When it comes to Pinot Noir, outside of a handful of exceptions Oregon really has it all over California. Their climate, especially in Willamette Valley is prime Pinot real estate. For those of us who love Pinot Noir made with Burgundian intent there are many examples available. Today I'm looking at one from Firesteed. They make approximately 60,000 cases of wine and acquire their fruit from a host of growers, mostly through long term contracts. The Firesteed 2006 Oregon Pinot Noir is composed of fruit sourced from Willamette, Umpqua, Rogue and Walla Walla Valleys. A small percentage of the wine was barrel aged. This offering commonly sells for less than $15.
Upon first opening this Pinot Noir is slightly reticent. A bit of time in the glass or decanter helps. Once it has opened up, bing cherry and earth notes are present in the nose. Sour cherry, mushroom and wild strawberry are apparent throughout the palate. Tea, mineral and cola reference points are all part of the finish which is noticeably lengthy and lingering. Good acidity frames the structure of this wine and keeps everything even keeled and balanced.
What I like most about this Pinot Noir is that it's gentle, soft and elegant, while also being nicely layered and complex. This is an offering that will really develop in your glass or decanter over a long meal or evening. It's one to savor. The combination of Oregon terroir and Burgundian intent when it comes to wine-making style, make for a winner, not to mention nice value.