Here are some TN's from 2 seperate tastings a week ago. All of the wines are Pinot Noir and from Oregon. Overall I must say that I was disappointed in these wines.

~2001 Argyle($16)- 13.5% alcohol in this Willamette valley botling. Light colored. Green tasting with simple unworthy fruit notes. Some bitterness and acidity on the finish. 79-80.

~2000 Argyle Reserve($28)- The grapes come from 3 vineyards and 2/3 off the fruit was dropped. 1879 cases made. Light red color. Nice fruit notes with a nutty and pepper taste. Medium body and finish. 87-88.

~2000 Rex Hill($23)- Just a tad below the 1999 bottle. 1982 cases made. 13.5% alcohol. Earthy nose. Notes of cassis and leather with high acidity. Firm tannins. Medium body. Not very Pinot Noirlike but nice. 87.

~2001 Kings Ridge($14)- This is Rex Hills 2nd wine. 13.5% alcohol. Good fruit notes and with less body and a slightly shorter finish than their regular bottle but not bad. 85-86.

~2000 Adelsheim($20)- 13.4% alcohol. Distinct barnyard on the nose but it did not carry over into the taste. Earthy dark fruit notes with subtle tannins. 87-88.

~2000 Willakenzie($24)- Made from grapes blended from sveral vineyards. 13.2% alcohol. Aromas of crushed grape skins. It had a chewy texture with notes of cherry and almonds. Full bodied with a little bitterness on the finish. 88-90.

~1999 King Estate($18)- 13% alcohol. Brickish red color and not surprisingly the oldest wine in this group. A slightly barnyard nose. Blackberry, raspberry and chocolate notes. Medium bodied. 86-87.

~2000 Bethel Estate($23)- This wine is "certified salmon safe" whatever that means (I never new they used salmon to make wine). 13.5% alcohol. This Willamette valley wine had a delicate nose filled with walnuts. It had sweet cherry and blackberry notes which faded very slightly on the finish. Medium body. Very nice. 89-90.

~2000 Ponzi($32)- Light red color. The best balance of any of the Pinot's I tried. Sweet fruit notes including black cherry. Silky tannins and long finish. 90-91.

~2000 Stone Wolf Barrel Select($20)- The team Doctor for the Chicago White Sox is part owner of this winery. It had a fruity nose and full mouth feel. Quite nice. 88-89.

VM
Original Post
JT,

Thanks for the link. I would say that the Argyles were the most disappointing of these wines. I really expected more.

VM
VM-

Thanks for the great notes! Costco had the Argyle WV Pinot for around $14 and I almost considered picking up a few, but am glad after reading your review. I find that there is a VERY pronounced difference between their mass bottling and their selective Clubhouse, Nuthouse, Spirithouse offerings.

I'm also glad to see the Bethel Heights WV show well, it had been rather disappointing lately.

Where did you conduct this tasting?

RRV

What you must realize is that there is no spoon...
A few years ago, my first foray into OR pinot was a '98 Argyle (reg bottle) - I brought it to a thanksgiving dinner that my friend was making, and the wine was simply awful - thin and cough syrup-like. Needless to say, I didn't drink OR pinot for a while, and I didn't drink an Argyle again until the '00 Nuthouse.
RRV,

Both tastings were held by retailers. A Pacific Northwest tasting at the Binny's store in my hometown on Friday. This was followed by a tasting of 700 wines in a banquet room on Saturday by a different retailer (I only tried 2 Oregon PN's at this tasting since there were so many other goodies).

VM
I was dissapointed with this one. The finish seems to have been hit by a car on the way to school. Green and acidic. There's some fruit but the wine lacks depth. I have to agree with your tasting note on that one. The 2000 vintage is much better.

cheers,
Paul3
I totally agree with P3. I visited Argyle in the summer of 2002 and found the 2000 WV a good buy and bought 2 later at a local store on sale for $13. And I also liked the 2000 Nuthouse, although not as well priced, and bought 2 at the tasting room. I went back in Christmas time of 2002 and the 2001 WV was being poured. It was definitely a dissapointment. It had fruit, but no real sense of a decent pinot, evan a better low priced pinot, and had no finish at all. I and the group I was with were all disappointed in the 2001 Argyle WV, as well as disappointed in Rex Hill 2001 just up the road. I have a feeling the 2001 vintage was not as great as the previous 3 years, as the low end Pinot Noir at Argyle and Rex Hill was not too good.

