95pts Suckling Save 33%
The 2016 vintage shows aromas of cranberry, boysenberry, rhubarb, briar patch, cassis, leather, dust, strawberry preserves, maple syrup, pine tree litter, sassafras. Flavors of racy pomegranate, spruce sap, huckleberry, tangelo; the finish rounds out with juniper berries and sandalwood mixed with cherry, milk chocolate, and herbes de Provence. Juicy tight tannins up front melting into a 70% coco dusty citrus mélange on the mid-palate; breaking like an ocean wave on the finish back toward the mid pallet pulling everything in a loop.
Oregon Pinot Noir is having another wave of success with the 2016 vintage, just recently covered and reviewed by Wine Spectator this past March. Press is huge and demand is higher than ever. Gran Moraine 2016 Pinot Noir is one of the top wines of the vintage, and if you love Pinot Noir, regardless of region, you must try this.
The Jackson Family, best known for blockbuster brands Kendall-Jackson and La Crema own and manage two boutique wine companies that are Estate-based and Site-specific. First they started with a company focusing on Bordeaux Varietals purchasing great properties like Lokoya, La Jota, Verite and Cardinale, getting huge scores by the likes of Robert Parker and are impossible to get. They then started the West Burgundy Wine Group which focuses purely on world class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. There first major purchase recently was Adam Lee’s Siduri, one of the leading single vineyard producers in California. After tasting the West Burgundy portfolio I fell in love with a Pinot Noir from Oregon that tastes like hardcore Volnay but can be had a much lower price. The wine is the 2016 Gran Moraine Estate Pinot Noir in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA in Willamette, Oregon, formerly Solena Estate Winery which was purchased by West Burgundy. Yamhill-Carlton is one of the seven new AVA’s in Willamette, home to great producers like Ken Wright and Shea.
The Winemaker is Eugenia Keegan, 38 years of experience including Pousse d’Or and Ettiene Sauzet in Burgundy to Vine Cliff and Ken Kupperman, formerly Wente is vineyard manager. The vineyard is made up of different Dijon clones is one of the more westerly vineyards in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA and therefore subject to the cooling afternoon breezes that roll off the Pacific. The resulting wine has spectacular elegance matched with power, has that complex smoky bouquet, insane depth showing a mélange of florals, red and black fruits with awesome acidity, minerality and a finish that just goes on and on. This wine rivals the finest Pinot Noir with its depth and length. The only aspect the wine is short on is price. I am a huge fan of the truly great Pinot Noirs and this is one of them.