Wine Review – Pinot from Oregon and California

From Family Wine Merchants there is a pair of exceptional Pinot Noirs from the United States available later this month. I am generally leery of Californian Pinot Noir – let’s face it, the style is usually overcooked and drinks more like Cabernet – but I am finding more bottles that seem to hold onto their acidity. It’s a pleasure to see the Domaine Drouhin hitting the shelves after seeing the entry level bottles from this winery available over the past couple years. I am looking forward picking up both of these bottles even though they both push north of fifty dollars.

2014 Fess Parker Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir – Vintages 209858 – $64.95 – ****½ – At any price it would be hard to find a Pinot Noir that delivers the quality in this bottle. I don’t often venture outside of thirty dollars a bottle but even at double that limit this is well worth the price of admission. The aromas are fresh cherry and raspberry that follow through on the palate. The texture of this wine is rich and concentrated and it invades every part of your mouth. In spite of the concentration and heavy texture on the mid palate this still finished light with nice acidity and perfect balance.

2014 Domaine Drouhin Oregon Dundee Hills Pinot Noir – Vintages 961284 – $49.95 – ****½+ – It’s not often that I talk about value when I’m talking about wines that cost more than thirty dollars – let alone one that is over fifty. But I need you to trust me. Somehow this manages to walk a fine line that leans towards heavy but somehow remains elegant. The aromas are very ripe, fresh cherries. But the fruit on the aromas somehow shows some restraint and keeps from being jammy. On the palate this opens up with nice weight and fills your whole mouth. The finish on this wine is smooth, clean and elegant. The note on the back label talks about how you can age this bottle … but I doubt you will have the restraint because it’s so great right now.

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