May 19, 2010

2007 Stoller Vineyard Pinot Noir Dundee Hills JV

[note - this was a sample from Stoller's publicity group. I write about it because I honestly like it.]

Stoller vineyard is a large, well regarded site for pinot noir on a far southwest knoll of Oregon's Dundee Hills AVA. It's so large that, in addition to estate production, many producers buy from the vineyard, with some producing Stoller vineyard designated bottlings. Perhaps the most well known of those bottlings is from Chehalem, but buyers over the years have included Scott Paul, La Bete, Boedecker and Adelsheim, among many others. Stoller is clearly one of the blue chip vineyards in the northern Willamette Valley.

In my experience, Stoller tends to produce a strongly black cherry flavored wine, soft and round with lower acid than the local norm. I'm usually looking for more tension and structure in a pinot noir, and it's no surprise that I love this 2007 Stoller Vineyard Pinot Noir JV (for jeunes vignes or junior (young) vines). This is their entry level wine, with a suggested retail of $25. Wonder what the fancy stuff from 2007 tastes like?

Simply put, this is nice Oregon pinot noir. There's an intriguing black cherry, herb and toast perfume that marries nicely with dinner over a few nights. The flavors are similar, with a wet earth component to balance out the sweet fruit. This isn't acidic wine (pH is 3.84), but the whole thing seems a bit nervy and lively despite the chemistry.

It's not cocktail pinot noir, and I can imagine that it's not big and rich enough for some tasters. That's what I love here. The wine trades size for interest, huge fruit for complexity, and it's delicious. What more do you want? Most importantly, you might find this at a good price on a restaurant wine list in some far flung places, where finding good and authentic tasting Oregon pinot can sometimes be a challenge. Order it without hesitation.

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