After 18 months in an oak barrel it is time to bottle this Pinot Noir made from grapes from the Yamhill-Carlton AVA west of Dundee, Oregon, which is a subregion of the Willamette Valley. These are Pinot Noir clones, Pommard and 115, that fellow WVA member Adam Rabe trucked back to Wisconsin after working in an Oregon winery during the fall of 2015. This Pinot has surprisingly strong tannins that I mellowed a bit prior to bottling with egg-white fining.
Prior to bottling I did a taste comparison between this wine (still in barrel) and a 2010 “A to Z” Oregon Pinot Noir bottle of wine (sale price $21) from Newberg, Oregon. Wine Spectator rated this vintage from “A to Z” 89/100. Here are my tasting notes from my soon-to-be-bottled Pinot: “dark ruby-red color, dark black berry aroma, moderate-to-strong tannins that will soften with bottle aging, black berry, plum flavors. This is a full-bodied red, while the “A to Z” Pinot is more a medium-bodied red. Both wines will continue to age and become more flavor-integrated in the bottle for at least ten years following their bottling dates. At this point in time the “A to Z” Pinot is more characteristic of the Pinot Noir grape than is my Pinot Noir due to my wine’s high tannin levels. But, and here is where my self-serving biases likely are influencing my judgment, I think my Pinot is better and richer than the “A to Z” bottle. Now, time to bottle this wine!