Top Willamette Valley Sites For Less than $20
Today, Pinot Noir lovers worldwide maintain well-stocked cellars of the Willamette Valley’s finest bottles. Though we love to collect the classics like Eyrie Vineyards, Beaux Frères, or Domaine Serene, it is normally impossible to find classic 100% Willamette Valley Pinot Noir for $16.99. Enter 2016 King’s Ridge Pinot Noir — a delicious, deeply flavorful, elegant Pinot that defies it’s bargain price tag. NDAs prevent us from revealing the source of their grapes, but the sites are some of Willamette’s best. Growers of premium grapes don’t typically want it known that their berries can be had for $16.99 per bottle. But that’s why we’re here.
In the decades since David Lett of Eyrie Vineyards put the first Pinot Noir in the ground in the late 1960s, the Willamette Valley has proved itself one of the premium Pinot Noir terroirs on the planet. By the end of the 1970s, Lett’s South Block Reserve was placed neck-and-neck with some of Burgundy’s finest.
Willamette’s outsized reputation for world-class Pinot Noir was given another reason in 2016 to brag about its upward momentum. Wine Spectator’s early reports noted a “third straight year of potentially outstanding wines” calling many “bright” and “expressive,” which is exactly how I’d describe this Kings Ridge Pinot Noir. I think it’s also worth noting that on my visit to the winery in 2016, I was accompanied by a top French retailer friend, who could not get over the price-quality ratio for the King’s Ridge. He thought it blew most of Burgundy’s Bourgogne Rouge right out of the water — a French wine expert saying this about an American Point Noir? There’s no better way to say it: we’ve got something special on our hands, and I know you’ll agree.
Adam Lapierre MW
Master of Wine