Willamette Valley Vineyards Bernau Block 2016

Wine Name/Vineyard: Bernau Block

Wine Category: Pinot Noir

Grape blend: 100% Pinot Noir

Bottle size: 750 ml

Region: Willamette Valley

State or country: Oregon

Price: $65.00

ABV: 14.1%

Cases produced: N/A

The Barrel Cellar Score:  89 points

Review date: March 26, 2021

About the Winemaker: Joe Ibrahim has 5 harvests under his belt as head winemaker at WVV. He credits their founder Jim Bernau for trusting him to take the reigns at the winery and to take the lead on the wine production, particularly the one I’m reviewing today, Jim’s namesake wine, “Bernau Block. This wine is sourced from the first 15 acres of Pinot Noir planted by Jim in 1983. Each vintage is hand selected from the finest barrel lots, with the intent of producing a unique and fantastic wine that exudes a unique (from the bottle) “sense of place.” Please read or previous interview with Joe here.

Color:  Persian Plum

Nose: Earth, wild mushrooms, honeysuckle, cherry, fresh cut hay, and warm peach cobbler.

Taste: Cherry, mineral notes, and hints of strawberry and pear.

Assessment: With soft tannins and bright acidity, this wine is a “pleasant sipper.” It has a light to medium body which makes it perfect as an early afternoon bottle, enjoyed overlooking the vineyard or what-ever natural beauty sets you at ease. The nose is complex and chock full of the earthiness that the local volcanic soil infuses. I do find the palate however to be a little thin. There are nice red fruit notes up front, but then the flavor seems to wane, without establishing much of a finish.

Cellar another year and drink through 2023.

The Barrel Cellar rating. 89 points.

Pairing recommendation: Crushed tomato and sausage pasta, Filet Minion, or charcuterie.


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