The 2020 vintage in the Willamette Valley was a double whammy of difficulty for pretty much every winery. Not only was the Covid pandemic making work in the vineyards difficult and tourism/sales nearly impossible, the wildfire outbreak around Labor Day threatened pretty much all of the year's Pinot Noir harvest with smoke contamination if not outright vine damage. Even in the best of times it would have been difficult to get vineyards harvested and processed quickly in such an emergency situation, but the added layer of Covid precautions made it all but impossible. Many wineries did the best they could with whatever early harvest fruit they got, more than a few scrapped the whole vintage and sold whatever could be acceptable off as bulk, and almost nobody made any single vineyard wines that are the showpieces of of Oregon wine. Thankfully the region has benefited from two MUCH less dramatic and relatively problem free seasons, and our favorites are back to creating great stuff at all price points. Inspired by the Bauhaus artist Paul Klee, this wine from selected family owned properties in and around the Yamhill-Carlton area is routinely a first choice by staff for value out of Oregon. Cool, classic dark fruits on the nose with lots of restrained black cherry and hints of soy or pepper, a change of pace from some of the hotter recent vintages that put out a headier fruit aroma. The longer growing season also shows up on the palate with persistent fine tannins behind the dark fruits, giving some almost Burgundian style structure all the way through the finish. Patience is needed here, but well rewarded over several hours as the aromas get more floral and spicier and the fruit on the palate deepens. A wine that shows there will be a lot of the '22 vintage in people's cellars for years to come.
The Best of the Best.
We offering free tastings on these wines in the store every Thursday and Friday, and a 10% discount off the retail price through the duration of the day. Come on by and give them a try!