|WVV - 2008 Estate Pinot Noir|
The best way to pick a special wine for a gift or gathering is to speak to a wine shop owner or employee. They taste all the time and know what's new, unique and quality. If you tend to shop at supermarkets or online like me then I would suggest that you pay close attention to the varietal and where it is grown. New Zealand's Marlborough County is known for their Sauvignon Blancs. Hunter Valley in Australia is known for their Verdelhos and Semillons. Spain produces fabulous Tempranillos. British Columbia produces the best ice wine. And California's Sonoma Valley and Oregon's Willamette Valley produce award winning Pinots.
Using that information I've felt confidant purchasing unknown wines. I've found that a Sauv-Blanc from Marlborough NZ is always very good and Pinot Noirs from Willamette are usually excellent.
I recently had the pleasure of trying a bottle of Willamette Valley Vineyards 2008 Estate Pinot Noir. This wine was perfect with our roast beef dinner and would be an excellent gift as it would cellar well. Here are my thoughts:
Willamette Valley Vineyards
-2008 Estate Pinot Noir-
Colour: Garnet, Ruby
Bouquet: Oaky, red berries (strawberry, raspberry, black cherry), anise
Taste: Smooth, average acidity. Has a classic Pinot Noir flavour with red berries and medium to soft tannins. Hints of vanilla from the oak.
Comments: This is a very drinkable gorgeous full bodied Pinot Noir. It is more fruit forward than traditional Willamette floral Pinots. Slightly akin to a California Pinot Noir.
Price: between $20 and $40 depending on where you purchase
Score: 86% - I think another year of cellaring would mellow the tannins and enhance the flavours.