You may have noticed the (!/?) after the word perfect above. Let me explain. As for the way the wines turned out, I would say the majority from the best wineries are very close to perfect Pinots. The alcohol levels are mostly between the 12-13 percent alcohol range, the balance and length of the wines is simply awesome. The potential longevity is second to none and among the best ever. The finest should age into sublime perfection. As for the ? As the last weeks edged towards harvest the winemakers were pulling their hair out (those that have hair to pull). The grapes were not nearly ripe and the forecast wasn’t encouraging. To top that off the grape set had been poor and there wasn’t much to ripen anyway. The harvest was over a month late and the nasty weather of late October was ready to move in and then to top it all off late migrating birds that are usually flying south while the grapes have already been turned into wine had an unexpected late fall taste treat that reduced the crop even further. But…………….the good news, the weather held, the grapes slowly ripened under really late but ideal conditions and the grapes were harvested at ideal ripeness levels, what little grapes that were left. You’ll often hear the words “hang time” in the grape growing business and 2010 had some of the longest ever. This means that the longer the grapes can hang on the vine while maintaining good balance of sugar to acid the better the flavor development and the more good stuff they pull up from the soil. 2010 has it all. BUT, you had to be a patient grower and a smart winemaker and these are the people that we deal with. It’s not 08 where an idiot could make good wine. But the best 2010’s, in my opinion, will be among the best Oregon Pinots ever made. So stick with me and I’ll be your guide or as I’ve been often known to say, “your swill filter.” The worst news of all is that there just isn’t much wine. Buy a bottle today to try it to see if you like it and come back in a week to buy more and it will be gone. So those are the ups and downs of vintage 2010.
We’ve poured a few 2010’s in tastings before but now we’re getting to some really serious stuff. This is a tasting to come to if you want to check out some really killer 2010’s at different level’s and price points. They are all indicative of the style of the 2010 vintage. And that’s the thing. 2010 has a particular style. I call it Pinot Noir in its purest, prettiest form. The way that Pinot should be. I just love this vintage and I’m buyin heavy! One thing to remember. This style of Pinot is notorious for putting on weight after bottling. Most of these have only been in bottle for a few months. When I first got a sample of the Arterberry Maresh “Maresh Vineyard” I poured a glass one night and it was delicious. I put the cork back in (no gas), opened it 3 days later and man had it blossomed. It had become a totally different thing. I can’t remember any wine changing so much over the course of a few days. So as you taste these you will notice them starting out shy and unfolding as time goes by. I would give most of these 6 months to a year before opening but the big boys will age for decades in a cool cellar!
So get excited, put on your Pinot tasting/ dancing shoes and get on down here. It gonna be a hoot!
2010 Cameron, Willamette Valley $19
2010 Crowley, Willamette Valley $23
2010 J. Christopher, Willamette Valley $26
2010 Ayres Vineyards, Perspective $29
2010 Arterberry Maresh, Winderlea Vineyard $55
Premium Pour ($6)
2010 Arterberry Maresh, Maresh Vineyard $58