A little more elegant and Burgundian than 2016 with a dark Ruby color, a mélange of red and blue fruit aromas, forest floor, mushroom, spice, and red flower notes. There is serious depth on the palate with red cherry, red berry fruit, a touch of spice, and an intriguing savory component. There is a little tannin in the finish that might need two or three years to resolve, but there is serious upside potential, which is why we gave it a 94 score. Overall, a serious Willamette Valley Pinot Noir that is as good if not better than many other Oregon Pinot Noirs that are twice the price.
The vintage we’ve been waiting for all year to be released, and we’ll repeat ourselves why this is one of our favorite wines coming out of the Willamette. As the story goes, old owner, Russell Raney was able to cultivate a strain of yeast-derived from a bottle he drank of Henry Jayer (1986 Echezeaux), which he used to make many renditions of the aptly named “Cuvée J.” Now it’s a cellar selection of the best couple barrels of their dry-farmed estate fruit, made on its indigenous yeasts. It continues to be one of our favorite Pinots coming out of the Willamette with this strict Burgundian sensibility. A wine that delivers Chambolle cru-esque complexity and structure, elegant, refined, and with much complexity that starts to show with some cellar time.
Allen Meadows 92 points! "Here too there is a whisper of menthol sitting atop the wonderfully fresh if reserved essence of red cherry and spice aromas. The medium-bodied flavors possess a sophisticated mouthfeel that contrasts somewhat with the firm, serious and moderately austere finish that is presently noticeably compact. This very promising effort will absolutely need time and is not likely to make for especially good early drinking."