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K&L Staff Recommendations
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* This new sister label from Elk Cove offers 100% Willamette Valley Pinot Noir at an everyday price. Fresh cranberry and raspberry fruit is framed by herb-tinged tannins. The immaculate craftsmanship and clean direct flavors are light years beyond budget Pinot Noir from most other regions. This is your perfect salmon wine. (PG)" (8/2016)
This is the same delicious Underwood Pinot Noir as the bottle, but in an easy-to-transport pop top can! No, it doesn't affect the taste--it's still packed with strawberry and pomegranate fruit, with the same supple texture, acidity and peppery spice and minerally finish. Perfect for summer sipping, for camping, boating, picnicking, beaching or rocking out at the Hollywood Bowl! From the winery's tasting notes: Cherries, raspberries, and chocolate."
92 points Wine & Spirits: "*Best Buy* Ponzi's entry-level red, this lacks any pretension and airs. But its youthful energy, a lively red cherry scent, a plush middle-palate and a Jory-soiled redness to the fruit flavors, not to mention a volcanic grip of tannins, make this a lot of wine for the dough." (2/2016) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Who puts their lowest-priced Pinot Noir in 20% new French oak, and includes fruit from their best vineyards in the blend? Ponzi does, and the result is a terrific vintage for Tavola. Bright, compact, aromatic and lushly fruited with plum and black cherry, th ...Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Pretty is the word that comes to mind upon sniffing and sipping this wine, with its beguiling strawberry and cherry fruit. It gathers strength in its core, while maintaining an elegant, well-structured acid/tannin frame. It's an outstanding value in Oregon Pinot from a top producer. (PG)" (4/2016)
With a goal of affordability and accessibility for everyone, Union Wine Company delivers its Rosé in a can that is "approachable and ready to travel."
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Maresh Vineyard Pinot Noir has a beautiful bouquet with wonderful precision. The vine age does show through here (44-years-old now) with crisp detailed red berry fruit that just exudes Pinoté. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, very well-judged acidity, touches of truffle and undergrowth tincturing the red berry fruit that fans out wonderfully towards the long and satisfying finish. This is a great Pinot Noir from an estate that seems to have thrived in 2014. (NM)" (6/2016)
Inventory: San Francisco
91 points Wine Spectator: "*Smart Buy* Fresh and inviting, open-textured and refined, with plum, currant and floral flavors that dance through the supple finish. Shows generosity and finesse, finishing on a roasted note. (Web-2016) (HS)" Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star* Nicely ripened and yet balanced to firmness with a solid streak of youthful, cherry-like fruit running its length, this well-made, mid-sized Pinot wine goes right to the varietal point. It is slightly juicy and comes with a careful trim of sweet oak, and, if not an especially potent wine, it has the fruity confidence and balance to hold u ...Read More »
Elegant and Burgundian in style, organically and dry-farmed, Evesham Wood's wines are simply gorgeous examples of Oregon Pinot. From the winery: "Very forward with plum, dark cherry, red cherry with a slightly sweet smokiness reminiscent of a toasted marshmallow. It will be fun to watch this wine evolve over the next five years."
Domaine Serene's Yamhill Cuvée is named for the Yamhill-Carlton district where the estate is located, but the wine also includes some fruit from the nearby Dundee Hills and Eola-Amity Hills. The wine is aged in 40% new French oak for 14 months before bottling. This 2013 bottling has not yet been professionally reviewed, but this cuvee from the similarly celebrated 2012 vintage garnered between 91-93 points from each Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiasst, and James Suckling.
