Pale ruby color; cherry, black tea, clove, cinnamon on the nose; cranberry, red fruits, raspberry, cedar, blueberry, spice, redcurrant tang on the palate.
Dry (5.5 g/L RS); standard acidity (3.7 pH); noticeable but not overdone oak (18 months French oak, 75% new, 25% neutral); 100% Dijon clones 114, 115, 667. Respectful tannins—there, but not obnoxious—some minerality on the finish. Fruit struggles to emerge from some bitter flavors, earth notes, desiccated herbs. This very much benefits from decanting—regular readers have read this many time before. Decanting smooths this out and allows it to shine. The fruit remains muted, but bitter flavors are significantly softened. Nicely lingering minerality on the finish.
Left Coast is a Pfaff family-owned vineyard and winery that started in 2003 and now is one of the largest contiguous vineyards in Oregon. Their website asserts: “At Left Coast we put all of our love into the land. In the early years we focused on vineyard development and landscaping. Every building on the property, including the tasting room and winery, has had a tractor driven through it, as their original utility was equipment storage. The beauty of the estate is what inspired our family to come to Oregon. Our goal is to enhance and share that natural beauty with others through thoughtful winemaking, sustainable practices and habitat conservation. Our vineyards and winery are LIVE certified sustainable. We are 90% solar powered and have partnered with the US Department of Fish & Wildlife to help restore 100 acres of old growth Oregon White Oak on the property to their native savannah state.”
The label name comes from the 45 degree parallel, the same northern hemisphere parallel as many of the great vineyards in France. The small production pinot is single-cane pruned in winter to provide lower yields and higher quality. In the winery, the juice ferments in small 1.5-ton, open-top French fermenters, then finished in select barrels.
Left Coast Latitude 45º Estate Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2015 may have to work some to present its fruit, but has distinctive elements that will please those who enjoy earthy, tangy, slightly rustic pinot noir. I strongly suggest decanting to expose its best elements. This will stand up well to bold flavors, no small thing for other pinot noirs, especially from Willamette valley. Pair with braised beef and other bold flavors, root vegetables, barbecued chicken, blackened chicken, blackened salmon, rich hard cheese. $38