Two things struck me as I tasted through a recent batch of 2008 Oregon Pinot Noirs. One, it’s shaping up as one great vintage, as good I had hoped. Two, the style runs so counter to the prevailing preferences for New World Pinot Noir that I fear a significant number of wine drinkers will try them and say, “What’s the big deal?”
What distinguishes this vintage for me, based on what I tasted out of barrel last year and on the 60 or so 2008s that have passed through my tasting room for blind reviews, is how transparent, pure and clear these wines can be. They do that trick peculiar to Pinot Noir, balancing a wide array of flavors on a relatively fragile frame. I liken it to a dense cloud hovering over the palate rather than blanketing it.
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