Also, for what it is worth, I had a chance to chat with both Peter Rosback (Sineann) and David O'Reilly (Owen Roe and O'Rielly) and both stated they expect great things from the 2002 vintage. I asked if I should (not their wines but a general statement of the vintages as aa whole) still try to seek out good 2000s and or try some 2001s from a number of vinters as they come out, and both responded to wait for the 2002s as they are great in the barrel and both think 2002 has the potential to be a banner year, and this is from 2 guys that have a faithful following and make as good a wines as anyone in Oregon. Actually neither hesitated in stating to wait for the 2002s. Wink
I keep trying to like OR pinots, but I keep getting disappointed, even by some of the higher end stuff.
The characteristics, find most light and bright, just don't do it.
That's not to say I haven't stumbled across some I've enjoyed, but I still feel like I'm missing something.

Cheers!
And remember: Life's too short to drink bad wine.
Blobby- Salmon Safe just sounds funny. Reading the info on the website I see that they try to control erosion and I think limit the use of chemicals which is just good for quality wine period. I can assure everyone that no salmon were killed in making the first vintage of Chateau VinoMe. It's a shame I printed the labels last week or I would have include a "Salmon Safe" reference on the label.

MJS- Thanks for the update on the 2001 and 2002 vintages. I think I'll take their advise.

KoH- More than any other grape, I believe that the Pinot Noir grape is the most finicky and is hit or miss. Some of the best and most memorable Pinots I have had were from Oregon (particularly from Ken Wright, St. Innocent and Chehalem). Then again some of the worst Pinot I've had also came from Oregon.

VM
Salmon Safe also refers to the food/wine pairing. Wink Big Grin

That would surely rule out Chateau VinoMe. Speaking of which, are you going to post a picture of the label?

**********
When will I learn?
The answers to life's problems aren't at
the bottom of a bottle! They're on TV!
- Homer Simpson
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Smaug,

I would if I knew how. By the way, I promised to send a bottle to a former Vancouver member of this forum. When I send it to her, I will mention that it would be nice if she opened it at a function with other Pacific Northwest members. You might get to try it afterall. You won't believe it's not mud.

VM
Vino Me,
Agree on the three you mention. Also found an Adelsheim single vineyard that I liked and a Ponzi or two. But that's where the pinot stops and the swill begins.

Cheers!
And remember: Life's too short to drink bad wine.
As a native Oregonian, I've been trying to acquire a taste for PN, but it's difficult. I did like the '99 Hamacher.
I was disappointed a couple years ago with a '98 Argyle Reserve. Good sparkling Brut, though.
I think I'll save for the 2002.
Blobby,

You're going to save the Argyle Brut for 2002? I know you're behind us time wise on the west coast; but, that is ridiculous.

VM
VM: Confused Did you forget a Graemlin?

Clarification:
I think I'll save my money for the 2002 PN.

Oh, I get it now. But it's still not funny. Razz
I could have a good excuse though, since we were both deathly ill with the flu 12-31-99.
I recently drank the 2000 Archery Summit Arcus Estate PN in a restaurant and loved it. Dark, unfiltered, this wine had a nose of plum, blueberry, dark cherry, and that little hint of mint just before the wine touches your lips. This on a backdrop of cedary light 100 % new French oak made this one of the best Oregon PNs I've had in a while. A more complex wine than the usual cherries and vanilla, with a heavier mouthfeel than most. A nice long sweet tannic finish all the way home in the car. 93

Dick
<<Also, for what it is worth, I had a chance to chat with both Peter Rosback (Sineann) and David O'Reilly (Owen Roe and O'Rielly) and both stated they expect great things from the 2002 vintage. I asked if I should (not their wines but a general statement of the vintages as aa whole) still try to seek out good 2000s and or try some 2001s from a number of vinters as they come out, and both responded to wait for the 2002s as they are great in the barrel and both think 2002 has the potential to be a banner year, and this is from 2 guys that have a faithful following and make as good a wines as anyone in Oregon. Actually neither hesitated in stating to wait for the 2002s.>>


I just received this from Chehalem.

