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 1/16/2013 (Willamette Valley, OR)
 

 

This trip was a wine focused trip as I wanted to do a lot more tasting than I had on previous visits. I knew this would be the time of the year that would also have the least amount of tourists, so I could get to places faster and not have to deal with too many people.

 

Vidon

  • 2009 Vidon Pinot Noir 3 Clones - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Chehalem Mountains
    nose: Certainly shows off some of the warmth of the vintage with some upfront tones of dark red fruits, dark berries, and some spice tones as well.

    taste: There is good balance to the fuller body and it does have some lower acidity. It isn't flabby and has some flesh to it with tones of dark red cherries, dark berries, dark red fruits and some spices.

    overall: This was a nice pinot that is easier drinking. While it has lower acidity, it isn't flabby but should be drunk earlier rather than later. (88 pts.)
  • 2010 Vidon Pinot Noir 3 Clones - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Chehalem Mountains
    nose: There is a nice coolness to the tones of red fruits, red florals, spices and fresh picked berries. Very aromatic with nice balance to it and decent depth.

    taste: Very pretty medium feel with medium+ acidity and balanced tones of red fruits, red cherries, roses and some spice tones.

    overall: I really like the cool qualities to the fruit on both the nose and palate. This is a very attractive pinot that leans more towards the upper register. (91 pts.)
  • 2011 Vidon Pinot Noir 3 Clones - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Chehalem Mountains
    nose: Very perfumed and lighter with tones of roses, violets, red fruits and some spice tones. Nice depth with the aromatics still developing in glass.

    taste: More feminine with a medium feel and medium/high acidity and pretty tones of red fruits, cherries, roses and some spices on the back end.

    overall: This was very pretty right now. It still does need some time though as there is some real finesse to it. (90 pts.)
  • 2009 Vidon Pinot Noir Barrel Select - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
    nose: There is a bigger intensity to this with dark red cherries, spice tones, dark red fruits, tones of incense and some bits of plums.

    taste: Full bodied with medium acidity. Balanced with tones of dark red cherries, spice tones and plums. The tones favor more upfront qualities without being too rich or overdone.

    overall: This was a quality wine. Has a larger quality to it and shows the vintage. It is better for earlier drinking, but could use a couple of years to smooth out. (90 pts.)
  • 2010 Vidon Pinot Noir Brigita 777 Single Clone Vidon Vineyard - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
    nose: Very elegant and pretty with tones of red fruits, cherries, spices, roses and some red berries. There is very nice depth to it with it favoring the upper register.

    taste: Pretty and demure medium body with medium/high acidity and feminine tones of red fruits, berries, roses and red cherries.

    overall: This is open to drink now, but there is room to grow. The tones are more hi-toned with the nose being perfumed. (91 pts.)
  • 2010 Vidon Pinot Noir Mirabelle Clone 115 Vidon Vineyard - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Chehalem Mountains
    nose: Pretty and perfumed with tones of red fruits, various wild flowers, fresh picked berries, hi-toned spices and cherries. Very good balance with nice depth as well.

    taste: Medium bodied with medium/high acidity that is pretty sharp. The acidity certainly shows the youth of the wine along with elegant and silky tones of fresh picked berries, spice tones, cherries and wild flowers.

    overall: Continues with the 2010 theme of being a pretty wine. There is some nice finesse and nuance to this that does beg for some age. (91 pts.)
  • 2010 Vidon Pinot Noir Hans Pommard Single Clone Vidon Vineyard - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
    Nose: There are some oak tones right off the bat along with tones of dark red cherries, wood spices, and dark berry tones. Nice depth, but the oak is there, though not too much.

    Taste: Medium/full bodies with Medium+ acidity. The structure is noticeable with some good tannins a well. There are very nice tones of dark berries, some oak, and wood spices.

    Overall: While there is some oak on this, it feels like the kind that will absorb down the road. This is a more robust wine that does need some time to round into form. (88 pts.)

ArborBrook

  • 2011 ArborBrook Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc MLH Klipsun Vineyard - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Red Mountain
    Nose: There is a nice freshness to this on the nose with tones of pears, quince, citrus and mineral tones.

    Taste: Light bodied with medium+ acidity. There is a freshness to the tones of quince, white fruits, citrus and mineral tones.

    Overall: While there is nice complexity to this, it does lack depth on both the nose and palate. (87 pts.)
  • 2011 ArborBrook Vineyards Pinot Gris Croft Vineyard - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
    Nose: Simple, but nice nose of honeydew, tropical citrus, and a touch of pears. Fairly surface on the tones as well.

