Willamette Valley Vineyards Estate Pinot

Wine Name/Vineyard: Estate Pinot Noir

Wine Category: Pinot Noir

Grape blend: 100% Pinot Noir

Bottle size: 750 ml

Region: Willamette Valley

State or country: Oregon

Price: $32

ABV: 13.9%

Cases produced: 14,156

The Barrel Cellar Score:  91 points

Review date: May 01, 2019

About the Winemaker:  Jim Bernau is one of the pioneers of Oregon’s wine industry.  In 1981 he represented a group of winemakers in the passage of the Oregon Wine Advisory Board for the research and promotion of the young industry.  He did this at the time as a lobbyist, not a winemaker.  Two years later, in 1983, Jim Founded Willamette Valley Vineyards.  Five years after that, in 1988 Jim took the operation public.  It’s now owned by more than 16,000 wine enthusiasts under the symbols WVVI & WVVIP.  Willamette Valley Vineyards began small with not even enough capital to have a formal irrigation system. Willamette Valley Vineyards is now putting out world class wines and has been recognized as “One of America’s Great Pinot Noir Producers” by Wine Enthusiast Magazine.

Color:  Ruby

Nose:  Cherry, cola, dried figs, floral notes.

Taste:  Vanilla, strawberry, ripened cherry, black pepper, dried herbs and a touch of cinnamon. Finish: dried herbs, mild oak.

Assessment:  My first impression of this medium bodied Pinot Noir was that it is a “bruiser.”  It was bolder and jammier than a typical Oregon Pinot Noir, yet not overly dry nor sweet.  As the bottle decanted, the classic Oregon earthiness begin to emerge, a reminder of the good fortune the area’s unique volcanic soil provides.  Additionally, the aeration also unveiled a petite, beautiful, and reserved wine bearing ample tannins and acidity.  The 2016 vintage could stand up to several more years of aging, but now is also a great time to open a bottle or two.

I find $32 to be more than a fair value for this wine and vintage.  You can buy Willamette Valley Vineyards wine at their website here.

Pairing recommendation:  Pair with goat cheese, lamb, or Bolognese.

Willamette Valley Vineyards 2016 Estate Pinot Noir is a very good wine.  91 points

Visit the Barrel Cellar’s other wine reviews here.

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