Just in time for Thanksgiving, because you KNOW we have scientifically proven that Oregon Pinot Noir is the perfect Thanksgiving pairing, we give you these reviews of 2014 Oregon Pinot Noir. Whether masculine, feminine, savory, or fruit forward there is something to please any Pinot loving palate. Find one for your holiday table.
Note that not only did these wines past a blind tasting selection but we also tasted them again 6 days later with no preservation or refrigeration between. We literally shoved the corks back in and set them on a counter. Many held up quite nicely. I don’t know that you necessarily want to hold these 15 years and hope they change for the better but it will be a long time before their bright beauty fades if stored properly. Those with an (*) kept their shape. Big Table Farm, Calamity Hill, and Reustle Prayer Rock held up the best to our countertop challenge.
*2014 Reustle Prayer Rock Winemaker’s Reserve Umpqua Valley Pinot Noir Looking for a soft, supple Pinot to sip fireside? Aromas of soothing fresh mint, tea leaves, and toasted oak are joined by melty milk chocolate on the palate. Finishes with cherry so incredibly bright you have to go back for more. 340 cases; $39
2014 Cubanísimo Rumba Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Reminiscent of fall flavors – juicy baked apple seasoned with cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice with notes of cranberries and bramble fruit. A smooth and delightful experience. 560 cases; $25.
* 2014 Left Coast Cellars Right Bank Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Cherry cherry boberry – but in a very sophisticated format. The cherry flavor presents as simmered, concentrated, and fruit leather. Notes of raspberry, eucalyptus, and slate round out the profile. Full and rich with enough tannin to hold its own with lamb, the flavors blossom into a long balanced finish. 275 cases; $42
2014 Bluebird Hill Cellars Zenith Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Classic Willamette Valley Pinot Noir with notes of cherry and white pepper. Tart, savory, and spicy with a hint of salinity. Light and bright with a long flavorful finish. 38 cases: $32
*2014 Brandborg Vineyards and Winery Hundredth Valley Elkton Pinot Noir A little shy at first, give it a minute and this wine will reward you with cherry, forest floor, dried tea leaves, and a vanilla tinged finish. Approachable, yet nuanced and perfect for pairing. 162 cases; $30
*2014 Calamity Hill Garden Shed Red Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir This wine is tantric. It does not stop and you don’t want it to. Raspberry, mint, unsweetened cocoa powder and cola on the nose. The chocolate notes repeat on the palate with cran-raspberry juice. Big and balanced it bursts, melds, and lingers. Yes, please. 45 cases; $29 PS You may need to get there before us if you want any.
*2014 Aubichon Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Notice the cherry, clove, mushrooms, dried herbs and tobacco. Did you miss it? Try again, it’s all there just blended so beautifully you may forget to dissect it. Go ahead and enjoy this pure drinking experience. 71 cases; $50.
2014 Kramer Vineyards Heritage Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir A base of cherry wood centers this wine and allows space to build layers of cranberry, orange zest, spice, blueberry, and rich soil. Acid and tannin take a practiced spin around the dance floor performing in perfect rhythm. 125 cases; $45
2014 Duck Pond Fries Family Cellars South Salem Hills Cuvee Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Pretty, fruity berry flavors – marionberry, boysenberry, lingonberry are warmed with cinnamon and marzipan. Rose leaf tea and lilies add to the feminine mystique. A full palate that grows throughout the finish. 146 cases; $28.
*2014 Coeur de Terre Vineyard Heritage Reserve Estate McMinnville Pinot Noir Timid in the beginning this savory, complex Pinot opens up with blackberry, plum sauce and leather. The finish is long and flavored with dried culinary herbs. 728 cases; $36.
*2014 Big Table Farm Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Expressing the delicate nuance of Pinot Noir, fresh and lively strawberry, raspberry, rose petals and dried sage with an acid burst and a deeper cola undertone. 2000 cases; $42.
*2014 Armonéa Russell Grooters Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir The unmistakable and gorgeous presence of blueberry from beginning to end melds with bay leaf, white floral notes, and rich earthy undertones. Concentrated and smooth on the palate with balanced acidity and a long finish. 275 cases; $40
*2014 Hawkins Cellars Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir Pinot gets uber masculine and offers a full olfactory experience that makes you want to lean in and breath deep. Meat, leather, cranberry and coffee on the nose lead to dark cherry, black licorice and coffee grounds on the palate. Bright but with enough muscle to grip you tight, hold you steady, and finish long. 160 cases; $32.
*2014 Alloro Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir From the first aromatic encounter to the last lingering flavors, this wine delivers a consistent strain of bramble berry. Bready notes of baguette mix with notes of cedar, earth, leather and mushrooms to create a complex experience. Rich and full with a long finish. 1600 cases; $35
*2014 Joleté Cuvée Select Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Rosé-like quaffability… plus. Bright and light with cherry, spice and cranberry. Easy to pair or sip on the patio. 290 cases; $30
*2014 Dobbes Family Estates Grand Assemblage Willamette Valley Pinot Noir The dark and brooding stranger that is so attractive you have to tap his shoulder and introduce yourself. You are glad you did when his face crinkles with a welcoming, approachable grin. Aromas of cranberry, slate, stone, orange zest and tobacco fill your nose. The palate presents an undercurrent of mature red fruit, tobacco, and baking chocolate. A Pinot to go with steak. 2800 cases; $28 No, Joe Dobbes, I was not thinking of you when I wrote this note, but you do have a nice smile.
2014 Spindrift Cellars OSU Woodhall III Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir The softer side of Pinot with aromas of plum, cranberry, floral, and the vanilla spice that comes from fresh cut wood. On the palate ripe strawberry, sour cherry, and a long gentle finish that quiets and fades like the last notes of a musical performance or the last drops of a still and steady rain. 168 cases; $26
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A version of this article appeared in Oregon Wine Press.