Friday Happy Hour: Pinot Noir from 6 Vineyards, Oregon

Friday Happy Hour: Pinot Noir from 6 Vineyards, Oregon

Pinot Noir from 6 Vineyards, Oregon

Thank 2007 for much of the pricing in today’s Oregon Pinot Noir market. A late ripening, light vintage led to mediocre press, and although the wines turned out to be far better than anticipated, sales were slow. Combined with general over-production and the beginning of the recession, serious discounting was widespread.

In the case of Lemelson’s 6 Vineyards Pinot Noir, that aggressive pricing has become the norm. Originally priced at $24, this blend of fruit that doesn’t make the cut for Lemelson’s six single vineyard bottlings – their entry level pinot noir if you will – was temporarily reduced to $18 to move the sluggish 2007 and to keep their foot in the door on restaurant wine lists. But the great thing is it’s never gone back up – it’s like a permanent post-off.

There is little under $20 pinot noir of this caliber – actually none that I can think of. This is real “old-timey” OPN pricing – like maybe you would find back in the 1980s when the industry was still in it’s infancy. Just about everything you find at this price point today is thin and reedy or simply flawed in some major way. Not this – on the contrary, the 6 Vineyards 2009 is dark and fulsome, and surprisingly complete, with lovely ripeness and good varietal expression. The Yamhil-Carlton fruit shows typical dark cherry and cane berry aromas and flavors, and is smoothly textured with a fine finish.

Although not terribly complex, this is an immensely satisfying OPN for well under $20 – especially with case or wine club discounting. Its the perfect candidate for a holiday party or gathering that calls for a quality Oregon pinot noir that is versatile with food, affordable and approachable to a variety of guests. Thank a wine press that tends to generalize and jump to conclusions for this little gem and get out and buy the 2009 before it sells out – which won’t be long.

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