McKinlay 2006 Ladd Hill Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

A great wine from what is decidedly not an Oregon purist’s vintage. But Matt Kinne makes great wine and sails under the radar. If you like red fruit and elegance and have a $20 bill, go get some 08 Willamette Pinot.

For ballers who have TWO $20 bills and like slightly darker fruit, go find some 06 Ladd Hill - this is a real beauty that shows the rich side of 06 without turning to flab or slop. There’s a great stab of acidity in the middle and firm, gritty tannins on the finish - the latter gradually recede with air, but the wine remains fresh and crisp and at the same time - delightfully rich. If you drink Central Otago Pinot, they are red-fruited, crisp and rich, while this is more dark-fruited, crisp and rich. Great black raspberry flavor.

The structural frame keeps up with the rich middle over the course of the evening. Not true of many WV 06s.

Thanks Jim, great note. I’ve only one or two McKinlays; I’ll have to broaden my experience with some 08s.

I have only had the '07 McKinlay, it was in the camp of pleasant, light '07’s but not as compelling as I feel the better wines in that vintage can be. Still nice enough in what is acknowledged as a difficult year. Best part though, I think the price on that was closer to $15, and at that price it was tough to beat.

Haven’t had these wines in years, but really liked Matt and his wines. He is a big Mugneret-Gibourg fan, which makes him a smart guy.

Interesting. Back in the late '90s McKinlay wines had a secondary aroma of horse manure and dried orange peel that could be off-putting. There were times I kinda dug it, but most of the time I didn’t. I guess it’s time to try them again.


I’ve had 08 WV and 06 Ladd Hill and estate - nothing there that I would decribe as off aromas. I wasn’t thrilled by the 07 WV, but as Michael notes, it wasn’t bad once price is factored in. The 08 I think is a real jump in quality without a huge jump in price - very red-fruited and bright.


As a big M-G fan, I agree!

I’m a big fan of McKinlay, though I’ve only tasted the more recent wines. I’m thinking about taking a magnum of the 2002 Special Selection to the IPNC Salmon Bake.

Based on your previously stated preferences this is a producer you would enjoy, based on recent bottlings.

My thought as well.

I always enjoyed the style - an “anti Serene” kind of wine. It was just the strange aromas. The manure I could attribute to brett, but the orange peel just baffled me.

This is a very apt description of McKinlay.

I didn’t really go into the aromas of the wine, but I recall the 06 Ladd Hill smelled like raspberries just as it tasted, and the 08 WV smelled of strawberry/red cherry just as it tasted.

Excellent. Great meeting you Rick and I might just search you out to trade sips.

Loved a 99 in April. Impressive secondary elements without too much stable stuff for my palate. The subject came up with Brian of Belle Pente last evening about how McKinlay is still so surprisingly “under the radar” after so many years of fine winemaking.


Nice stuff. So are these grapes actually grown on Ladd Hill?