It's a rare treat to find a solid, everyday Pinot Noir that over-delivers for under $30, let alone under $15—and from Oregon, at that. This wine is sourced from vineyards across Oregon, and is made to highlight the rich, juicy flavors of the state. Recent vintages have been reviewed favorably, if not in the 90+ point realm (you want the world for $11.99?), by Wine Spectator, Wine Advocate, and even Burghound. Fun fact: If you didn't see it here first, you might have seen Underwood at UK retailer Marks & Spencer, who feature it as their only U.S. Pinot No... Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Pinot Noir Evanstad Reserve is raised in barrel for 16 months using 57% new oak. It has a more complex bouquet compared to the Yamhill Cuvée with attractive raspberry and briary scents, the oak neatly integrated here. The palate is medium-bodied with more red fruit than black, approaching soft(ish) tannin with a slight tinniness towards the finish that will hopefully recede with time. Enjoy this over the next 6-8 years, but don't hesitate if you feel like keeping it in the cellar for another 12-18 months. Few wineries are as easy on the eye as ...Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Rich and textural, this gloriously mixes raspberries, cherries, baking spices, cola, cocoa and coconut components, all woven together seamlessly. It’s forward and juicy, yet built for medium-term aging. Drink now through 2026." (8/2016) K&L Notes: According to the winery: "True to its growing season, our 2014 Dundee Hills is a medium-deep garnet color, with a dark core. On the nose, the wine is refined, with clear notes of spice, rose, black cherry, plum, and sweet red fruits, all wrapped in an earthiness that lends a surprising rustic touch. On the palate, the aroma... Read More »
If you're looking for a Pinot Noir that expresses the "Red Hills of Dundee" or know nothing about Dundee, but want a fresh, foward-drinking Pinot Noir, the Arterberry Maresh will be right up your alley. It's a fantastically red-fruited Pinot Noir, with dense Dundee flavors deftly interwoven with spice and earth notes. This is declassified Maresh fruit (planted in 1970), with some supporting fruit from the exemplary Juliard and Winderlea vineyards.
94 points Wine Spectator: "Distinctly minerally, with a saline quality to the ripe raspberry and cherry flavors, coming together harmoniously against powdery tannins on the long, vivid finish. Exciting, promising a great future. Best from 2017 through 2024." (6/2016) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "This is the first time this recently purchased vineyard has been featured as an Elk Cove designate. Planted in 2007, it’s just coming into its own. The young fruit is tight and tangy-a mix of raspberry and black cherry. Forward, bright and lightly spicy, it’s nicely focused effort with some high acid snap to the finish. ...Read More »
Winemaker Matt Kinne describes his winemaking methods: "What separates Pinot noir from other red varietals is its ability to express itself in such a confident and understated form. Pinot noir at its finest is red, not black; freshly fragrant; richly and brightly flavored with complexity and length. The winemaker's hand is light to balance, not mute these attributes and promote the purest possible expression a vineyard has to offer. Appropriately, McKinlay Pinot noir ferments with native yeasts, without enzyme additions; ages in modest percentages (25% o... Read More »
92 points Wine Spectator: "*Smart Buys* Lithe, supple, lively and expressive, layering boysenberry, pomegranate, floral and coffee notes on a sleek frame, with powdery tannins. Finishes with presence and persistence. (HS)" (8/2016) 90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Deceptively light and tight when first opened, this wine has flavors and character more in line with Gamay than most Pinots. Tart cranberry and raspberry fruit carries into a tangy finish, with citrus, mineral and herbal highlights. (PG)" (8/2016)
Estate-grown Pinot Noir from Ridgecrest Vineyards (60%), Corral Creek Vineyards (31%), and Stoller Vineyards (9%). Aged 11 months in barrel, 8% new, 12% one-year-old, and 80% neutral. According to the winery: "2014 was one of those rare vintages when everyone is excited - writers and winemakers love the quality, grape growers had no handwringing to do, and yields pleased bankers, which also means customers will see reasonable prices! Wine quality is excellent, based on full ripeness... this vintage is deeply colored, seriously structures with perfect bal... Read More »
90 points Wine Spectator: "Broad and open-textured, with firm tannins around a generous core of cherry and spice flavors, lingering well. Drink now through 2020. 3,811 cases made." (2/2016)
From the winery: "Green peppercorn and savory herbs are apparent immediately on the nose. The fruit here is perfectly balanced by the stems and structure. The sweet toasted oak really polishes the edges of the wine making it glide across the palate. This wine strikes a perfect balance with red grapefruit and orange zest aromatics supporting the generous cherry and red currant flavors. Drinking perfect and ready to satisfy."
