Web Exclusive

Our Cup Runneth Over

More of the best Oregon wines

By Condé Cox August 18, 2009 Published in the September 2009 issue of Portland Monthly

Amy wineglass hbqdah

Image: Jen Evans

Rating 89-

No. 31

2006 Pinot Noir ‘Prince Hill’
Dundee Hills
$40, 6–8 years

Finely grained tannins and outstanding balance will allow this wine to age gracefully.

No. 32

Dobbes Family Estate
2006 Syrah ‘Fortmiller Vineyard’
Rogue Valley
$45, 4–7 years

Intense, long mulberry flavors and that ever-present alcohol characteristic of the 2006 vintage.

No. 33

Domaine Drouhin Oregon
2007 Pinot Noir
Dundee Hills
$45, 3–5 years

Red-cherry flavors and outstanding balance.

No. 34

Hawks View Cellars
2008 Riesling
Chehalem Mountains
$24, 3–4 years

The piercing minerality and grapefruit flavors in this beauty make the case for Oregon as a great place to grow riesling.

No. 35

Domaine Drouhin
2007 Chardonnay ‘Arthur’
Willamette Valley
$30, 4–5 years

Well-integrated, subtle oak-barrel scents and flavors, unlike some chardonnays from our neighbor to the south. Persistent on the palate.

No. 36

Iris Vineyards
2006 Pinot Noir ‘Reserve’
$36, 4–5 years

Fresh, bright red-cherry flavors, with light black-pepper spice.

Rating 88+

No. 37

Anam Cara
2006 Pinot Noir ‘Nicholas Estate’
Chehalem Mountains
$33, 4–6 years

Long, intense black-cherry flavors and lots of alcohol heat.

No. 38

2007 Pinot Noir ‘Boulder Bluff’
Willamette Valley

Nice balance of fruit and alcohol with astringency and tartness.

No. 39

Brick House
2007 Pinot Noir ‘Les Dijonnais’
Ribbon Ridge
$39, 4–6 years

Excellent varietal character and layers of complex cherry flavors in this translucent wine. A good example of what David Lett, the founder of the Oregon pinot noir industry, meant when he once said that “color and quality in pinot noir are inversely proportional.”

No. 40

Cliff Creek
2004 Syrah
Rogue Valley
$30, 6–8 years

Rich mulberry scents and a full midpalate texture.

No. 41

De Ponte Cellars
2007 Pinot Noir ‘Baldwin Family Reserve’
Dundee Hills
$70, 10–12 years

Concentrated, with good balance, despite heat from the elevated alcohol.

No. 42

2007 Pinot Noir ‘Prosperity Vineyard’
$34, 5–8 years

Great finesse in this wine, which is simultaneously delicate and intense.

No. 43

Penner-Ash Wine Cellars
2006 Syrah
Rogue Valley/Columbia Valley
$32, 6–9 years

Rich scents of new leather and intense, dark fruits in this complex wine.

No. 44

Vitae Springs Vineyard
2007 Riesling
Willamette Valley
$22, 2–4 years

Intense green-apple and pine-resin minerality, with a bit of sugar that is finely balanced by firm acidity.

Rating 88

No. 45

Winderlea Vineyard and Winery
2006 Pinot Noir ‘Inaugural Reserve’
$50, 4–7 years

A balanced and well-structured, intense wine that well expresses the typical character of pinot noir.

No. 46

2006 Pinot Noir ‘SV Estate’
Dundee Hills
$40, 4–6 years

Finely grained textures and good length.

No. 47

Eyrie Vineyards
2007 Chardonnay ‘Original Vines Reserve’
Dundee Hills
$33, 4–7 years

An unctuous style that isn’t for everyone, this chardonnay has a rich texture found only in wine from old vines.

No. 48

Spangler Vineyards
2006 Cabernet Sauvignon ‘Estate Reserve’
Umpqua Valley
$50, 7–10 years

Black-currant scents and rich midpalate weight found only in wines made from old-vine fruit.

