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V93, WS92: Oregon Pinot Inspired and Crafted by a Cult Burgundy Producer - 03/23/2017 - Pinot Noir (domestic)

We’ve really been enjoying the 2014 Pinots out of Oregon as the ideal growing season made for wines of ample power and depth, but not at the cost of elegance. Given Maison L'Envoyé’s impeccable track record we knew their 2014s would be something special and as it turns out we were absolutely right. When we first tasted the 93-Point, 2014 "The Attaché" we are all struck by how perfectly composed it is - this is a wine the operates well above its modest sub-$30 price. Enticing aromatics, a seamless delivery, and excellent purity of fruit all coalesce in a wine that beautifully conveys the heights Oregon Pinot Noir can achieve. Made in an easy going, crowd-pleasing style, it’s the the ideal wine for just about any occasion.

Sourced from some of the top sites in Willamette’s AVAs and produced under the guidance of the very talented Louis-Michel Liger-Belair whose Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair wines sell for hundreds per bottle. Liger-Belair’s minimalist approach has allowed for a very dynamic expression and “The Attaché” is the selection of the best barrels of the vintage. Twelve months in French oak barriques wonderfully enhances the experience by introducing an array of baking spices. Seductively smooth, it brings you back to the glass time and again. If you’ve yet to try a bottle from the glorious 2014 vintage in Oregon, "The Attaché" is the perfect place to jump right in.

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2014 Maison L'Envoyé "The Attaché" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir ($29.99)

93 points Vinous: "(35 percent new oak) Limpid ruby-red. Powerful red berry and Asian spice aromas, along with suggestions of smoky minerals and incense. Sweet, seamless and penetrating on the palate, offering vibrant raspberry, cherry and spicecake flavors and a subtle touch of blood orange. Silky tannins emerge slowly and fold smoothly into the vibrant fruit on the long, nervy finish, which leaves notes of five-spice powder and red berries behind. (JR)" (12/2016)

92 points Wine Spectator: "Light and savory, with meaty, peppery overtones to the cherry and floral flavors, finishing gracefully. Has layers of complexity and terrific persistence. Best from 2018 through 2022. (HS)" (10/2016)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Maison l'Envoyé 2014 Attaché comes from 16 vineyards from all six AVAs, matured in 40% new French oak for just under 12 months. The nose is fuller and denser than the Two Messengers with bright red cherry and loganberry scents, nicely integrated oak and displaying commendable purity. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, quite tensile tannin. This has a pleasing freshness, more cohesion than the Two Messengers with attractive tart cherry fruit on the finish. Pay another ten dollars and gift yourself this rather than the Two Messengers. (NM)" (06/2016)

K&L Notes: Simply put 2014 is a great vintage in Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. It may not be the most "classic" vintage or the most bombastic vintage but it is a richly fruited vintage that is perfectly ripe and carries some solid heft. The best wines will age for years and will be some of the best of the decade but even the wines that are a bit more accessible are head turners. The 2014 Maison L'Envoyé "The Attaché" is one of those wines. At $29.99 it is a wine that has tremendous charm, intensity and complexity and really shows just how good 2014 is as a vintage. (Bryan Brick, K&L)

Staff ImageGary Norton | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 11, 2017

A tremendously serious wine for thirty bucks, that's for sure. The wine shows notes of fresh purple fruits, baking spices and a smokey, almost syrah-like characteristic that comes in on the mid-palate. It's a wildly intriguing Pinot Noir that should age gracefully for another 5 to 8 years.

Staff ImageStephanie Vidales | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 28, 2017

Maison LEnvoye, founded by Mark Tarlov, began in Burgundy and is now making wine in Tasmania and Williamette Valley as well. The Attache Pinot Noir is a barrel selection of the best lots and showcases true Williamette Valley terroir. Lifted and lush with blue and red fruits, the oak and spice add even more layers to this powerful Pinot.

Staff ImageJim Boyce | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 23, 2017

This mid tier offering from Maison L'Envoye shows aromas of fresh cherry and raspberry, baking spices, and a slightly savory, smoked meat quality that was particularly intriguing. Again, fresh red fruits shined with perfectly integrated oak and a hint of tanin on the back end. This is a seductive Pinot Noir; very pretty fruits and a bright palate, yet layered and quite powerful!