Though the 2013 vintage has yet to be professionally reviewed, the Wine Advocate praised the 2012 bottling: "The 2012 Pinot Noir Illahe Vineyard has a lifted bouquet with violet scents permeating the dark cherry and blackcurrant nose. The palate displays quite a lot of extraction, although the acidity keeps everything balanced, the finish quite glossy with a long cassis finish. Fine." (03/2015)
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Argyle Brut is a blend of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir from high elevation sites, partly from the Spirit Hill Vineyard. It has a lifted lime flower and white peach-scented bouquet, floral in style and very well defined. The palate is fresh and vibrant on the entry with squeezed lime and green apple notes, well-judged acidity and a zesty finish that is just the ticket on a warm summer's day. Recommended. I am often impressed how New World sparkling wine stacks up against much of Champagne, and Argyle is no exception. Nate Klosterman makes s ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "A new effort from DDO, this drops Domaine Drouhin from the name, and puts the vineyard name front and center. It’s young and well-crafted, with strawberry and cherry fruit. The potential is evident for an impressive site once the vines get some age under them." (8/2016) K&L Notes: According to the winery "Roserock is an extraordinary vineyard at the southern tip of the Eola-Amity Hills, in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Ancient volcanic soils, an ideal elevation range and the unique cooling effect of the Van Duzer corridor produce classic cool-climate Pinot Noir and Cha... Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* This self-described, entry-level blend boasts floral aromatics and spicy, peppery fruit flavors of cranberry, strawberry and raspberry. Ribbon Ridge Pinots show great character, especially when from estate-grown, biodynamically-certified grapes like this offering." (12/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Pinot Noir Select was matured for 15 months in neutral oak barrels. It has an attractive blackberry and raspberry preserve-scented bouquet, floral tones developing soon after. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp tannin, attractive red cherry and raspberry ...Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* This opens with a full and succulent burst of fruit, notably cherries and plums. The rich and juicy flavors are highlighted with a streak of cola and buoyed with ample acids. This is just flat-out delicious." (4/2016)
Winemaker Russell Raney was heavily influenced by Burgundian winemaking and trained with Henri Jayer of Vosne-Romanée before moving to Willamette Valley. His wines are elegant and restrained; deeply expressive and sophisticated. From the winery: "Mahonia Vineyard and Evesham Wood share a long history together. This summer, we were lucky enough to gather several vintages (going back to the 90s) of Evesham Wood Pinot Noir Mahonia Vineyard and taste through them. It was remarkable how the wines were so distinct and expressed the growing season, yet also all... Read More »
Teutonic is making some of the finest German-inspired wines in the U.S. They work with cooler, higher-elevation sites to allow their grapes to hang on the vine longer and develop more physiological ripeness. In fact, Laurel Vineyard is located at one of the highest elevations in Oregon at 1250 feet. This is an elegant rosé that's low in alcohol (which means you can drink it by the gallon!), showing notes of dark plum, pink apples, and cassis.
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Bright and brambly, this dense and textural wine brings strawberry and cherry fruit goodness front and center. It remains powerfully focused deep into a long finish, nuanced with cured meat and barrel toast." (4/2016) 92 points Vinous: "Ruby-red. Highly perfumed scents of dark berries, cola and rose oil. Fleshy, expansive black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors display a suave blend of richness and energy, picking up a spicy character with air. Finishes juicy and very long, with lingering dark fruit flavors and slow-building tannins. (JR)" (10/2015) Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star* Very much prov ...Read More »
93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright ruby. Heady red and dark fruit liqueur, candied rose, allspice and woodsmoke scents show excellent clarity and a complicating hint of licorice. Palate-staining blackberry and spicecake flavors open nicely in the middle palate, picking up floral pastille and cola nuances and a hint of black tea. Rich and broad but energetic too, finishing with powerful spicy thrust and velvety tannins." (6/2014) 93 points Vinous: "Bright ruby. Heady red and dark fruit liqueur, candied rose, allspice and woodsmoke scents show excellent clarity and a complicating hint of licorice. Palate ...Read More »
Producer Note: "The color is a gorgeous light salmon. Watermelon, pear, jasmine, white flowers, lemon bar, and marzipan explode out of the glass, but never overwhelm. Is that brioche baking in the next room? Yes. Yes it is. The wine will be gone before you know it, before you’ve even had a chance to decide what it was, or what it meant to you. It remains a wine that demands contemplation, but frustratingly refuses to stay in your glass long enough for you to find all of the words. The second bottle will be just as good."
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "A standout among the winery’s single-vineyard selections, this big-boned effort brings flavors of chewy cherry alongside a citrus highlight and a definite underpinning of wet stone and clay. Texturally compelling, it should age gracefully through 2024." (8/2016) K&L Notes: Producer Note for the 2013 vintage: "A bright ruby gem, notes of Italian plums, violet and black pepper on the nose leads to a palate bursting with cassis, raspberry, black currant and carmelized marmalade. Finishes rich and savory with woodsy tones of cedar."
