by Jon Rogers

Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is one of the most well-known Oregon Pinot Noir wines from the Willamette Valley. This review is of the 2011 vintage of their Estate Pinot Noir.
Willamette Vineyards was founded by Jim Bernau in 1983 when he purchased the site where the Estate resides. He then planted Pinot Noir and other varietals on the site.
In 1989 he went ahead and built the winery to be able to produce enough quantity to sell to restaurants and stores.
The grapes for Willamette Valley Pinot Noir are grown in well-drained soil with oxidized iron content. According to the bottle, the wine was aged for 9 months in oak and was harvested between October 1st and November 2nd of 2011. Alcohol content 12.5% by volume.
For this review, I again had the help from a good friend with a great palate for wine tasting.
We observed that the bottle had a wealth of technical information about the wine on it. You don’t often see as much information as was on this bottle and we both appreciated seeing the wine’s technical stats.
Price for Willamette Valley Pinot Noir about $30.00. I received this bottle as a gift from my neighbors, who have great taste in wine.
In the glass, the wine was light garnet in color. Much darker than a rose but lighter than most Cabernets. Plenty of light shone through the glass.
Some legs were observed, but overall the wines appears light in the glass.
Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is very aromatic. A fully developed and medium intensity fragrance was noted immediately upon opening the bottle.
We both noted hints of subtle floral, a little spicy clove and fresh cherry on the nose. Very enjoyable with just a slight whiff of alcohol noted. Flavor of the Willamette Valley Pinot Noir was warm and bright. My friend noted a little bit of spice, currant and more floral notes. My observation was similar and also that some good oak came through.
Well balanced tannins were noted all over the mouth with minimal bitterness. Mouthfeel was regarded as “milky” and “silky” by us. The wine had a medium finish and finished light.
Overall, I thought this was my favorite Oregon Pinot Noir so far. I really liked the lightness and pureness of the varietal.
My friend, who normally enjoys a good robust Cabernet Sauvignon also enjoyed it, but said it’s more of a warm season sipper than a winter wine.

Meiomi Pinot Noir Review
Meiomi Pinot Noir is sourced from Monterey, Santa Barbara and Sonoma counties in California. According to the bottle, the word Meiomi comes from the California Wappo tribe and means “coast”. The vineyards where Meiomi Pinot Noir come from are all coastal vineyards in California.
Joseph Wagner is the winemaker for Meiomi Pinot Noir. He carefully crafts the wine to take advantage of the layers that come from the three different vineyards that make up the wine.
The alcohol content of Meiomi Pinot Noir is 13.9% by volume.
The wine pours dark in the glass with colors of deep plum. Perhaps darker than the average Pinot Noir, light doesn’t shine through this wine. Meiomi Pinot Noir is very leggy in the glass with many slow dripping tears that remain on the sides of the glass for some time.
Upon first sniff, I immediately noticed a good spicy whiff of alcohol in the nose. You want to allow the wine to get some air for several minutes in order to mute this effect. This wine is aromatic with a very lofty nose. From afar I picked up some hints of mocha. Up close revealed leathery black raspberry scents. All in all, very enjoyable.
Sipping the Meiomi Pinot Noir gave forth flavors of multiple bright berries. This lighter and brighter flavor contrasted well with the heavy appearance and milky mouthfeel. Additionally, an initial chaos of complexity was noticed in the first taste. Things settled down a bit after the wine had a chance to breathe.
Bright tannins were noticed. The wine also finished somewhat bright. The finish length was short to medium initially on the tongue. A longer dark berry finish on the cheeks was also noticed.
Overall, I thought the Meiomi Pinot Noir was great! A nice lush Pinot Noir at a good price. I enjoyed the fact that there were multiple facets to the tasting experience. One bright and the other deep and dark. I think this is attributable to the winemaker’s goal to achieve the “best expressions” of the different coastal vineyards.
I would strongly suggest letting this wine decant for a good fifteen minutes or so to allow the alcohol to dissipate a bit. The wine reviewed was a 2011. I’m sure that cellaring this wine for a couple years would add to the tasting experience.
Highly recommend!
Price for Meiomi Pinot Noir about $19.99.

The post Willamette Valley Pinot Noir appeared first on Honest Wine Reviews.

The post Meiomi Pinot Noir appeared first on Honest Wine Reviews.

About The Author

Jon is the creator and owner of Honest Wine Reviews, a website that reviews today's popular wines and wine clubs. His book, "Wine With Friends - 25 Recommended Wines to Serve and Share" is now available on Amazon.

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