Oregon Today - Where to Begin?


I have a pretty good and deep cellar of Red Burg, but I am so turned off with pricing and allocations today even for 1er Cru I want to start exploring Oregon Pinots. I prefer CM and VR red burgundies, and minerally driven white burg, and looking to get a couple cases of high quality ORegon Pinots and Chards to start exploring.

Not exactly sure where to begin; for this exercise I don’t have a budget in mind (I don’t think its an issue since I am coming from Burgundy).

How do the whites and reds age? What specific wineries and bottlings should I try? Vintage differentiation? Bottle age to maturity? What should I be looking for stylistically.

I am located in Chicago and willing to buy local or e-commerce, or direct.

Appreciate everyone’s help!


Mike, I started to explore Oregon based on the feedback from this board, buying directly or through retail. I started with those who have been active on Berserkerday, and have not been disappointed. A few that I have tried and liked are Goodfellow, Walter Scott, Patricia Green, and Kelley Fox.

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All of these topics have been discussed pretty extensively on this forum. I’d suggest that you use the search function and begin digging around. That is how I started. Start with one of the names Ed mentioned and it will lead you to a dozen threads and a dozen after that. You will find hours and hours of information to read if you really want learn about Oregon.

Lots of other posts on the board and lots of opportunity to buy direct from the wineries (just look at previous Berserker Day offers to get an idea of some of the favorites on the board).

That said if you want to go retail to get a few mixed cases as to not commit too much 1 winery, look at https://northwest-wine.com/ as they have a very nice selection of OR wines and maybe they could also help steer you in the right direction.

This list is a good start. I would add Belle Pente, Cameron, and Thomas. My focus is Pinot Noir. Some of these make noteworthy Chardonnays as well. PN is where I’m confident in aging the wines, 10-20 years easily for the better bottlings.

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The most ageworthy Oregon Pinots will go 20+ years easily. The Eyrie Chardonnay Original Vines/Reserve has proven to be ageworthy as well.

As others have noted, plenty of informative Oregon threads on the board. As a starting point, that’s a nice list of folks shared by Ed and Doug.


All excellent producers named thus far. I would add Arterberry Maresh and McKinlay to the list. McKinlay tends to be under the radar, but IMO has made some brilliant wines at a relatively low price point.

You’ve received a lot of good recommendations here so not much to add on the producer front.

In terms of approach, I would put together mixed cases from retailers with a good selections of OR PN. I’ve had good experiences with:

  1. Vinopolis (https://www.vinopoliswineshop.com/)
  2. Avalon (https://northwest-wine.com/)
  3. E & R wine (https://www.erwineshop.com/)

I hear good things but have never used SEC wines (https://www.secwines.com/)

Other piece of advice, I would stick to the single vineyard (or higher end) bottles from a producer for this exercise. There is nothing wrong with their AVA bottlings, some are quite good, but they are often stylistically different enough that they may not be a good reflection of the types of wines you will want to cellar longer term. Alternatively, you can call any of those shops and ask them to put together a mixed case for you, they are all small scale operations that have a extensive experience in OR Pinot and typically good knowledge of Burgundy as well.

Kelly Fox Maresh I find these wines to ethereal w decent power.
Brickhouse Les Dijionese elegant
Assuming you enjoy some whole cluster
Goodfellow (Durant closest to VR)

Plenty of mineral driven whites. 2019 great vintage for that too.
Goodfellow any white
Aterberry Maresh
Walter Scott any bottling
Cameron Abby Ridge is more racy than Clos Electric
Crowley Four Winds
Brickhouse Cascadia

Yes, I totally agree. I was just trying to be conservative. We did a Patricia Green Etzel Block vertical just before Covid, and I thought the 2008 could still use 5-10 years. Everything younger than that was very young for my taste (and very good!).

I’ve had some great ones from the 80s at the winery, but I am not convinced the younger wines will evolve in that way. I had what I think was a 2007 about a year ago, and while the condition was sound and there was no sign of heat damage or oxidation, the wine was not evolving well. Nobody drank it. Cameron Clos Electrique from the same vintage, alongside the Eyrie, was also surprisingly disappointing. Maybe we just had really bad luck.

Yeah, I recall reading some tasting notes from that PG Etzel Block vertical a few years ago. The 2004’s from PGC are really singing right now. Opened a bottle of 1997 Hamacher last Saturday night. It was a delight and perhaps a little more open last night.

2007 may have been a challenging vintage for Oregon Chardonnay. I know that it wasn’t an easy vintage in general. If I recall correctly, I might have a magnum of 2007 DDO Arthur, but I don’t think that I have any other bottles of 2007 Oregon Chardonnay and I can’t remember tasting any either. I would highly recommend the 2011 Eyrie Chardonnay Original Vines. It was fantastic about 18 months ago.

For a two person show, Eric runs an A+ operation. Buy with confidence here.

While not exclusive, we tend to favor smaller, boutique producers. Examples in no apparent order include: EIEIO, Ayoub, Violin, Thomas (if you can get it), Antica Terra, 00 (Double Zero), Soter, Audeant, Native Flora, Holocene and Morgen Long. In fairness and in full transparency, we have not had many of the other OR producers that are active here and this should not be considered a slight to any of them. In fact, several of them have product resting in my cellar and I have just not popped them yet…but am looking forward to doing so! [cheers.gif]

One thing to keep in mind when trying Oregon Pinot is you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to get the good stuff. I have had much better luck with the 20ish$ Oregon Pinot than I have had with red burgs in the $50 to $75 range. I like St. Innocent, Evesham Wood/Haden Fig, Vincent, Violin, Goodfellow, Westrey, Belle Pente, Seven of Hearts, and Longplay.

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The only one that jumps to mind that I haven’t seen yet is Lingua Franca, Owned primarily by Larry Stone (MS legend) who teamed up with Dominique Lafon.

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There are several French winemakers working in Oregon and that might bridge the gap.
Drouhin and Jadot to name a couple of bigger houses.
Isabelle Meunier has quite a pedigree and is making wine at Lavinia. I haven’t had her Lavinia label but it gets a lot of positive reviews. She also has ties to Lafon at Evening Land. I had a 2008 EL Chardonnay last fall and it was stunning.

I’m going to go a some what different route, and suggest that if you are going to explore Oregon Pinot (I don’t have enough experience with the Chards yet), then you need to dabble in the AVAs, to understand what appeals. I drank any number of Oregon Pinot Noirs, and enjoyed many, but nothing truly resonated with me until I started drinking wines from the Ribbon Ridge AVA. Since then I have started to get a batter handle on certain sites within other AVAs, and am now looking more favorably on wines from the Eola-Amity Hills AVA and starting to warm up to some others. That said, Ribbon Ridge still holds the prime spot for my palate. You may prefer wines from another sub-region. Bouncing from producer to producer adds another variable to the mix. I would try to pick just three, and explore what they do in the various regions - so much as that is possible.


Thanks. I’ve had very few aged OR Chardonnays, so those couple of experiences may not mean much in general.

Vincent Wine Company for both red and white.
Best, Jim

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Perhaps the Ribbon Ridge Pinot Noir? [cheers.gif]