Wine Reviews: Oregon

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 10-28-2017

Hey, Oregon wine lovers! It’s time to dig back into some Willamette Valley vino.

Earlier this year I reviewed some exciting new releases Penner-Ash, and I’ve got a few more in this report. This producer never fails to get my palate fired up, and it’s nice to see them still going strong as they celebrate their 20th vintage in 2015. There are a few Willamette Pinots from other producers thrown in as well.

These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted. 

zCSTwO3Am14E2fgrIrSZQw889Q0OOjvnoeKkZ9Sia50pX92IB2015 Penner-Ash Syrah- Oregon
SRP: $40
Medium purple color. Tart black cherries and plum aromas with some smoky, pepper, earthy notes along with tar, sweet violets and coffee. Silky on the palate but structured with medium acidity and tannins. Tangy black currants and crunchy plum fruit blends so well with pepper, black olive and tar, but I also flower pot and violet petals, some incense sticks. Good now but I’d cellar this for a few years or give it time because it really opens up and gets smooth and expressive. Aged 17 months in 30% new French oak. (90 points)

2015 Penner-Ash Pinot Noir Willamette Valley- Oregon, Willamette Valley
SRP: $40
Deep ruby color. Aromas of cool raspberries, black cherries, dusty earth, some rhubarb and rose petals. Medium-full-bodied with suave tannins and moderate acidity, the black cherry and sweet raspberry fruit is chewy but fresh. I get elements of eucalyptus, rose petal, sweet violets, hints of cedar and clove. Bold but vibrant, and a great intro this producer’s excellent Pinot Noirs. Aged 10 months in 30% new French oak. (90 points)

2015 Penner-Ash Pinot Noir Estate Vineyard- Oregon, Willamette Valley, Yamhill-Carlton
SRP: $65
Vibrant ruby color. Deep, dark aromas of cherries and rich blackberries, along with violets, clove, espresso, some mushroom, deep but awesome aromatics. Plush, balanced, lovely palate that combines bright acidity, structured tannins, with tangy black cherries and tart plum fruit. A delightful mix of violets, sweet pipe tobacco, sarsaparilla, cherry wood and clove, the flavors are rich but the wine is so lively. I’d love to bury this for five years. Aged 10 months in 20% new French oak. (92 points)

2015 Penner-Ash Pinot Noir Zena Crown Vineyard- Oregon, Willamette Valley, Eola – Amity Hills
SRP: $65
Rich ruby color. Bursting aromatics of dark plums and cherries, a deep, complex earthiness pervades the nose with elements of fall leaves, loam, graphite, and throw in some violets and green herbs. Full on the palate with solid tannins (by no means harsh) but vibrant, crisp acidity. Black cherries and gushing plum fruit, so delicious, mixes with dried roses, pipe tobacco, black olive, and I get some rhubarb and cola notes as well. Complex, balanced, deep, lasting, memorable. Plenty of years of evolution ahead. (93 points)

2016 Illahe Estate Willamette Valley- Oregon, Willamette Valley
SRP: $22
Light ruby red color. Smells of cherries galore, tart strawberries, rose petals, rhubarb and sweet incense sticks. Fresh acidity, dusty tannins, a crisp but bouncy and juicy Pinot packed with cherries, raspberries and strawberries. Rhubarb, roses, clove, root beer, black pepper. Juicy, almost chewy, but consistently fresh. Lovely now. Serious value. (88 points)

2016 Grochau Cellars Pinot Noir Commuter Cuvee- Oregon, Willamette Valley
SRP: $18
Light ruby color. Simple, pleasant aromas of raspberries, strawberry jam, cola. Soft tannins on the palate, medium-body, medium acidity. Flavors of candied red apple, raspberry jam, this is a fun and easy-drinking Pinot with some slight roses and spiced tea. Crowd-pleasing stuff for near-term consumption. (86 points)

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