Full Bodied Oregon Pinot Noir

I agree with others that warmer vintages will be richer in style (and we’ve certainly had a string of them before 2019 & 2020), and this would be especially important in higher acid AVAs such as the Eola-Amity Hills. You would have loved my 2018s but I am virtually sold out; and the 2019s show more elegance, verve and structure (2021 will definitely swing back to full bodied for me).

The Yamhill-Carlton AVA and Freedom Hill Vineyard would be my favorites of those listed above for more blue-fruited, richer styles and Dominio IV would be my favorite for Yamhill Carlton, and Ken Wright would be my pick for Freedom Hill (KW has several other sites/wines that fit the bill).

(Of the ones listed by others, and I love these wines, I would not consider Drouhin, White Rose, AnticaTerra, Walter Scott to be overtly/consistently full bodied. Lots of elegance and structure, length and complexity but brighter red-fruit notes which I would characterize as more verve than full-bodied IMO.)

If it’s your first time in the Willamette Valley, keep an open palate! You might develop a taste for the lighter-bodied styles. But if you are looking for heavier-bodied, try Pinots from the McMinnville AVA, as well as Yamhill-Carlton. Ken Wright’s wines tend toward the fuller-bodied. Both McMinnville and Yamhill-Carlton (and Ribbon Ridge) are on marine sedimentary soil, which imparts darker fruits than the volcanic soils of the Dundee Hills AVA. The Eola-Amity Hills is mostly volcanic with some marine sediment, but despite being further south is usually cooler and windier than the Dundee Hills. As for vintages, note that 2019 was a fairly cold year, so the wines will be “lighter” but also will need more age. 2014-2018 were warmer years.

Also, there is some Pinot grown in the Rogue Valley in Southern Oregon. The climate is hotter there, so the wines tend to be fruitier.

Brittan is also the winemaker for Fairsing, which is worth a visit for the view.

Yep Dusky Goose makes some dense wines but pricy. Start at $100 and go up. I find Archery Summit to hit that spot often. But then, I don’t buy Oregon Pinot to get CA Pinot.

Yep Dusky Goose makes some dense wines but pricy. Start at $100 and go up. I find Archery Summit to hit that spot often. But then, I don’t buy Oregon Pinot to get CA Pinot.

You will be quite pleased with Oregon Chard. They are making some of the better ones in the US now.

I agree, I’ve had some awesome Bethel wines over the years that were way more acidic and leaner than the examples we had months ago, I believe they were 2018’s he cracked that disappointed him! He just wasn’t thrilled of the flavor profile (dark berry fruits). When I think of CA pinot (similarily to him), fruit “berry” flavors come to mind right away over acidity/alcohol levels. I was mainly a central coast pinot guy back when I was in CA. When I moved out here I was just completely taken back by how much more “earth” aromas/flavors are found in willamette valley pinots. I guess its how I compare the two regions over acidity or alc levels… I mean wines can be manipulated easily to lower pH or lower alcohol levels but the earth characteristics on the other hand cannot be. That’s just my twisted perspective!

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Watch for Hundred Sun’s 2018 Breaker Vineyard release this winter. Low yielding, Old vines. Last vintage before they replanted the vineyard. Grant delayed-release to give it more barrel time. Will be one for the deep cellar. He is an alumnus of Beau Freres and for my personal palate BF needs a decade minimum (a perspective that may not be shared if you have a young wine palate). Well-stored Beau Frere Vineyard 1996 magnums and Upper Terrace 2005 bottles recently opened are drinking beautifully.