Pinot Noir is one of the wines that truly highlights the location and conditions in which the grapes were grown. What our founder David referred to as the “Wine of Kings”, Pinot Noir is delicate and nuanced. It’s enjoyment can be as simple or as complex as you’d like, either enjoying the sweet nature of the wine and the ease of drinking, or delving into the nose and palette, dissecting wines from vineyards just a few miles from one another. Oregon Pinot Noir is no exception to this.
Image via Oregon Wines
While Pinot Noir grapes can be successfully grown in few places around the world, those where it can be grown, notably Bordeaux and Northern California made names for themselves long before the Oregon Wine Industry became established. So what exactly sets Oregon Pinot Noir apart from its Californian and French counterparts? It starts with the soil, geography, and climate of the Willamette Valley.
Many agree that Oregon Pinot Noir can be generally described as fruity, slightly more acidic than a California Pinot, moderate in tannins, and moderate in richness. Oregon Pinots are known for embodying aromas and tastes reminiscent of black cherry, ripe raspberry, dried blueberry and raisin, with hints of earthiness like cedar and pine, and, at times, hints of cinnamon, vanilla or tobacco leaf. Oregon Pinot Noir is nuanced, subtle, they aren’t typically bold and fruit-forward like their counterparts from around the world and Laurel Ridge Pinot Noir is no different.
If you’re interested in trying our Pinot we, of course, would love to see you in our Tasting Room, but if you can’t make it down, here’s a guide to our Pinot Noir.
Have a friend that doesn’t like red wine? Get them to try this. Interested in getting into the world of Pinot Noir yourself? This is an excellent place to w(h)et your toes (er, palette?). It expresses characteristics of a true Oregon Pinot Noir- notes of black raspberry and cherry cola are dominant on the palate. This user-friendly Pinot Noir easily enjoyed with a variety of farm-to-table style meals or to enjoy in a glass on its own.
You might not be too familiar with the term “Barrel Select” when it comes to Pinot Noir, or any wine for that matter. That’s because it’s a term our founder, David Teppola, started to use many years ago when he wanted to highlight the best of each vintage of wine through the bottle. He started tasting every single barrel of Pinot Noir, and selecting 3-4 of his absolute favorites. He then reserved these few barrels for their own bottling and voilà, you have a Barrel Select Pinot Noir.
Our 2014 Barrel Select Pinot Noir is an ephemeral snapshot of the 2014 in a wine. 2014 was a warmer year, and the barrels our winemaker selected exhibit darker characteristics than typical of an Oregon Pinot. Rather than notes of cherry and raspberry, this bottle is dominant in darker berries like blueberry and blackberry. The body of the wine is luscious and sultry. This is the perfect wine to cellar (if you can wait, that is!) and would be unreal after 4-5 years (cellarable up to 7).
Our Reserve label is, well, reserved for wines intended for collectors and those looking to build their wine library. Our rare and unique 2014 Reserve Pinot Noir is from only two barrels of our 2014 vintage and is stand-out due to spending more time in new French oak before going to bottle. This isn’t a wine that you don’t come across often- and one that we do not sell beyond our tasting room (and website, of course). Grapes are from the Chehalem Mountains Sub-Appellation of the Willamette Valley AVA.
On the nose, this elegant and bold Pinot Noir exudes delicate violet and rose petal with a touch of cinnamon. The robust palate leads with cranberry and black cherry, fading to rich notes of truffle and mushroom. As with any collectors bottle, we encourage cellaring of these bottles for up to 7 years.
As always, a good glass of Pinot Noir tastes better when shared with good company and we hope to share a glass with you in our tasting room soon. Cheers!
Looking for More? Visit our post, Top 5 Places to Stay in Oregon Wine Country to plan your next visit!