Why seek out Oregon’s Willamette Valley pinot noir? The wines are considered the closest thing to Burgundy in North America, offering low-to-modest alcohol, juicy fruit flavors, and vivid acidity. This is not surprising, as the Willamette Valley is situated at the same longitude as Burgundy, and the growing season has many similarities.
My ideal growing season in the Willamette Valley was 2012, and some have declared this vintage one of the greatest in Oregon history. The 2012 pinot noirs are forward drinking, lush with fruit, and hedonistic. The 2012 Broadley Shea Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is a perfect example, produced by one of Oregon’s most established (1982), family-owned producers, and sourced from a 140-acre vineyard that holds special reverence for pinot noir aficionados.
The aromatic perfume of this wine soars from the glass, with scents of black raspberry coulis, ollaliberry jam, spice, and rose petals. The dark berry fruits saturate the palate with intense fruit goodness, and the refreshing and explosive finish offers a cascade of glorious, sweet fruit.
This wine is offered locally at a wallet-friendly price of $31-to-$33 at hitimewine.net and bestwinesonline.com. I had the wine last night with a cheeseburger fresh off the grill (yum!), but this pinot noir has enough fruit and structure to stand up to a big rib eye steak, yet enough brightness to compliment grilled King salmon or rotisserie chicken.