    Taste: Light bodied with fresh tones of tropical citrus and honeydew melons. This is lacking some depth and a mid-palate as well.

    Overall: This is a nice Pinot Gris, but it's also a bit forgettable. There ate nice tones, but it lacks depth and complexity. (84 pts.)
  • 2011 ArborBrook Vineyards Pinot Gris Guadalupe Vineyard - USA, Oregon
    Nose: There is a creaminess to the nose along with tones of pears, white fruits, and citrus tones. Decent balance, but lacking some depth.

    Taste: Medium bodied with medium+ acidity and a creaminess to the feel. The tones of pears, oranges, and white fruits are more on the surface.

    Overall: A different Pinot Gris. Tried to be a bigger one and was a nice departure from many of the non-descript pinot gris that is out there. If this had more depth it would be much better. (86 pts.)
  • 2010 ArborBrook Vineyards Pinot Noir Heritage Cuvée - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
    Nose: There is a nice freshness to the nose with tones of Strawberries, cherries, berries, and some spice tones. Straightforward, but very nice and aromatic.

    Taste: Medium bodied with nice medium acidity and some good supporting tannins. Well balanced with tones of strawberries, spices, and some fresh picked berries.

    Overall: This is a real nice pinot at a good price. Well balanced with nice aromatics and a prettier feel. (89 pts.)
  • 2010 ArborBrook Vineyards Pinot Noir Origin 1866 - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Chehalem Mountains
    Nose: Pretty and floral from the get-go with tones of violets, red florals, strawberries, raspberries, and various wild spice tones. Very nice depth even with this being slightly shy right now.

    Taste: Medium bodied with medium+ acidity that is on the noticeable side. There are very pretty tones of red florals, strawberries, cherries, wild spices and a touch of raspberries.

    Overall: This is a very pretty wine. It's hard to resist right now, but it should improve further with age. (91 pts.)
  • 2010 ArborBrook Vineyards Pinot Noir Estate 777 Block - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Chehalem Mountains
    Nose: Nice and aromatic nose with tones of berries, dark red cherries, plums, some perfumes and red currants.

    Taste: Medium/full bodied with medium+ acidity. There is a touch of oak on this along with tones of dark red cherries, berries, plums, and red currants.

    Overall: This could use a few years to round out some of the rough edges. While there is some oak on the palate, it isn't too noticeable on the nose and seems like it could integrate. (90 pts.)
  • 2010 ArborBrook Vineyards Pinot Noir Limites - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Chehalem Mountains
    Nose: There is real class and very good depth right off the bat along with savory tones of dark red cherries, dark berries, pomegranate, red currants and some spice tones.

    Taste: Medium/full bodied with medium+ acidity and some nice tannins. There is good structure with young and savory tones of dark red cherries, pomegranate, red currants, and spice tones.

    Overall: This needs a good 5-7 years before showing it's full potential. There is a lot of real good material here and it's a real lovely pinot. (92 pts.)
  • 2011 ArborBrook Vineyards Pinot Noir Origin 1866 - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Chehalem Mountains
    Nose: This is a bit of a precocious nose right now with pretty tones of roses, violets, fresh picked berries and some hi-toned red fruits. Nice depth with an expressive side to it.

    Taste: Lighter bodied, but with some substance along with medium+ acidity. The tones of roses, violets, fresh picked berries and spices are all balanced well together and very pretty.

    Overall: This will need some time as there is a lot of nuance to it. This won't blow you away, but has a real attractive floral quality to it on both the nose and palate. (90 pts.)
  • 2011 ArborBrook Vineyards Pinot Noir Estate 777 Block - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Chehalem Mountains
    Nose: The nose on this leans much more to higher tones with notes of rose petals, red fruits, blueberries, and spice tones. Nice depth as well and very fragrant.

    Taste: This has a lighter body to it with noticeable medium+ acidity. There are nice tannins as well with pretty tones of rose petals, red fruits, blueberries and some cherry tones as well.

    Overall: This is a really good pinot. Well balanced and while it favors a lighter touch, there is a lot of prettiness in the quality of it. (92 pts.)

Bergstrom

  • 2010 Bergström Chardonnay Old Stones - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
    Nose: Nice and balanced nose with tones of oranges, citrus, pears, and some white peaches.

