2014 Erath Estate Selection Pinot Noir
"Red currant and juicy plum aromas dance in tandem with notes of eucalyptus, thyme and citrus peel. Upfront silkiness carries intriguing Asian flavors of soy and plum sauce intertwined with boysenberry and cream soda. An intense fruit backbone lingers persistently on a cheerful note of acidity." Winemaker notes
Broad and generous, this is open-textured and deftly balanced, showing peppermint-accented strawberry and pomegranate flavors that dance easily into the long and expressive finish. Best from 2018 through 2024.
92 Wine Spectator Feb 2017
Erath produces Pinot Noir from several different sites in the Willamette Valley viticultural area. "Reserve" quality lots are chosen from the best sites and blended to make this Estate Selection cuvée. The volcanic-based Jory and Nekia soils are predominant in these sites and give the wines their distinctive aroma and flavor profiles, and elegant, age-worthy structure. Fruit focused in their youth, our Estate Selection Pinots gain additional complexity and sophistication when cellared for three to eight years.
The 2014 vintage was the hottest on record in the Willamette Valley to-date. In fact, it broke our previous record for heat accumulation, set in 2003. Daytime highs were certainly warm, but the average overnight temperature was also higher. Those two combined elements set the stage for an early harvest which occurred three to four weeks ahead of schedule. The season delivered a record amount of balanced fruit with dry, warm weather throughout the spring, summer and early fall. What little precipitation occurred did so in late September, serving to provide water relief and temper rapidly rising sugar concentrations. During this harvest we saw larger than normal clusters form, which also resulted in higher than normal yields. The harvested fruit and resulting wines exhibit fresh fruit qualities, balance in acidity, and moderate alcohol.
: Excellent with wild mushrooms, duck, roast beef, lamb, other red meats or even grilled salmon
Appellation: Willamette Valley
Vineyards: Willakia 64% Battle Creek 18% Ribbon Springs 5% Dion 5% Niederberger 3% Knight's Gambit 3% Prince Hill 2%
barrel regime: 13 months, 40% new French oak
harvest: September 16 - October 2
cases produced: 5,779
As one of Oregon's wine pioneers, Erath winery's founder, Dick Erath, was driven by the belief that the future of Pinot Noir was in Oregon. Today, Erath's wines are an expression of the land that the winery has cultivated for more than 40 years, longer than any other winery in the Dundee Hill of Oregon. Winemaker, Gary Horner, who shares Dick Erath's background in science and a reverence for Oregon's unique terroir, strives to reveal classic Oregon Pinot: light, delicate and fruit-forward. Horner takes pride in making a range of Pinot Noir styles, from the hugely-popular Oregon blend to the highly-acclaimed, limited-edition, single-vineyard selections. His goal is to make the best Pinot Noir the region has to offer - it is time-honored, authentic and uniquely Oregon.
About Willamette Valley
Named for the river that runs through the valley from Portland to Eugene, Willamette Valley is home to some of the best Pinot Noir vineyards in the Northwest. While along the same north/south line as Seattle, the Willamette Valley is protected from Pacific rains by the Coast Range on the western border and the Cascade Ranges to the east. Though sunshine is typically plentiful, rainfall can occasionally be tricky, and the wines here vary vintage to vintage. Within the Willamette Valley is a number of sub-regions, including McMinnville, Dundee and Yamhill.
The valley is known for its Pinots - Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. With a climate similar to Burgundy - in rainfall, sunlight hours and other climate factors - Pinot Noir has flourished here. Pinot Noir in Oregon produces wines that are fruit forward, yet complex, some with good agebility.
Other than Pinot Noir, many wineries grow Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. Pinot Gris from Oregon is delightful in its texture and food friendliness. Chardonnay in the valley adapts well to the cool climate and produces lean, elegant wines.