Wednesday, July 15, 2009

2006 Willamette Valley

2006 Andrew Rich

2006 Andrew Rich Cuvée B Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon

The big, burly Oregonian.

Continuing on this theme of tasting New World wines, I picked up another bottle of wine from an acclaimed pinot noir region. Oregon is quickly overtaking California as the premier American region for this grape. Again, I ask: does the quality match the hype? This wine, as the Central Otago I tasted, is not a profound example of what pinot noir can achieve.

Light red, which is promising. Good fruit, which is to be expected. Some pinot noir character. These wines should not be praised simply for having varietal correctness - it is a pinot noir, therefore it should taste like one. If it doesn't even taste like a pinot, why are we even bothering? High alcohol fumes on the nose. Should we even be surprised? Curt finish. Lots and lots and lots of alcohol.

Look at the glass I'm using. I never use these glasses. But anything else, and the alcohol just becomes choking. Need a really wipe open bowl, to dissipate some of it. And ice it to shit.

I'm disappointed. No soul in this wine. Clean, technically impeccable, yes - but there's no soul. And that is a shame.


  1. I think Oregon is a lot like BC in that most of their production is done on a smaller scale, so the only time we see any of it here in Ontario is when it comes from a rare big producer with enough wine to satisfy the LCBO machine's thirst for quantity. Generally lower-end stuff I would imagine.

  2. Great insight - I totally agree that because of LCBO's system, we're not seeing the best of Oregon, just like anyone outside of Ontario is not able to see Niagara's best.

    But - this wine was $33.95. That's an expensive bottle, whichever way you look at it, and it should have delivered more. Go back a few posts to the one on 2008 Flat Rock pinot noir. For $19.95, that is a far superior wine.

    What I see here is a technically sound wine that is completely overblown and completely the reverse of what pinot noir is. Like drinking liquid fire.