Lovely translucent ruby color; cherry, raspberry on the nose; medium body with tasty ripe red fruits, hint of earth, spice; silky tannin, bright acidity, a classic Oregon-style, palate-pleasing pinot noir.
The Willamette Valley is natural pinot noir country. Cool climate. Dry in the summer, protected by looming mountains. Oregon is the third largest wine producer in the U.S., behind California and Washington State. The Willamette Valley stretches for 150 miles south of Portland and is steadily earning respect as one of the great pinot noir appellations/viticultural areas on Earth.
Estate Pinot Noir expresses the terroir of three vineyards: acres originally planted in 1983 by winery founder Jim Bernau, Tualatin Estate planted by Oregon wine pioneer Bill Fuller in the foothills of the Coast Range, and Elton planted by Dick and Betty O’Brien on the east face of the Eola Hills (all four of them are senior vineyard farmers/wine makers with vintage résumés).
Willamette Valley Vineyards is one of the state’s largest operations—a large operation by Oregon standards, but WVV is not a wine factory and WVV vineyard-specific and technique-specific offerings consistently deliver distinctive quality and value. They are not focus-group driven to fill a demographic niche on a supermarket shelf. The winery also is environmentally responsible. Since 1997, WVV has been certified sustainable through LIVE (Low Input Viticulture and Enology—the international standard for sustainable agriculture) and Salmon-Safe. In 2011, Salmon-Safe recognized Bernau with the first “Hero of Salmon” award for implementation of a high-impact Salmon-Safe “Sip-Save” campaign in print, retail, web, and vehicle wraps. Delicious wines, responsible winemaking. Nice. Delicious, too.
Willamette Valley Vineyards website
Second photo: Willamette Valley Vineyards