Wednesday, October 22, 2008

J.K. Carriere Pinot Noir 2005

I love it when my informed guesses turn out well. Over a year ago I tasted the 2004 vintage of J.K. Carriere's "standard" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir — which is sourced from vineyards up and down the valley — and I was impressed to the point that I bought several bottles of the 2005, the vintage that was available. Until now I'd never actually tasted the 2005, but I can tell you right now that I'm glad I stocked up.

2005 was a genuinely cool vintage and if the vintage trends toward elegance, this wine follows through. Now, I can describe this as aromatic and well-structured, and I can tell you that it serves up a kaleidoscope of rhubarb, cola, cherry, strawberry, orange rind, damp red earth, and mineral characteristics, and I can say that the acidity is prominent and the tannins are just beginning to melt into the wine. But what you really need to know is that this is excellent with all kinds of food, from fresh heirloom tomatoes to a savory pasta, and on the third night open it was still truckin'. It's the kind of wine that gives Oregon pinot a good name.

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