Beautiful clean perfect medium ruby tapering out to wide clear edges. Big sweet round caramel California-style dessert nose rich with chocolate and black tea & honey but don’t get me wrong: it is not crammed full of obfuscating oak and concentration, it is not black thick liquid, it is transparent and bright and nuanced lovely in the nose–it is just NOT a lean, green, citrusy Oregon pinot.
Coming fresh off World Of Pinot a week or so ago, I have to say there are a LOT of Oregon pinots being produced in a much riper style. Call it California style, call it global warming, call it tourist-style, call it the apocalypse, I just think there’s a lot of wineries up there making a rounder, fuller style of pinot, and whether that is done on purpose to sell wine to America’s sweet tooth or whether it is merely a progression toward a cleaner, fruit-driven wine or whether it is the Illuminati is your decision.
It really doesn’t matter WHAT you say about WHATEVER style of Pinot you are drinking, SOMEBODY is going to hate what you are saying. I have learned that much. And it really only happens in the Burgundian world. People are so frickin BITTER about Chardonnay styles and so unforgiving about Pinot versions. I regularly have conversation with people who insist Chardonnay can NEVER TOUCH OAK OR THE WORLD WILL END!!! and I regularly have conversation with people who believe Pinot should never be riper than about 12-3 or “OBVIOUSLY, your cretinous palate has been shaped by Belle Glos and Fireball.” There’s a style for everybody and the danger lies in getting mired into one style.
This wine happens to be from Oregon, it is a Reserve wine, so it has been handled carefully in a way which will tend to express a richness and ripeness not often seen in the early years of Oregon Pinot but is becoming more the norm. And the world isn’t ending. With a little air, more of that green-briar edginess and burnt-almond-cherry pops through, finessing everything into pure Oregon-Pinot-Heaven.
In the mouth, Hawaiian Punch and brown butter take an acai nectar into the most savory of experiences around. That beautiful Burgundian twig and graphite swing low through the lean center before a nice tannic bite starts pokin around in the finish.
I could totally see people drinking this and claim Oregon is selling out to a fuller-mouthfeel, but there is literally NO WAY you could mistake this for a 14-9 AV, RRV, SLH, SMV or SRH runnin on a 60% oak programme. There’s just no way. Sure, there are California Pinots leaned back into this style… kind of. But Oregon always pulls off this thin-heavy, thin-heavy, light-dark, light-dark sequence so well. There’s so much *crispness* to these wines, and even if the dark color and heady nose fool you, as soon as you get the delicate mouthfeel wound up with all its myriad of green nuances, it’s ALL OREGON.
2015 HUETT WINES ‘The Gold Lot’ Pinot Noir Dundee/Yamhill-Carlton Oregon 13.5