Oregon Report - Vol. II
Oregon Vol. II - Report Summary
Our associate editor, Dr. Owen Bargreen, has put together an extensive report covering nearly 300 of the latest wines from Oregon. While this report primarily focuses on the 2014 vintage, it also includes new releases, which span three vintages from 2013 to 2015.
Following the somewhat challenging 2013 vintage, most vintners were very excited to have near ideal growing conditions in 2014 and the results were outstanding for all varietals across the board. Pinot Noir in particularly was typically structured and focused, while showing wonderful red and dark fruit characters from the warmth of the vintage. Chardonnay showed beautifully as well in 2014. Winemakers like Tony Rynders of Tendril and Mark Vlossak of St. Innocent are excited about the 2015 vintage, which was also warm but had cool harvest temperatures which led to wonderfully poised red and white wines.
While many wineries excelled with their new releases, there were some who stood out above the rest.
Archery Summit was an estate which excelled in 2014, showing an impressive range of Pinot Noir, which included the completely stunning ‘Arcus Estate’ Pinot Noir, a dense wine with marvelous tension and Burgundian feel.
Big Table Farm also fielded a gorgeous lineup of Pinot Noir, including the magnificent 2014 ‘Earth’ Pinot Noir, which was one of the most compelling wines from the entire vintage.
Brittan Vineyards also thrived, as Robert Brittan has releases another remarkable set of wines including the 2014 ‘Gestalt Block’ Pinot Noir, which was a scintillating expression that showed incredible intensity and beautiful focus on terroir.
Beau Freres produced an incredible lineup of Pinot Noir, as did Willakenzie Estate, Argyle, Stag Hollow, Alexana, St. Innocent, Tendril, Le Cadeau, Cristom and Ken Wright Cellars.
2014 and 2015 both yielded a gorgeous collection of Oregon Chardonnay wines, none more so than Domaine Serene with their their remarkable 2014 ‘Evenstad Reserve’ Chardonnay, which was one of the highlights of the vintage.
Evening Land also excelled with of the most successful Chardonnay, produces some of the best Chardonnay in not only Oregon, but all of North America and their new lineup showcases the impressive winemaking talents of Rajat Parr and Sashi Moorman.
Big Table Farm not only produced an incredible range of Pinot Noir, the Chardonay was also amongst the best as ‘The Elusive Queen’ was extremely impressive, having incredible viscosity, richness and structure.
In addition to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, there were also some truly great Pinot Gris wines made as well. Look for the 2015 King Estate ‘Domaine’ as well as the 2014 Aubichon ‘Reserve’. The 2015 St. Innocent Pinot Blanc was also an incredible release by from winemaker Mark Vlossak, showing racy acidity and a plush mouthfeel.
Oregon also makes some of the best Sparkling wine in North America, including the 2013 Argyle Brut and the 2014 Kramer Vineyards Sparkling Wine. The best Sparkling wine that I tasted in the past year is the 2013 Rocco ‘RMS’ made by the talented hands of Rollin Soles, which showed serious tension and gorgeous aromatic and impressive range.
As far as values, there were many to be found, however for some of the best look towards Child’s Play, a wonderful project from winemaker Tony Rynders, as well as King Estate, A to Z wines and Wines By Joe all fit the bill.
As a whole, the 2014 vintage is a sensational vintage and the winemakers took full advantage, producing some truly remarkable wines. Things are also looking bright for 2015, as early indications have been highly promising. We look forward continue to cover the lastest wines from 2015 as they are released in the coming year.
Below are nearly 300 tasting notes on wines from 2013, 2014 and 2015, which are currently on the market and certainly worth seeking out.
Oregon Report - Vol. II