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Oregon tasting notes

text and photographs © 2009 Tom Cannavan

These notes accompany our in-depth feature on Oregon wine.


Willamette Valley Vineyards Willamette Valley Riesling 2007
For this wine some unfermented juice is added back after fermentation - very much like Germany's 'süssreserve'. Beautifully crisp, mineral nose. Bright apple and lemon fruit, and just a hint of something peachy. The palate has nice weight and the flavours and just a little off-dry, sweetening point. Delightful. 87/100

Willamette Valley Vineyards Willamette Pinot Gris 2007
Very nice nose on this, with a cool, verdant touch of fruit. Lovely aromatics (a touch of Muscat and a touch of Pinto Blanc). Very crisp and fresh. 88/100

Willamette Valley Vineyards Griffin Creek Vineyards Viognier 2004
Made with fruit from the south of Oregon, this has a nice touch of green, leafy character with a subtle but very nice pear fruit coming though. The palate has decent balance, and a crisp, quite pure and long finish. This is really quite stylish and has good Viognier personality. 88/100

Willamette Valley Vineyards Whole Cluster Pinot Noir 2007
Fresh, very Beaujolais-like nose with lots of cherry and a touches of briary quality. Crisp, bright, nicely focused and dry. A very dry and savoury. Very racy and tasty. 86/100

Willamette Valley Vineyards Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2006
Blend from a couple of different vineyards. The nose has very nice, rounded, smooth and silky aromatics and delightful black fruit. Big, rich coffee and cocoa-edge tannins and very nice balance. 88/100

Willamette Valley Vineyards Willamette Valley Estate Pinot Noir 2006
Lower crop yield than the Willamette above, and a little more new oak. Rich, toasty, charry coffee and a touch of mint. The palate is quite tight and structured. There's an edge of cherry and plum skin and a roughening tannin character. Very structured, with grippy mid palate and fine, slaty, mineral undertone. 90/100

Willamette Valley Vineyards Tualatin Estate Pinot Noir 2006
Lovely, rich, very dark and smoky nose, with lots of sensuous earthy and gamy character. There is lovely fruit sweetness here, with lots of fruit presence on the mid palate and a rounded, silky mouthfeel. Although the big tannins of the vintage are there, this maintains a juiciness too, and has lovely length. 92/100

Willamette Valley Vineyards Willamette Signature Cuvée Pinot Noir 2006
A barrel selection of the estate vineyards from the lowest cropping vineyards in one-third new oak. Very sweet, vanilla-infused nose, with a touch of mineral slatyness coming though. Fine cherry fruit. Excellent fruit sweetness, with coffee and Christmas cake spices character, soft tannin structure and good balance. Develops a bit of grip. Very fine. 92/100

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