This Week's Must-Try Wines from Vinous: Oregon Pinot Noir $50 and Under

Welcome to this week's Must-Try Wines from Vinous! Each week we compile a list of top wines from the Vinous database that you need to add to your wine wish list. With all the various regions, producers, and grapes, no week will be the same! Wines available for purchase on Banquet are linked below. This week Josh Raynolds has specifically selected his top Oregon Pinot Noirs under $50 from his article, Oregon Pinot Noir: The Winning Streak Continues for the Delectable community! Enjoy an excerpt from Josh’s article and his top Oregon Pinot Noirs under $50! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ “Oregon’s unprecedented run of outstanding vintages which began in 2014, has been extended yet again with 2018. In fact, you have to go all the way back to 2011 and 2007 to find years that were truly challenging, and both of those vintages actually produced a large number of outstanding wines. 2018 – POWER AND, OFTEN, ELEGANCE In 2018, Oregon saw an abnormally dry, sunny and hot growing season, even by recent standards, and the wines show it. By and large, the 2018s tend to possesses deeper, darker fruit profiles than the 2017s. In a number of cases, alcohol levels are on the high side, but many of those wines have the freshness to buffer the heat, not to mention the balance and backbone to prevent them from coming off loose or markedly warm in character. Oregon Pinot drinkers whose taste runs to richness and power are going to flip over the 2018s, while I suspect that those whose preferences lean more towards brightness and red fruit will largely prefer the 2017s. A cool spring kept budbreak on schedule, although some of the colder spots, especially those at high elevation, lagged a bit behind. Then came a stretch of basically zero rain in most of May, June, July and into August. The days were warm and often hot, but the evenings were much less so, which kept rising sugar levels in check and acidity levels sound. The weather took a welcome, cool turn in late August, followed by quenching rain at the beginning of September. Because of dry conditions mildew pressure was nonexistent, which ensured perfectly clean fruit and easy work in the vineyards aside from rigorous canopy management. The skins of the grapes were thicker than normal as well, which no doubt contributed to the wines’ power and often higher tannin levels. In most cases, harvest began in the second week of September and was pretty well wrapped up the first week of October. Alcohol levels in 2018 are on the somewhat low side – 12% to 14%, generally speaking – but the fruit profile of most of the wines I tried shows a deep, dark cast, suggesting cherry and dark berries, a different style compared to the more red-fruited and animated 2017s. Acidity levels aren’t crazy low, so there’s also a liveliness to the wines that doesn’t entirely reflect the hot year. It was the rare Pinot I encountered that had overt jammy, much less cooked or stewy fruit character or flabbiness." --Josh Raynolds, Oregon Pinot Noir: The Winning Streak Continues, August 2020 1. 2017 Argyle Winery Pinot Noir Reserve 2. 2018 Averaen Wines Pinot Noir 3. 2017 Brick House Pinot Noir Select 4. 2017 Crowley Wines Pinot Noir Entre Nous 5. 2019 Division Winemaking Company Pinot Noir Methode Carbonique Division Villages 6. 2018 Maison L'Envoye Pinot Noir Straight Shooter 7. 2017 North Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir 8. 2018 Resonance Pinot Noir 9. 2018 Roco Gravel Road Pinot Noir 10. 2018 Walter Scott Wines Pinot Noir Cuvée Ruth To read Josh's full report and learn about the 2016 and 2017 vintages and the status of the market during these strange times, check out the full article on Vinous now.

Walter Scott

Cuvée Ruth Pinot Noir 2018

Delectable Wine
9.2

Dark, bright-hued red. Intensely perfumed, mineral-accented red berry and cherry scents are complemented by suggestions of star anise and candied flowers. Silky and appealingly sweet, offering sappy raspberry, cherry and rose pastille flavors energized by a smoky mineral quality. Shows excellent clarity and spicy cut on the persistent finish, which is framed by subtle, even tannins. 40% new oak. (Josh Raynolds, Vinous, August 2020)
— a year ago

