Willamette Valley Sparkles with 2015 and 2016 Vintage Offerings

The Bernau Block at Willamette Valley Vineyards

Summertime is a beautiful time in Oregon. Portland showcases the Waterfront Blues Festival. The Coast radiates expressions of glory with each beach sunset. As part of our family vacation we took a day to taste some of the newer vintage offerings from Willamette Valley winemakers.

The 2015 vintage was nearly perfect condition for the region. According to the harvest report from the Oregon Wine Board in October of that year:

The 2015 vintage began with warm weather conditions in the winter that continued throughout spring and summer. Yet, light scattered showers in late August and a return to normalcy in September gave a break to what was an intense growing season. The result was concentrated, balanced fruit throughout the state.

We had several stops at Stoller Family Vineyard (Dundee AVA), JK Carriere (Chehalem Mountain AVA) and an overnight stay at the guest suites at Willamette Valley Vineyards at the estate property in Turner (South Salem Hills District).

Full disclosure: we are investors and ambassadors for Willamette Valley Vineyards and their affiliate properties. For more information on access to their wine club or to contact email info@stonewoodwine.com.

In many cases the Pinot Noir from 2015 is showcasing great promise even after only a few years in the barrel and bottle. The single vineyard offerings from both 2015 and 2016 vintages we tasted were great to exceptional.

Here are our tasting highlights across Oregon Pinot Noir for these vintages.

2016 J.K. Carriere Pinot Noir St. Dolores Estate (92 Points): Full nose of cherry currant and huckleberry. Crisp light minerality with deep red fruits and a rushing palate with moderate tannins. A hearty special occasion wine for this tribute bottling. (And happy birthday Mama Dolores!)

2016 Stoller Pinot Noir Helen’s (92 points): Bright red fruits and white pepper on the nose with a smooth silky palate of bing cherry and cayenne pepper and long finish of current and traces of plum. A very stylish wine for special occasions.

2015 Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir Bernau Block (92 Points): Rich nose of currant and dark fruit with traces of peppercorn on the palate and long earthy finish with moderate tannins.

2015 Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir AVA Series Yamhill-Carlton (93 Points): Hickory nuts and dark fruity jam on the nose with a full palate of currant and cherry and a long finish with traces of allspice. Moderate tannins. A exceptionally expressive wine of the Yamhill-Carlton AVA.

For more tasting notes and adventures follow us on social media @stonewoodwine.


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