Thursday, December 3, 2009

W I N E E N T H U S I A S T B E S T O F Y E A R 2 0 0 9 Oregon

Though these are good choices, I think there are many more Oregon wines that should have been included.
95 Abacela 2005 South Face Block Reserve
Syrah (Southern Oregon); $45. Look out,
Hermitage, this has the grip, the earthiness, the
herbs and spice, and above all the massive, ripe,
complex fruit to compete. The layers of this wine
just keep unfolding; the longer it breathes,
the more it gives you. Crushed rock, lead pencil,
Asian spice, blackberry, coffee and caramel…
it never stops. What a superb achievement.

96 Adelsheim 2007 Winderlea Vineyard
Pinot Noir (Dundee Hills); $75. This
vineyard has an interesting history that dates back
to 1974. Formerly the Goldschmidt vineyard, it
was replanted, repurchased, and renamed. It’s a
magical site, one of the greatest Oregon Pinot
vineyards. The wine has the majestic plumpness
of grand cru Burgundy, with potent cherry fruit,
laced with sweet spices, that seems to expand
through a generous midpalate and keep on
keeping on as long as you are paying attention

94 Chehalem 2006 Ian’s Reserve Chardonnay
(Dundee Hills); $34. This is certainly
the finest Ian’s Reserve Chardonnay ever made. A
softly appealing entry leads gracefully into a
remarkably complex wine that puts the lush
barrel flavors of butterscotch, toffee and toasted
hazelnuts right up front. But it doesn’t stop there,
layering in candied apricots and a rich array of
ripe tropical fruits. Remarkably concentrated,
the wine lasts a full two minutes or more in the
mouth.

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