Résonance Vineyard

Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2018

Delectable Wine
9.0

Shimmering ruby. Smoky, spice-tinged black raspberry and cherry aromas carry a subtle floral topnote. Lively dark fruit and floral pastille flavors are deepened by a licorice nuance and a hint of bitter chocolate. Silky in texture and appealingly sweet, finishing with sharp focus and spicy persistence. 20% new French oak. (Josh Raynolds, Vinous, August 2020)
— a year ago

Alex liked this

North Valley Vineyards

Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2017

Delectable Wine
9.2

Deep scarlet. Expansive aromas of red/dark berry liqueur and cherry-cola are complemented by a spicy topnote that builds as the wine opens up. Juicy, concentrated and seamless in the mouth, the North Valley offers appealingly sweet, spice-laced black raspberry, cherry and floral pastille flavors that turn livelier with air. Nicely plays richness off vivacity and finishes very long and supple, with gentle tannins lending shape and grip. (Josh Raynolds, Vinous, August 2020)
— a year ago

Alex liked this

Maison L'Envoyé

Straight Shooter Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2018

Delectable Wine
9.0

Brilliant red. Smoke- and spice-accented cherry and black raspberry scents show very good clarity and lift. Bitter cherry and red berry flavors take a sweeter turn as the wine stretches out. Closes long and focused, with youthfully gripping tannins and a hint of succulent herbs. (Josh Raynolds, Vinous, August 2020)
— a year ago

Averaen

Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2018

Delectable Wine
9.0

Glistening ruby-red. Ripe red and dark berries, cherry-cola and a hint of allspice on the perfumed nose. Pliant cherry and black raspberry flavors show good energy and pick up a hint of smokiness on the back half. Plush and seamless in texture, with lingering floral and spice notes on the long, subtly tannic finish. (Josh Raynolds, Vinous, August 2020)
— a year ago

Crowley

Entre Nous Pinot Noir 2017

Delectable Wine
9.1

Dark red. Spice-tinged raspberry and cherry aromas are complicated by floral and smoky mineral notes. Gently sweet and focused on the palate, offering energetic red and dark berry flavors and suggestions of rose pastille and blood orange. Vibrant and precise in style, delivering solid finishing cut, fine-grained tannins and strong, spicy persistence. (Josh Raynolds, Vinous, August 2020)
— a year ago

Alex liked this

Brick House

Select Ribbon Ridge Pinot Noir 2017

Delectable Wine
9.3

Vivid magenta. Highly perfumed, spice-tinged red/dark berries and pungent flowers on the expressive nose. Juicy and energetic on the palate The 2017 Select offers sappy raspberry, bitter cherry and mulberry flavors that slowly deepen through the mid-palate. The spice and floral notes repeat emphatically on a very long, penetrating finish that's framed by smooth, well-knit tannins. (Josh Raynolds, Vinous, August 2020)
— a year ago

Alex liked this

Division Winemaking Company

Division Villages Méthode Carbonique Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2019

Delectable Wine
9.0

Light, glistening red. Incisive, spice-tinged red fruit and floral aromas show fine definition and a subtle herbal nuance. Lithe and sharply focused, offering light-bodied strawberry and cranberry flavors that turn sweeter on the back half. The spicy quality repeats strongly on a long, nervy finish that seems utterly tannin-free. (Josh Raynolds, Vinous, August 2020)
— a year ago

Argyle

Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2017

Delectable Wine
9.2

Deep magenta. Fresh red berries, candied rose, cola and allspice on the highly perfumed nose. Fleshy and seamless on the palate, offering spice-tinged bitter cherry and black raspberry flavors that turn sweeter with air. The floral note comes back on the gently tannic, focused finish, which lingers with strong tenacity. 25% new oak. (Josh Raynolds, Vinous, August 2020)
— a year ago

John liked this

Roco Winery

Gravel Road Pinot Noir 2018

Delectable Wine
9.1

Vivid magenta. Perfumed red berry, cherry and floral scents are complemented by smoky mineral and spice flourishes that build in the glass. Sweet and energetic on the palate, offers raspberry, cherry, spicecake and candied rose flavors that open up slowly on the back half. Finishes long, smooth and floral, with slow-building tannins adding framework and gentle grip. (Josh Raynolds, Vinous, August 2020)
— a year ago

Alex and Josh liked this