Oregon to Pinot

lemel 008

In Oregon, the Williamette River flows north/north east towards Portland and empties into the Columbia River. The river valley south west of Portland area has become famous, since the 1960s, for Pinot Noir, so much so there is an annual Celebration for the grape every July. The climate, wet, rather than cold autumns and winters, and dry summers replicate that of Burgundy and allow the fussy grape to ripen on the vine. This means the wines are full flavoured if a little more forward when compared with the French counterpart. But why compare?

The wine we tried on Sunday had been opened Friday evening but decanted just before tasting. It was Lemelson’s Thea’s Selection of 2012 (a very good year), 14%ABV and cost £19.50 from WS.

Purple/pink rimmed with a deep red core, the wine smelt fruity fresh rather than oaky with very slight menthol notes. Richard suggested it tasted of cough drops (in  an attractive way) and it finished dry after a sweet mid-palate. The finish was long.

Neither of us could pick any of Pinot’s typical characteristics but this was an excellent, if slightly unusual, wine. Some notes suggested it was more cranberry fruit. The wine-makers will no doubt be keen to develop a wine which expresses the local terroir, rather than copy another district’s style. Another good wine from cave Morris.

[Richard: yet another from our recent trip to the WS cellar in Stevenage. I think the longish time open and the decanting helped develop the wine. A good, very drinkable wine with a lot of character but if you want classic pinot – look elsewhere.]


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