    Taste: Medium bodied with medium+ acidity, but lacking some depth. Well balanced with tones of citrus, pears, and white peaches.

    Overall: This is a very nice chardonnay. It had good balance on both the nose and palate, but was lacking some depth on both. (88 pts.)
  • 2011 Bergström Pinot Noir Old Stones - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
    Nose: Fragrant with tones of rhubarb, dark red fruits, dark red cherries, earth tones and a touch of spice too.

    Taste: Medium bodied with medium+ acidity. Well balanced with a very nice feel and tones of dark red fruits, spices, and earth tones.

    Overall: This did lack some depth on the nose and palate. It's a straightforward pinot that favors an earthier side. (88 pts.)
  • 2011 Bergström Pinot Noir Cumberland Reserve - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
    Nose: This has a nice red fruit core with tones of dark red cherries, red berries, spice tones, and a touch of earthiness as well.

    Taste: Medium bodied with medium/high acidity with a nice feel. Well balanced with tart tones of red currants, dark red cherries, red berries, and some earth tones.

    Overall: This was a very nice Cumberland Reserve. Well balanced with a good red fruit quality to it on both the nose and palate. (90 pts.)
  • 2011 Bergström Pinot Noir Shea Vineyard - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Yamhill-Carlton
    Nose: There is some real nice fruit on the nose with tones of cherries, plums, raspberries, spice tones, and some rhubarb. Nice depth and more towards the fragrant side.

    Taste: Medium bodied with tart medium+ acidity. The acidity is noticeable, but there are rounder tones of cherries, raspberries, spice tones, and rhubarb.

    Overall: This was showing very well. There is good body to this with real good acidity that should lend to some aging. This is probably accessible with a good decant, but should improve with some time. (91 pts.)
  • 2010 Bergström Pinot Noir Le Pre Du Col - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Ribbon Ridge
    Nose: Very fragrant and perfumed nose with tones of fresh picked berries, red fruits, cherries, spice tones, and some red florals. Very good depth as well and shows a more expressive side.

    Taste: Medium bodied with very good and refreshing medium+ acidity. The acidity is noticeable, but it isn't overpowering along with smooth and polished tones of red fruits, cherries, fresh picked berries, rhubarb, and some spice tones.

    Overall: This was a beautiful pinot. Well balanced with very good depth on both the nose and palate. It's deceptively drinking right now, but it can certainly benefit from some age. (92 pts.)

Adelsheim

  • 2011 Adelsheim Chardonnay Caitlin's Reserve - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
    Nose: There are nice aromatics on this with tones of pears, citrus, oranges, creams, and some wood spices. The tones are well balanced, but missing that next gear.

    Taste: Medium/full bodied with medium+ acidity. Well balanced with richer tones of creams, pears, creamed peaches, and some white fruits.

    Overall: This is a very good Chardonnay. Slightly larger, but it holds the style well and isn't overdone. (89 pts.)
  • 2009 Adelsheim Pinot Noir Elizabeth's Reserve - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
    Nose: This has a more forward quality, but the nose is very nice with tones of dark red fruits, spice tones, plums, and some dark berry tones.

    Taste: Medium bodied with medium acidity and a forwardness to the feel and tones of dark red fruits, rhubarb, spice tones, and dark berries.

    Overall: This is an earlier drinker. It could use some time to fully come together, but it isn't a marathon runner. (90 pts.)
  • 2010 Adelsheim Pinot Noir Boulder Bluff - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Chehalem Mountains
    Nose: This was gorgeous, if a bit on the tight side, with savory tones of dark red fruits, crushed rocks, dark red cherries, and some berry tones as well. There is very good depth to this as well

    Taste: Medium bodied with a real elegance to it and tart medium+ acidity. Well balanced with very good depth and expressive tones of crushed rocks, dark red fruits, dark red cherries, and some spice tones as well.

    Overall: This was a real gorgeous pinot. Well balanced on both the nose and palate with very good depth and expression as well. (92 pts.)
  • 2010 Adelsheim Pinot Noir Ribbon Springs - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Ribbon Ridge
    Nose: Very aromatic and complex nose filed with tones of wild spices, herbs, some earth tones, dark red fruits and just a slight bit of rose petals.

    Taste: Pretty and silky medium body with medium/high acidity that brings a real bite on the back end. Well balanced with very good depth and gorgeous tones of wild spices, herbs, dark red fruits, and rose petals.