Ryan Harms is the owner and winemaker at Union Wines, whose motto is "drink with your pinkies down." Union makes killer Oregon wines at different price points (Kings Road represents the middle tier) that showcase the terroir while providing extreme value for your buck. From the winemaker: "Our flagship Pinot is hard to beat. A combination of rich red fruit flavors with freshness and vibrancy unique to Pinot Noir grapes grown in our beloved Willamette Valley, this wine truly reflects the character of this region. We think the best vintage is pretty much r... Read More »
Teutonic Pinot comes to us from a Riesling-crazed one-time restaurant wine buyer in Portland, Oregon, whose pursuit of Oregon terroir led him, naturally, to Pinot Noir as well as Mosel-inspired Rieslings. The lower alcohol levels and delicacy of the Teutonic style might remind one of Spätburgunder, come to think of it.
Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star and a Good Value* Nicely ripened and showing a mix of cherries and sweet plums on the nose that is reiterated in its young and insistently fruity flavors, this well-balanced middleweight impresses with its polish and clarity. It is not a wine of dramatic richness, but it hits all of the right varietal marks, and it has the quiet potency of a Pinot that will improve for several years." (2/2016) Vinous: "Light, bright red. Spice-laced aromas of fresh strawberry and redcurrant, with a hint of white pepper emerging with air. Taut, linear and nervy on the pala ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Pinot Noir is a blend of six vineyard sites that goes through a barrel selection, matured in wood for ten months. It offers brambly red fruit on the nose, a little darker than some others, but nicely defined and full of charm. The palate is medium-bodied with a soft, approachable entry. There is good volume in the mouth with blackberry, raspberry, white pepper and truffle-Iike notes with a structure underlying the fruit-driven finish. Good value Oregon Pinot Noir. Yeah...I like Elk Cove. I like the cut of their jib. These are examples of Oregon ...Read More »
Barnaby and Olga Tuttle's Portland-based Teutonic Wine Company, is, need we say, an idiosyncratic outfit focused on German and Alsatian wine styles. And obsessively focused on terroir--they now collect grapes before harvest from each vineyard in order to start a native yeast culture for each fermentation.
The fruit is all Pinot Noir from Laurel Vineyard. One of the highest elevation vineyards in Oregon (1250 feet in elevation), the grapes are all Alsatian Coury clones (brought back to Oregon from Alsace in 1965 by Charles Coury). The soil type at Laurel Vineyard is wind-blown loam and the vines were planted in the 1980s. The fruit came in rather late (good physiological ripeness) but they decided to make Rosé instead of Pinot Noir with it. They only kept this fruit on their skins for 2 hours and then sent it off to the press (more vin gris in style). All ... Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Ribbon Ridge Pinot Noir comes from two sources: Armstrong and Alan Foster Vineyards, the latter located just above Brick House. It has a bright raspberry and wild strawberry scented bouquet with fine delineation, simple but effective. The palate has a juicy opening, beautifully balanced with a fine line of acidity. The tannic structure meant that they used a little more new wood (25-30%), but that is neatly assimilated and it just "flows" towards a satisfying, sensual finish. Just fantastic value. (NM)" (6/2016)
Inventory: San Francisco
About the producer: "Patricia Green Cellars is located in the Ribbon Ridge Appellation of the Willamette Valley on a 52 acre estate purchased in 2000 by Patty Green and Jim Anderson. The winery, and thus the two friends and business partners, are noted for producing a tremendously broad selection of vineyard designated Pinot Noirs from several vineyards representing some of the better sites in the Willamette Valley with a particular emphasis over the years on Ribbon Ridge, Dundee Hills and the Chehalem Mountain appellations."
