Willamette Valley in Oregon has several distinct wine growing regions. Within each of those the style of Pinot Noir, the valleys signature varietal can vary greatly. In general Pinot Noir in Oregon is more Burgundian in style than those produced in other parts of the US. Since most consider Burgundy to be the benchmark for great Pinot Noir, Oregon can be a revelation to new converts.
Lange Vineyards is located in the Dundee Hills Appelation of Willamette Valley. The area is known for earth with a reddish hue and extremely well balanced Pinot Noirs. Dundee Hills may in fact be the area in Oregon with the most Burgundian Pinot's of all. Lange makes several vineyard designates in addition to some cuvees.
The 2005 Dundee Hills Estate Pinot Noir is a pretty small production at 400 cases. The wines nose is a bit reticent at first. After breathing for a bit the aroma starts to come out. Raspberry is the first thing that hit me and it lingered along with a bit of dust. The mid palate shows lots more berry fruit at this point. This wine is still pretty young. With a couple more years of bottle age I's expect the earthiness of this wine to become more apparent than it is now as the fruit subsides. This Pinot finishes with some mushroom, spice and a hint of smokiness. Overall the wine has an elegant feel. It's medium bodied with good acidity.
Suggested retail on this wine is $60.00. Some digging on Wine-Searcher.com shows it can be found for a few dollars less. This is a terrific Pinot Noir that shows what can be accomplished in Willamette Valley, making it a good bet if you want to lay a bottle of Pinot Noir down for a couple of years. Make no mistake Lange is one of the best producers of Pinot Noir in Oregon.