2015 Averaen (Banshee) Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Lurid red. Vibrant, sharply focused scents of ripe red berries and candied flowers are complicated by suggestions of cinnamon and allspice. Lithe and appealingly sweet on the palate, offering intense raspberry, cherry and spicecake flavors that deepen and spread out with air. The floral note comes back strong on the clinging, spice-laced finish, which is given shape by harmonious, slow-building tannins. This wine delivers outstanding value and is an auspicious inaugural offering for this project, which is owned by the proprietors of California Pinot Noir specialist Banshee. A new project from the team that produces Banshee wines in California, winemaking here is under the watch of Adam Smith, a young but experienced winemaker who trained at Domaine Serene and Shea, among other wineries. He also has his own project, Eisold Smith. The wine is made without any new oak, with value strongly in mind, fruit is sourced from some of the Willamette Valley’s best vineyards, including Momtazi, Meredith Mitchell, Deux Vert, Looney and Nysa. The bang-for-the-buck factor here is really impressive. (JR)
Averaen Pinot Noir comes from the folks at Banshee, and is made in Oregon by winemaker Adam Smith, who made Banshee's first batch! They always make a spot-on quality-for-price Pinot, and we're excited to see them in action in Oregon. The winery's vintage notes: "A mild winter led to early bud break, and early flowering. Weather was perfect around bloom, giving way to excellent fruit set. The hot, dry summer brought accelerated ripening. Warm/early sites came off the vine first week of September, breaking records for red-wine harvest timing. Warm, windy and wet in the middle of September bought us a bonus couple of weeks in cooler, high-elevation sites, yielding more complex, mature flavors in later picks."