After a week in Willamette Valley tasting Oregon’s 2010 and 2011 Pinot Noirs, I am impressed. If delicacy is what you crave, these vintages provided the framework for it. If you love rich wines and think delicate Pinot Noirs can’t have ripe flavors, these vintages might persuade you otherwise.
My enthusiasm comes with a couple of caveats, however. One is the weather, which posed serious challenges in both vintages. Unlike 2008, when making exceptional wine was pretty much a no-brainer, negotiating the cool, rainy conditions of 2010 and 2011 required skills that only those who had experienced them before could muster. As a result, you can’t just pluck a bottle off the shelf. A significant percentage of producers missed. Some missed by a wide margin.
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