|Pinot Noir grapes in Oregon. Photo by James Moises|
"In the 2008's, you've got the best vintage Oregon has ever produced, the kind of vintage Oregon winemakers always hoped they could produce." Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator.
Praise for the 2008 vintage in Oregon has been unanimous, from the New York Times, to Wine Spectator and all of the ratings rags, to the Oregon Wine Awards and more, it is simply superb. With an uncharacteristically dry September and October, the warm days and cool nights allowed grapes to achieve ripeness without sacrificing the freshness provided by good acidity. The wines are sought after by collectors and wine enthusiasts around the world making the 2008's harder and harder to find.
|2010 harvest in Oregon's Willamette Valley. Photo by James Moises|
|James in the vineyards, Oregon's Willamette Valley. Photo courtesy of James Moises|
Here's a look at the line up:
Justin and Megan Van Zanten own this small winery in the Yamhill County town of Carlton. J Daan Wine Cellars, currently housed at the Carlton Winemakers Studio, is the effort of Justin and Megan Van Zanten. Justin's "day job" is as assistant winemaker to Andrew Rich, and he worked previously at major Oregon wineries, including Adelsheim and Chehalem.
The wine is produced from the Croft-Williamson Vineyard and Apolloni Vineyard grapes. This vintage shows off the best of Willamette Valley Pinot-- lush flavors of raspberry and cherry with an elegant finish and silky mouthfeel.
2008 Lumos Wine Company Pinot Noir Temperance Hill, $36, 688 cases produced
The wine won Double Gold at the Oregon Wine Awards! Lovely, brush-tinged juicy red fruits highlight this classy, fresh, delicious wine. Cristom is one of those producers who can do virtually no wrong. Great wine. Renowned vineyard manager meets famous vineyard. Result: Terrific wine. This stuff is dense, purple-dark, and laden with deep flavors and minerally structure.
2008 Capitello Pinot Noir Willamette Valley, $37.50,
The wine is sourced from two vineyard sites in the Willamette Valley; Mary’s Peak Vineyard (located just south of Philomath) and Rainbow’s End Vineyard (located in Monroe). Both vineyards are warm sites that are planted on Bellpine soil, offering richness to the fruit as well as elegance to the finished blend
This Pinot Noir gives off rich aromas of ripe raspberry & pomegranate fruits, while offering elegant oak spice, floral and earth tones. In the mouth, a full display of rich berry fruit and silky tannins shows up front. The intensely bright raspberry -blueberry fruit along with oak tones fill out the mid-palate, leaves you with a viscous raspberry linger.
2008 De Lancellotti Family Vineyards Pinot Noir Chehalem Mountain, $63
A hallmark of Paul and Kendall's winemaking philosophy is their commitment to stewardship of the land. In 2004, they received Biodynamic certification for their 27 acre vineyard. Certification is a complex process involving a commitment to the land and to the cycles of nature, as well as to strictly regulated winemaking practices. The Bergstrom and the deLancellotti Family Vineyards operations were the first two vineyards in the Willamette Valley to be certified Biodynamic. In 2008 they received the highest level of Biodynamic farming, Demeter certification. Using France's great Burgundies as his benchmark, Paul deLancellotti aims to bring subtlety and elegance to his signature Pinot Noirs.
IWC & WS 92 points: Full, bright red. Sexy bouquet of raspberry, cherry-cola and potpourri, with subtle woodsmoke and anise qualities in the background. A juicy, spicy midweight that offers sweet red and dark berry flavors and a zesty mineral spine. Darker fruits come up on the finish, which lingers with impressive juicy persistence. Very attractive right now but has the balance to reward another four to six years of bottle aging, at a minimum.
2008 Dominio IV Pinot Noir Poetry and Roses, $33, 205 cases produced
WA 91 points: The medium ruby red 2008 Pinot Noir of Poetry and Roses displays an enticing bouquet of exotic spices, incense, floral notes, and assorted red fruits. This sets the stage for a sweetly fruited, elegant wine that also contains plenty of density, impeccable balance, and a lengthy, seamless finish. Drink this stylish effort through 2019.
2008 Moises Holmes Hill Vineyard, $38, 100 cases produced
The Holmes Hill is my current favorite of James' 2008s and it has been since the night we did the 2008 release tasting of all of his wines. Immediately drinkable, yet it has all the right stuff for aging. Great plush, silky mouthfeel, delicious dark cherry fruits with balanced acidity and minerality it is a knock out!