Today, Pinot Noir lovers worldwide maintain well-stocked cellars of the Willamette Valley’s finest bottles. And though we love to collect the classics like Eyrie Vineyards, Beaux Frères, or Domaine Serene, it’s normally impossible to find classic 100 percent Willamette Valley Pinot Noir for under $20. Enter this 2016 King’s Ridge Pinot Noir—a delicious, deeply flavorful, elegant Pinot that defies it’s bargain price tag. Why? NDAs prevent us from revealing the source of their grapes, because growers of premium grapes don’t typically want it known that their berries can be had for $18 per bottle. We can tell you that the Pinot in this bottle comes from some of Willamette’s best vineyards.
In the decades since David Lett of Eyrie Vineyards put the first Pinot Noir in the ground in the late 1960s, the Willamette Valley has proved itself as one of the premium Pinot Noir terroirs on the planet. By the end of the 1970s, Lett’s South Block Reserve was placed neck-and-neck with some of Burgundy’s finest.
Willamette’s outsized reputation for world-class Pinot Noir was given another reason in 2016 to brag about its upward momentum. Wine Spectator’s early reports noted a “third straight year of potentially outstanding wines” calling many “bright” and “expressive,” which is exactly how we’d describe this Kings Ridge Pinot Noir.
It’s also worth noting that on our visit to the winery in 2016, we were accompanied by a top French retailer who could not get over the price-quality ratio for the King’s Ridge. He thought it blew most of Burgundy’s Bourgogne Rouge right out of the water—a French wine expert saying this about an American Point Noir?
There’s no better way to say it: we’ve got something special on our hands.