About the producer: "In 2003, Andrea and James Frey founded Trisaetum (tris-say-tum) in one of the few places where climate, soil, and entrepreneurial spirit combine to produce some of the world's best Pinot Noir & Riesling. Today, the family owned and operated winery in the heart of Oregon's Ribbon Ridge AVA produces small lots of acclaimed Pinot Noir and Riesling from its three estate vineyards. Trisaetum's first commercially available vintage was 2007. Our Coast range estate is a 22-acre vineyard within the foothills of the Coast Range mountains ou... Read More »
93 points Wine Spectator: "Fresh and expressive, soft in texture, this offers generous flavors of cherry, raspberry and clove that linger effortlessly against velvety tannins. Drink now through 2023. (HS)" (12/2015) 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Pinot Noir Les Dijonnais is the second bottling that was picked on September 19 and 20 then matured in 35% new oak. It has a perfumed, floral bouquet with raspberry coulis, wild strawberry and fig-like aromas that are beautifully defined and surprisingly intense considering the vintage. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe red cherry, strawberry and vanilla not ...Read More »
92 points Vinous: "Bright red. Tightly wound red berry and Asian spice aromas pick up a suave floral nuance with air. Silky and precise, offering energetic raspberry and bitter cherry flavors with a touch of star anise. A suave, seamless Pinot with no excess weight. Closes tangy and very long, with silky tannins and lingering spiciness. (JR)" (7/2015) 92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* Scents of cinnamon and red-pepper candy come up quickly, leading into a wine with terrific purity and focus. The raspberry and cherry fruits are clean and sharp, beautifully defined and balanced. Delicious yo ...Read More »
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* Homer is the reserve cuvée, a barrel-selection seemingly chosen for a bit of extra concentration. It retains its elegance, with scents of lavender, incense and Asian spices leading into bright, intense flavors of cherry and plum. The wine gathers itself in the midpalate, showing that fruit density, and finishes with a lick of chocolate. Drink 2018-2030." (4/2016) K&L Notes: According to the winery: "Our 'best barrel blend,' Homer displays all the best of the vintage: floral and savory aromas with concentrated blue and black fruit on the palate. The... Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Brittan’s 2011 Pinot Noir Basalt Block delivers an impressively sappy and dense, vibrant and buoyant combination of tart red currant and blackberry with clean red meat juiciness; salt; crushed stone; and somehow, mysteriously crystalline traces. Such a range of complexity across fruit, animal, and mineral dimensions in such a still youthful wine is among the striking aspects of Brittan’s and his vineyard’s talents, as is their sense of energy, which unsurprisingly is almost palate-shaking on the present occasion, kinetics being another forte of the 2011 ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
The Jezebel is a fruit-forward, early-drinking Pinot Noir, with the balanced acidity and bright fruit flavors that you would expect from Oregon Pinot. It is a blend of wine from vineyards in the Willamette Valley and from the Applegate Valley in southern Oregon. The fruit is cropped around two to three tons per acre and fermented in small lots with a variety of yeasts that are chosen to bring out the fullest expression of the fruit. Most of the wine is aged in neutral French oak but a small portion is produced in stainless tanks, to create a wine that is... Read More »
Vinous: "Vivid red. Fresh raspberry and spicecake aromas show good energy as well as a touch of jamminess. Smooth and seamless on the palate, offering gently sweet red and dark berry flavors that tail off a bit on the back half. Finishes on a fruity note, with very soft tannins and a touch of white pepper. (JR)" (10/2015) K&L Notes: From the winery: "The Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is a blend from highly regarded vineyards in the Willamette Valley. Black raspberry, anise, and spicy notes of nutmeg, cinnamon. Mid-palate burst of balanced acid and tannin with flavors of black ... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Ponzi's every day, go-to Pinot is sourced from vineyards in the Dundee Hills, Yamhill-Carlton and Eola Hills AVAs. In this challenging vintage it's light, grapy and pretty, with pale cherry fruit and hints of barrel toast and coffee. It's not a big wine, nor a wine to age, rather to drink on a warm spring day and enjoy it for its simplicity and elegance. (PG)" (4/2015)
Wine Enthusiast: "Fresh and forward flavors mix rhubarb, ripe strawberries and sweet Bing cherries. This vibrant wine finishes with a refreshing snap of acidity, making it a pleasure to drink." (6/2016)
90 points Wine Spectator: "Light and refreshing, with a savory edge to the dark cherry and floral flavors, finishing on a distinctly mineral note. This has presence and delicacy. (HS)" (2/2016) Vinous: "Light, bright red. Spicy, focused aromas of redcurrant, strawberry and pomegranate accented by a hint of rose. Clean and racy in the mouth, with the zesty red fruit flavors showing good depth but zero fat. In a clean, vibrant style, finishing with good cut and very soft tannins. (JR)" (10/2015) Wine Enthusiast: "A slight whiff of leathery funk in the nose carries into the palate, but it does not override the ric ...Read More »
Omero Cellars is a small, family-run outfit in the Ribbon Ridge area of the Willamette Valley, and founded in 2008 by Bill and Staci Moore.
Inventory: Redwood City