    Overall: This is a gorgeous wine right now, but it can develop into a real stunner. There is some real nuance that needs age to show, but this is showing extremely well right now. (93 pts.)
  • 2009 Adelsheim Pinot Noir Bryan Creek Vineyard - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Chehalem Mountains
    Nose: This is on the forward side with darker tones of dark berries, dark red cherries, some floral tones and spices.

    Taste: Medium bodied with medium acidity. Balanced with dark tones of blackberries, plums, dark berries, and some dark red cherries.

    Overall: There is some flesh on this and it needs some time to shed the fat. It has good balance and nice depth to go with its more forward quality. (90 pts.)

Penner-Ash

  • 2011 Penner-Ash Riesling Willamette Valley - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
    Nose: Nice and fresh nose with a real crisp quality along with tones of pears, green apples, white fruits, and a touch of mineral tones.

    Taste: Light bodied with crisp higher acidity. The acidity is a bit overbearing right now, but there are nice tones of green apples, white fruits, and some mineral tones.

    Overall: If the acidity can calm down a bit, this could be very nice. It could use a little more depth, but it is a very dry riesling that has a nice freshness to it as well. (88 pts.)
  • 2010 Penner-Ash Pinot Noir - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
    Nose: Nice and balanced nose of dark red fruits, berries, spice tones, plums, and red florals. There is solid depth to this with a darker take to the tones.

    Taste: Medium bodied with nice medium+ acidity. Well balanced with very good tones of dark red fruits, plums, spice tones, and red florals.

    Overall: This could use a couple years. It's a very nice base pinot with good balance to it on both the nose and palate. (90 pts.)
  • 2010 Penner-Ash Pinot Noir Zena Crown Vineyard - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Eola - Amity Hills
    Nose: This has a much darker take on the nose with some oak showing through along with tones of dark spices, blackberries, dark red cherries, and some black currants.

    Taste: Fuller bodied with medium acidity and some tannins. There are some wood spices along with blackberries, oak, dark red cherries, and black currants.

    Overall: The palate is on the chunkier side right now. This needs some time to come together and hopefully the oak dies down a bit as well. (89 pts.)
  • 2010 Penner-Ash Pinot Noir Bella Vida - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills
    Nose: There is a real savory quality to the nose with along with tones of plums, dark red cherries, earth tones, dark florals, spices, and a slight bit of meaty tones as well. Very good depth with a nice darker take on the nose.

    Taste: Medium/full bodied with medium+ acidity that is fairly tart. There are nice tannins as well as savory tones of dark red cherries, spice tones, dark florals, and some bits of earth on the back end.

    Overall: This needs some time to fully show itself, but this is a real classy wine. There's very good depth on both the nose and palate as well. (92 pts.)
  • 2009 Penner-Ash Syrah - USA, Oregon
    Nose: There are very good tones of black fruits, spice tones, black cherries, and a touch of floral tones. Good balance, but on a slightly more forward side.

    Taste: Full bodied with chewy tannins and medium acidity. Well balanced with tones of black fruits, spice tones, black cherries, and a slight bit of liqueur on the back end.

    Overall: This could use a few years to fully come around. The tannins are pretty big and on the hard side. (88 pts.)

Aramenta

  • 2008 Aramenta Cellars Chardonnay - USA, Oregon/Washington
    Nose: This is a bigger and richer nose with tones of navel oranges, creams, buttered toast, and some pear tones. This is also lacking some depth too sadly.

    Taste: Full bodied with lower acidity. There is good balance, but lacking some depth, and rich tones of oranges, creams, and buttered toast.

    Overall: This was a decent chard. There are a lot of other options, but it does what it does just fine. (86 pts.)
  • 2007 Aramenta Cellars Pinot Noir Willamette Valley - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
    Nose: Nice and aromatic nose with tones of red fruits, berries, chalk, and some bits of roses. There is also a laid back quality on all of the tones with a prettiness as well.

    Taste: Medium bodied with medium acidity. Well balanced with a pretty feel and tones of strawberries, red fruits, berries, and roses.

    Overall: This is yet another pretty 07. It has lifting aromatics with a nice deft touch on the palate. It is drinking very well right now and leans towards the feminine. (89 pts.)
  • 2008 Aramenta Cellars Pinot Noir Willamette Valley - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
    Nose: There is a perfumed quality to the nose with tones of cherries, spices, red fruits, strawberries, and a touch of florals.

    Taste: Medium bodied with medium+ acidity. The acidity is on the tart side right now with some supporting tannins and tones of red fruits, strawberries, plums, and spice tones.

