Tuesday, October 4, 2011

2010 Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs - An Early Look

Over the last week, I've had the pleasure to taste 13 different 2010 pinot noirs from the Willamette Valley, either bottled wines or final blends. I'll spare everyone the play-by-play, which I find boring, in favor of an overall impression.

The wines tasted were as follows:

GC Commuter Cuvee
Ayres Willamette Valley
Seven of Hearts Willamette Valley
Seven of Hearts Lia's Vineyard
Seven of Hearts Armstrong Vineyard
Seven of Hearts Special Reserve
Luminous Hills Lux
Vincent Willamette Valley
Vincent Ribbon Ridge
Vincent Zenith Vineyard
Vincent Armstrong Vineyard
Helioterra Willamette Valley
Helioterra Vintner's Select

Across the board, the wines are a hair short of stunning. The vintage is a sort of 2008 restrained. Everything, from aromas to balance to flavors to balance, is perfect. They're only lacking the 2008s' ethereal and soaring aromas and sappy fruit. The Vincent and Helioterra wines are quite nice. The Seven of Hearts and Luminous Hills wines [i]are[/i] stunning. The Grochau and Ayres exhibit a cola component and a touch of sour cherry that I personally find a bit troubling, but it's not overwhelming. Tannins are fine but substantial.

In the long run, there's a chance they will actually be better than the 2008s, but that requires a Ouija board more accurate than mine.

Back up the truck.

PS - If you like restrained, French-ish chardonnay, buy the 2010 Seven of Hearts. It's not bottled yet, but when I tasted it I shouted to the empty room, "WINNER!".

Disclosure: I work part time for Seven of Hearts/Luminous Hills, but Byron knows I'll call crap wines crap if it comes to that and that I don't hand out accolades willy-nilly. The wines are that good.

No comments:

Post a Comment