Cool And Classy: 10 Outstanding Pinot Noirs

Drinks

December 14, 2016 | BY James Suckling

James Suckling presents his 10 outstanding picks after tasting close to 300 in Willamette Valley.

Winemakers in the state of Oregon, which borders northern California, have enjoyed three consecutive outstanding vintages, from 2014 to 2016, and are making some of the most exciting pinot noirs in the world. The wines, which can emulate the best of Burgundy, have a unique purity of fruit due to the coastal state’s cool climate. James Suckling picks his top 10.


Domaine Serene Willamette Valley Monogram 2012

Aromas of blueberry, blackberry, asphalt, peach and orange peel. Fantastic. A full-bodied, extremely polished red with velvety tannins. Centre palate is superb. Forest fruits, fresh mushroom and dried flowers. Glorious fruit and length. Much better in 2022 but a joy now. Modern art in the bottle. 98 points


Soter Vineyards Yamhill-Carlton Mineral Springs Ranch 2014

Terrific aromas of strawberry and rose petal. Superb energy and vibrancy. Full body, incredible power and depth, with fabulous balance and intensity. A tightly wound ball of silk. Super quality here. Better in 2020. 98 points


Domaine Oregon Roserock Eola-Amity Hills Zéphirine 2014

Juicy and intense. Lots of plum and chocolate with cedar undertones. Full bodied and velvety, pretty and gorgeous. Love the fruit and texture. Racy and fine. Drink now. 96 points


Antica Terra Willamette Valley Ceras 2014


A phenomenal wine with such clarity and energy. Vivid. Full body, firm and silky. A sleeping beauty. Density with polish. The salinity is so cool and gives it complexity. Glorious. Drink or hold. 96 points


Penner-Ash Yamhill-Carlton Shea Vineyard 2014

Aromas of tar and asphalt with strawberry and cherry character. Smoky. Full bodied, chewy and polished, with beautiful tannins and a long, flavourful finish. Complex. Drink or hold. 95 points


Antica Terra Willamette Valley Botanica 2014

An extremely fine and polished wine with dried strawberry and cherry character. Full to medium body, ultra-refined tannins and a polished, beautiful finish. A complex and beautiful wine. So hard not to drink now. Better in 2020. 97 points


Domaine Serene Dundee Hills Grace Vineyard 2013

This is really well-structured for the vintage, with dried strawberry, wet earth and dried flower character. Full-bodied, chewy and very fine. Intense and long finish. A beauty. Needs two or three years to soften. 96 points


Big Table Farm Willamette Valley 2014

Intriguing aromas of spice, meat, dried berry and lemon follow through to a full body, velvety tannins and a fresh, fruity finish. Linear backbone to this generous wine. Drink or hold. 95 points


Beaux Frères Ribbon Ridge The Beaux Frères Vineyard 2014


Attractive spicy, rust and stone aromas with plenty of ripe fruit too. Medium to full body, firm yet velvety tannins and a long, flavourful finish. Seriously seductive. Gorgeous. Drink or hold. 95 points


North Valley Yamhill-Carlton 2014

Terrific density and intensity, with orange peel, white peach and strawberry. Full body, great texture and length. Polished, velvety tannins that remain supple. A wine with great ageing potential. Wow. Better in 2019. 96 points 


 

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