Jesse Lange, Lange Estate Vineyards, once told me that there really aren’t bad vintages, just years when you find out who can make wine!
The Oregon winemaker had a point beyond bravado. There have been some up and down vintages in the Willamette Valley just like there are in any wine growing wine regions in the world.
Initially, as I recall, the 2007 vintage was weak and only garnered a Wine Spectator 84 rating – the lowest in 10 years. I read a few mixed reviews about the 90-point 2009 wines but found them rich when I was in the valley shortly after the release, and again last night. Last night there was a silkiness to the mouth feel.
I had a couple bottles of the Lange 2009 Lange Estate Vineyard Pinot put away and opened one last night. I’m an admitted fan but last night’s glass was really great.
It was also the first time I had used my Riedel Oregon Pinot Noir glasses at home – and by golly they make a difference! I had a very experienced wine-drinking buddy over and walked him through the tasting of Pinot with the Riedel glass along with the Syrah and Cab model – he was equally impressed.
The wine had such a beautiful balance. It was just a tad floral, nice bright cherry and raspberry. I would definitely call it elegant wine.
Lange Estate Vineyard 2009 Pinot Noir, bought this off an internet flash site and had hard time tracking down retail – most Lange vineyard designate wines are $50-$60. Very Highly Recommended.