Recently, a plethora of Oregon winemakers, sixty six in fact, arrived in Chicago to present to fortunate trade, media, and consumers their new releases of Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Riesling. Held at City Winery, the Pinot in the Windy City event was met with accolades, camaraderie, and plenty of delicious wines. And I was there!
The Willamette Valley is known for making some of the best Pinot Noir as well as other cool climate wines. But after talking to many of the winemakers, owners, and others, it is apparent that there is an honest dedication to the personal approach in winemaking which includeds sustainable techniques, sense of community with collaboration, and a real connection to the land. This is a special place indeed.
The following list includes my favorite Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir wines tasted. Links to the website of each winery are given. Although very difficult to decide, I chose those which were fresh and delicious, indicative of the region, and a price which reflects the quality.
*Four Graces 2011 Pinot Gris (Willamette Valley) $20
*Lange 2011 Pinot Gris (Willamette Valley) $17
*Left Coast Cellars 2011 The Orchard’s Pinot Gris (Willamette Valley) $18
*Sokol Blosser 2011 Pinot Gris (Willamette Valley) $18
*Adelsheim 2010 Bryan Creek Pinot Noir (Chehalem Mountain) $75
*Angela Estate 2009 Pinot Noir (Yamhill-Carlton) $45
*Coelho 2011 Paciencia Reserva Estate Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley) $70
*Cornerstone 2010 Stepping Stone Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley) $30
*iOTA Cellars 2009 Pelos Sandberg Vineyard Pinot Noir (Eola-Amity Hills) $45
*Youngberg Hill 2009 Natasha Pinot Noir (McMinnville) $40
Cheers to wines from Oregon! ~ Cindy