    Overall: This could use some time to fully come around. This is well balanced with a good red fruit core on both the nose and palate. (90 pts.)
  • 2009 Aramenta Cellars Pinot Noir Willamette Valley - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
    Nose: Shows the 09 forward quality with tones of berries, dark red cherries, spice tones, and red fruits.

    Taste: Medium bodied with medium acidity and a plusher feel. The tones of berries, dark red cherries, and spice tones have some warmth to them, but aren't too forward.

    Overall: This is a nice and plusher pinot. This is very ready to drink right now and is enjoyable right now. (90 pts.)
  • 2008 Aramenta Cellars Pinot Noir Reserve - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
    Nose: There is very good depth that strikes right off the bat with tones of cherries, red fruits, red florals, berries, and various wild spice tones.

    Taste: Medium bodied with medium+ acidity and nice supporting tannins. This is well balanced with classy tones of cherries, red fruits, berries, and red florals.

    Overall: This needs time to fully show itself, but there is something lovely here. There is a really good amount of red fruits on both the nose and palate that lends to some nice class. (92 pts.)

Trisaetum

  • 2011 Trisaetum Pinot Noir Nuit Blanche Coast Range Estate - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
    Nose: Nice and fresh nose of berries, white fruits, citrus, and some pears.

    Taste: Light bodied with high acidity that is very tart and crisp. There are very nice tones of berries, white fruits, and pears.

    Overall: This is a nice and crisp Pinot Noir blanc. There is a refreshing quality to it on both the nose and palate. (88 pts.)
  • 2011 Trisaetum Riesling Estates Reserve - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
    Nose: This is very fresh and balanced with tones of citrus, pears, fig, white fruits, and a good dose of minerals.

    Taste: Light bodied with racy high acidity that is a bit punishing. There is some decent depth with tones of citrus, pears, figs, and minerals.

    Overall: The dryness is a bit punishing even for me. But, there are really nice tones on both the nose and palate. (89 pts.)
  • 2010 Trisaetum Pinot Noir Willamette Valley - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
    Nose: Fragrant and straightforward nose with tones of red fruits, strawberries, cherries, and some floral tones. While the tones are very nice, there isn't much depth beneath them.

    Taste: Nice medium body with medium acidity. There is a good freshness to the tones of red fruits, plums, strawberries, and cherries. The tones lack a little depth, but are well balanced.

    Overall: This was a nice and more straightforward Willamette pinot. It's ready to drink right now and would be a nice compliment for a lot of food. (88 pts.)
  • 2010 Trisaetum Pinot Noir Artist Series No. 13 - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
    Nose: There is some real tightness to this, but what is underneath is really good with tones of dark red cherries, dark red fruits, spice tones, and plums. There is some real depth and expression as well to it as starts to open a little more.

    Taste: Medium bodied with medium/high acidity and some good silky tannins. Well balanced with excellent depth and polished tones of dark red cherries, dark red fruits, plums, spice tones and a touch of raspberries.

    Overall: This is a gorgeous young wine. It needs several years to start to unwind, but there is some real class in this wine. (92 pts.)
  • 2010 Trisaetum Pinot Noir Artist Series No. 14 - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
    Nose: Very floral and demure nose with tones of dark red fruits, red cherries, fresh picked berries, spice tones, and some rose petals. Nice depth with a nice feminine take on the nose.

    Taste: Nice and polished medium body with tart medium+ acidity and some nice tannins. The structure isn't necessarily imposing, but it does show some youth along with the tones of plums, dark red fruits, cherries, and rose petals.

    Overall: This is a very pretty wine that needs some time. Well balanced with very good depth and a more nuanced nature to it. (92 pts.)
  • 2010 Trisaetum Pinot Noir Estates Reserve - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
    Nose: There is a real tightness to the nose. There is nice depth, but the tones of cherries, spice tones, violets, and fresh berries poke through.

    Taste: The youth is really showing on the palate with medium body and tart medium/high acidity. There is nice balance with fresh tones of cherries, violets, and fresh picked berries.

    Overall: This needs some real down time. It shows something very good underneath, but the structure is a bit imposing right now. (91 pts.)

I felt like I could do more, but the fog was very thick and I didn't want to mess up my rental car. There were some new wineries for me, which added in a nice new wrinkle. On the whole, this was a nice cross section of wines in the northern part of the Willamette.

 


 
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