No. 49

Velocity Cellars
2005 Velocity Malbec Blend
Rogue Valley
$25, 5–6 years

Mulberry scents with rich, long flavors. Southern Oregon’s climate is nicely tuned to malbec grapes.

No. 50

Vidon Vineyard
2007 Pinot Noir ‘Hans Clone Pommard’
Chehalem Mountains
$48, 6–9 years

Solidly made berry-scented wine with typical pinot characteristics.

No. 51

Witness Tree Vineyard
2006 Pinot Noir ‘Vintage Select’
Eola-Amity Hills
$40, 4–6 years

Excellent ripe cherry flavors typical of Eola Hills pinot noir.

Rating 88-

No. 52

Lemelson Vineyards
2008 Pinot Gris ‘Tikka’s Run’
Willamette Valley
$19, 1–2 years

Complex apple flavors that linger on the palate.

No. 53

De Ponte Cellars
2008 Melon de Bourgogne ‘DFB, Estate’
Dundee Hills
$24, drink now

Tart ocean-spray scent with an interesting, lingering flavor that complements shellfish perfectly.

Rating 87+

No. 54

Lemelson Vineyards
2007 Pinot Noir ‘Stermer Vineyard’
$48, 4–6 years

Concentrated plum flavors, found in all Lemelson wines.

No. 55

Valley View Winery
Anna Maria 2006 Cabernet Franc ‘Shady Cove Vineyard’
Rogue Valley
$30, 4–8 years

Supple tannins and a pleasant, mild, grassy scent typical of cabernet franc.

No. 56

Apolloni Vineyards
2006 Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley
$29, 2–4 years

Fresh fruit flavors, with the scent of oak barrels.

No. 57

Twelve Wine
2006 Pinot Noir ‘144’
$35, 4–6 years

A place-in-the-glass wine, expressive of its origin, with dark-cherry fruit flavors.

No. 58

Alloro Vineyard
2007 Pinot Noir ‘Estate’
Willamette Valley
$28, 4–6 years

Expressive of typical pinot noir flavors and scents, with good intensity.

No. 59

MonksGate Vineyard
2006 Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley
$29, 3–5 years

Lingering raspberry flavors rich enough to handle elevated alcohol. Great value, too.

Rating 87

No. 60

Youngberg Hill Vineyards
2006 Pinot Noir ‘Jordan Block’
$40, 4–6 years

Rich black-cherry flavors and plenty of tannin.

No. 61

ArborBrook Vineyards
2007 Pinot Noir ‘Estate 777 Block’
Chehalem Mountains
$42, 4–6 years

Good example of pinot noir varietal fruits, with complex red-cherry flavors.

No. 62

Lachini Vineyards
2007 Pinot Noir ‘Lachini Family Estate’
Chehalem Mountains
$45, 3–5 years

Fruity, berrylike flavors, with soft textures and fine balance.

No. 63

J.K. Carriere Wines
2006 Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley
$42, 4–6 years

Ripe raspberry flavor and good length.

Oregon’s Top Value Wines

Current releases under $20

Rating 83-

No. 21

Agate Ridge
2007 Syrah Blend ‘Cascade Terrace Red’
$17, 1–2 years

Clean, ripe, dark-fruit flavors, nicely concentrated.

No. 22

Remy Winery
Syrah/Lagrein/Sangiovese Blend ‘Three Wives, Remy’s Red’
Willamette Valley

Pleasantly sour, with good, rich intensity and balance.

Rating 82+

No. 23

2008 Pinot Gris
Willamette Valley

Good length, with green-apple flavors.

No. 24

2006 Chardonnay ‘Barrel Select’
$20, 2–3 years

Well-integrated oak and pear flavors wrap around moderately rich textures in this food-friendly wine.

Rating 82

No. 25

O by Bergström
2008 Riesling
Willamette Valley
$14, 1–3 years

Mild minerality and a pine scent.

No. 26

Pappas Wine Company
2007 Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley
$18, 1–2 years

Light on concentration, but good varietal character.

Rating 82-

No. 27

Seven of Hearts
2007 Pinot Noir
Eola Hills
$20, 2–3 years

Typical expression of the pinot noir wine grape, with good complexity.

Filed under