Now, I know this is "The Broke Sommelier's Guide to Wine," but sometimes you just gotta treat yourself...right? I love love love a good Oregon Pinot Noir. Oregon has made a name for itself by producing some amazing Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays, and sparkling wines. Where else do we know of that creates those same wines? You guessed it --- Burgundy, France. With a similar cool climate to Burgundy, Oregon produces Pinots with acidity and minerality, compared to the fruit-forward Pinots out of California. Many people describe the taste of an Oregon Pinot in two words: earth and cranberries.
Why is Pinot Noir so expensive?
Have you ever noticed how a good and cheap Pinot Noir is so hard to come by? There is a good reason for this. These grapes are just plain hard to grow. Not only does the shape of the grape clusters make them vulnerable to mold and mildew, but they are incredibly thin-skinned, which makes them very sensitive to weather changes. These grapes enjoy nice warm days and cool nights. If they don't get what they want, they will shrivel up, and there goes that crop for the year. There are many other factors that make Pinot Noirs the diva of the grape world, but man oh man do they make a beautiful wine. I don't often splurge, but when I do, it's a Pinot.
Raptor Ridge 2012 Estate Vineyard
The 2012 vintage benefited from a cold and wet spring, followed by a warm and dry summer. This lead to perfectly ripe grapes with exceptional flavor. The plum and cherry are front and center with cigar and musk rounding out the finish. I especially love the floral qualities of this wine, particularly the lavender. Being that the wine is 4 years old, the acidity has allowed it to age beautifully.