"The rumors about 2002 as an almost perfect, long-hanging vintage are already out and swirling. And, they are true in our cellar." Smile
As I've suggested in other posts, the 2002 Oregon wines will be generally very good to exceptional, and somewhat unique. Brix levels were VERY high at low elevation vineyards; and about 2-points higher than usual at the higher elevation vineyards (obviously subject to specific picking decisions).

Also, the grapes were a bit shriveled from the dry, hot, summer. So the juice was quite concentrated. Early barrel samples are very enticing, but there may be some wines that turn out to be "over done".

That said, 2000 was a very good vintage, and anyone that picked 2001 in early October also had a very good year. There will definitely be wines from both of these vintages that turn out to be very good. That's not industry P.R.-- the better wines from 00 and 01 will be very good.

TM
Just received from Amity (oregon). the 2002 vintage is "the best since 1985."

So far that is Owen Roe, Sineann, Amity and Chehelem....... for reds and whites both.
King of Hearts,

If you aren't a big OR. pinot fan, try the 98 chehalems, the 98 Dom. Serene Mark Bradford or Beaux Frerers Belle Soares. All are big, dark styles with some tannic backbone. I am sure they will change your mind. I also find many of them a bit on the acidic side of pinot, but there are may exeptions that are wonderful.
Drank this the other night and thought it was interesting, at the very least. Definitely thin, but you could taste and smell the earth in this one. Much different than the fruit forward cherrybombs coming out of the carneros or russian river valley. I've found that the oregon pinots are much more burgundian in style and benefit more from food than their california counterparts. I'm looking forward to trying the Argyle again.
MJS & BHV- Thanks for keeping us up to date on the 2002 vintage.

To All- I tried the 2000 St. Innocent Seven Springs Pinot Noir this weekend and it was head and shoulders above any of the wines in my initial post. I gave it a 93-94.

VM
Surprised that Lemelson has not been mentioned. We visited with Eric L. recently and had a great time(crazy Starship Enterprise in his winery! Eek))
He gave us a bottle of his Jerome Reserve '00, which was one of my tops for Oregon this year. We had it with an incredible fungi-fest at the Joel Palmer House. He also gave me a bottle of Thea's Selection, which is one of those bigger Pinot punters - I love it.
Lemelson's single vineyard Reed & Reynolds gets a hearty honorable mention.

On the Lemelson note, his "Tikka's Run" '00 Pinot Gris was delightful.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
http://seattle.vinocellar.com
A few of the wines I appreciated on the brief trip were the Lemelsons the Queen mentioned above, Sineann, Beaux Freres, Soter, EIEIO, Penner Ash and Ponzi. Those stand out. Was really disappointed by Archery Summit. Prices are out of hand there.
Adelsheim had a couple of really tasty whites too.

Cheers!
And remember: Life's too short to drink bad wine.
Archery Summit is all about: ROA, ROI, ROE, and most importantly, PROFIT. Roll Eyes And that's the same formula for their sister, Pine Ridge! You know, Corporate tactics! (IMHO)

I like those small Mom & Pop operations, who are take their production personal, are interested in making wines for the love of it, and then answer to the profit requirement! Cool
LaTour,

Next time you and Board-O visit, we need to take you to Duke's favorite: Cameron. Perhaps one of the ultimate "ma and pa" shops in Oregon.

TM
Yeah. Come in November when we can taste his whole line-up, and barrel taste the next year's wines as well (most of Cameron's wines that see oak get at least 15 month in oak, although very little new oak).
The next time we get together, I'll try to remember to bring some of my 1998 and 1999 high-end Oregon Pinots. They need a few hours of aeration, but are quite silky and tasty.

highdesertwine

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