Monday, April 7, 2014

Willamette Valley Vineyards Wine Tasting

Jim Bernau Signing a Bottle of Wine for Chris
All the way from Oregon to Annapolis for a great afternoon of Wine Tasting, at Wine Cellars of Annapolis, came Jim Bernau, the founder of Willamette Valley Vineyards (NASDAQ:WVVI), to spread the good cheer associated with Oregon Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Riesling wines. 

The hosts at Wine Cellars of Annapolis were gracious and deftly handled the throng of wine lovers that crowded around Jim to hear him tell of the wines, the growing season, and plans for the future. I was amazed that he sold out of every wine that was being tasted, but then again, they were that good.

He brought five wines with him for this tasting. I have to admit, it is rare when I taste five wines from a vineyard and like them all (especially when three are whites), but that happened on this tasting.

Two of the wines were definitely highlights.

Leading off with the 2012 Willamette Valley Vineyard Pinot Gris the tone was definitely set for the tasting with a very enjoyable wine which was bright, fruity, and crisp. Priced at $19.99 per bottle this is a great price point for a very nice, complex wine. This wine is rated 90 in CellarTracker. 

The other highlight of the tasting was the 2012 Willamette Valley Vineyards (WVV) Whole Cluster Pinot Noir. While only garnering an 85.5 rating in CellarTracker, I found this to be an extremely enjoyable wine which was dark and vibrant with a great price point of $24.99. The fruit flavors blended well with cherry and raspberry leading the way, but it also had the leather and tobacco flavors that I especially enjoy and which probably led to the lower ratings from the CellarTracker crowd.

The other wines we tasted were the 2010 WVV Dijon Clone Chardonnay, 2011 WVV Estate Pinot Noir, and the 2012 WVV Riesling which is more of a dessert style wine. Although the Estate Pinot Noir was the most expensive wine at the tasting, coming in at $32.99, I felt that the Whole Cluster Pinot Noir was a better value.

The wines were great representations of the winery and I have enjoyed Willamette Valley Vineyards for many years. I am looking forward to my summer trip to Willamette Valley to experience the entire region and better understand the wines and the growers there, but for now, I consider this winery to be the flagship vineyard for the region.

RECOMMENDATION: Check out these wines and discover why I believe that Oregon Pinot Noirs are excellent buys and have nice, light flavors and body compared with their California relatives.

-- Bob and Christina Doan, Elkridge, MD

No comments:

Post a Comment