Erath Oregon Pinot Noir 2013: Light ruby color; whiff of raspberry, cherry on the nose; raspberry, spice, some tart berry, tingle of tang, chip of chocolate.
Nice Oregon pinot noir; smooth—zero rough edges, light in the mouth, more fruit intensity would be appreciated, but this is Erath Winery’s entry-level pour; you want more, Erath’s got a whole lineup of higher quality, at higher prices. That’s how it works, folks. Dick Erath began making wine in his garage in 1965 and by 1972 produced the first commercial pinots from Oregon’s Dundee Hills (south and west of Portland). Oregon’s big-dog winermaker, Ste. Michele Wine Estates, purchased the operation in 2006. By 2010, 10 out of 10 of Erath’s single-vineyard pinots (the more expensive ones mentioned earlier) scored 90-plus points in the wine industry’s top publications; Erath repeated the feat in 2012. Dick Erath was pioneer who saw the pinot potential in the Willamette Valley: ideal pinot soil, long cool growing season, temperatures moderated by the Pacific, the opportunity to achieve elegance and balance. Gary Horner carries on Dick Erath’s tradition today. Start with this bottle, then move up to the single-vineyard efforts. Taste how sublime pinot noir can be. $17