June 13, 2012

NYC Wine Tasting Group, Cult Oregon Pinot Noirs, Direct From Oregon to NYC

2008 Shea Wine Cellars Pinot Noir Homer Willamette Valley (Oregon) 
The flagship of Shea Vineyards is the Homer cuvee made from a blend of the best barrels in the cellar. The 2008 Pinot Noir Homer is dark ruby/purple in color with a breath-taking, multi-dimensional aromatic array of sandalwood, Asian spices, incense, rose petal, black cherry, and black raspberry that leaps from the glass. Super-concentrated, opulent, and Reubenesque on the palate, it manages to be light on its feet and powerful at the same time. With amazing balance and precision and a finish that lasts for over a minute, it is a candidate for wine of the vintage as well as a tour de force. Rated 96 The Wine Advocate

2009 Colene Clemens Pinot Noir Chehalem Mountains Estate Reserve (Oregon)
Supple and refined, with a lovely pink peppercorn tinge to the raspberry, pear and tea leaf flavors, dancing lightly through a veil of fine tannins to a long, vivid finish. Rated 92 Wine Spectator (from the former assistant winemaker at Beaux Ferres winery

2008 Penner-Ash Pinot Noir Shea Vineyard (Oregon) 
The 2008 Pinot Noir Shea Vineyard is a crimson-colored offering with an already complex bouquet of Asian spices, incense, smoke, underbrush, plum, and black cherry. Layered, sweetly-fruited, and with exceptional volume and balance, this lengthy effort is the most complete and seamless wine in the portfolio. It will require a well-developed ability to delay gratification a la Orson Welles (4-5 years down the road). Lynn Penner-Ash took full advantage of the outstanding Pinot Noir fruit provided by the 2008 vintage. Rated 94 The Wine Advocate

2009 Maysara Pinot Noir McMinnville Estate Cuvee (Oregon)
“Supple, sumptuous and distinctive for its range of cherry, boysenberry, floral and dark chocolate flavors dancing suavely throughout the long extensive finish. The tannings are submerged and this has miles to go! Drink now through 2019.” 94 pts.— Wine Spectator
“Figgy in aroma, with scents of lavender and sundried strawberries, this stylish wine is much fresher and persistent in its red fruit flavors. Vinous and dark-toned, there’s a brisk, windswept quality to the tannins hinting at the Van Duzer Corridor breezes that buffet Momtazi, Maysara’s estate vineyard.” 92 pts.— Wine & Spirits
“The 2009 Pinot Noir Estate Cuvee was aged for 12 months in 30% new French oak. It, too, offers up herbal overtones which seem to be a characteristic of this vineyard. Here it is merely a background note accompanied by Asian spices, incense, and assorted black fruits. In the glass it displays unusual richness and concentration for the vintage as well as a fruit-filled, lengthy finish. It has the stuffing to evolve for 1-2 years and will provide optimum drinking through 2019.” 91 pts.— Wine Advocate

2008 Z’IVO Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley (Oregon) 
Portland surgeon Johnny Zelko named his 40-acre vineyard Z’ivo to celebrate his Slovak heritage. The name means “Z’s wine,” and for the first several vintages that was literally true-the small production wasn’t sold widely. But Z’ivo is catching up fast, and is now more widely available. After working a few vintages in friends’ wineries, Zelko took the plunge in 1995, buying a rocky piece of land on the northeastern edge of the Eola-Amity Hills AVA. Mineral notes are definitely present in the flavor profile, the fruit character veering toward dark plum and blueberry. The wines are made at WineWorks in McMinnville, under the watchful eye of Miguel Lopez, the winemaker there. Dense and chewy, but remarkably agile, displaying ripe blackberry, plum, black pepper, walnut and floral flavors flitting in and out of focus, meeting up with mineral notes on the finish. Rated 93 The Wine Spectator

2006 St. Innocent Pinot Noir Shea Vineyard Willamette Valley (Oregon) 
The 2006 Pinot Noir Shea Vineyard is a candidate for Shea of the vintage as well as my choice in this portfolio. It is the richest, most concentrated, and complex as well as the best balanced, nicely concealing enough structure to evolve for 4-5 years, about as much as one can expect from this vintage. It should be at its best from 2012 to 2021. Rated 94 The Wine Advocate