Jennifer made a simple wintry meal of porcini and crimini mushrooms sauteed in a little cream, mashed potatoes accented at the table with truffle salt, and pan fried fennel and carrots. Really, really delicious, and crying out for Pinot noir.
So we opened the 2008 Seven of Hearts Pinot Noir Willamette Valley. I've written about this producer before, which has a tasting room in Carlton that you shouldn't miss. Seven of Hearts wines, their estate label Luminous Hills, and Honest Chocolates. All excellent stuff, the products of Byron and Dana Dooley. Great people, great stuff. A must stop in Carlton, which has quickly become the center of Yamhill county wine tourism, with several quality tasting rooms within a few block radius and some good food as well.
This wine started out a little reticent. Dark colored but still translucent, the wine only revealed its perfume with some airtime in the glass. Fragrant, strong black cherry aromas, still delicate with floral hints and a little wood spice. Nice acidity, soft tannin but not overly polished. In short, classic 2008 Oregon Pinot noir. Ripe but still restrained, monolithic at first but opening with airtime and clearly showing the structure and flavor components to improve for a few years, at least. And this is their base level, least expensive bottling.
I've tried through all the '08s from this producer, and perhaps reported elsewhere on this blog. But trying this entry-level bottling on its own, wondering if perhaps it wouldn't be as good as I remembered...let me just say this is excellent. Find it, enjoy it now. Age it a little and enjoy it later as well. You can't go wrong. Nice work Dooleys.