challenge however. Had our first bottle of Elk Cove through the Sunset Wine Club, a great outlet for finding inventive West Coast wineries.