An Entrée to Oregon Pinot Noir

It’s hard to call them entry-level. But it’s easy to call them delicious.

Oregon Pinot Noir at Stoller

There’s plenty of great Oregon Pinot Noir. Since the pioneering plantings in the 1960s, the grape has become something of the state’s vinous signature. But with premium Pinots ranging from $40 to way, way up, customers new to the style face hurdles.

Fortunately, many top producers also bottle early-release wines with prices starting in the teens. These deliver Pinot character, crystalline freshness, and vintage expression at friendly prices.

My latest column for The Tasting Panel Magazine highlights a fresh crop of entry-level Oregon Pinot Noir. Read a PDF of the article or find the digital edition online.

 

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5 Comments

  • Thanks for that. The base level (that’s not any better than entry level, is it) wines tend to fly under my single vineyard-focused geek radar, but some of your highlighted wines have piqued my interest. From the bottle shots it also looks like there is a strong movement towards screwcap, which I also applaud.

    • Indeed! I’m seeing more and more Willamette Valley vineyards bottling $20-$25 ‘Oregon’ pinot noirs or blends of Pinot from all over Willamette Valley and screwcaps make so much sense for them-not only because these wines aren’t made for aging but it also eliminates the risk of corked bottles which means for restaurant by the glass (which is great exposure for a brand) these are perfect both in a price accessible enough to pour by the glass (which most Pinot Noirs in WV are not by any means) and the lack of risk of pouring a bad bottle-

      This is a move that’s needed if wineries want to reach a larger portion of the wine drinking consumer base. Start them on a $20 bottle-lower the barrier to entry to drinking wines from WV and these consumers will grow with winery brands over the years and very likely end up being higher end purchasing customers in the future

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