Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Top 100 Oregon Round Up

Yeah, yeah, I know it was awhile ago that the Top 100 wine list came out, but now that all the votes are in, lists have been compiled and pontificators have pontificated I wanted to remind everyone how Oregon fared with the most recent release of Top 100 wine lists from Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast and the San Francisco Chronicle.

I'm not usually an enormous fan of the wine magazines, but they certainly play a crucial role in the ability for wine drinkers beyond the Pacific Northwest to consider Oregon Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and all of the wonderful varietals coming out of Southern Oregon. The credibility their publicity garners cannot be understated, even as wine bloggers the world over try to overthrow their stranglehold on wine journalism. Here at the Oregon Wine Blog we have no such delusions; we all have day jobs, for Pete's sake. Far be it for us to play the role of player hater. The San Francisco Chronicle's Jon Bonne has serious credibility as far as I'm concerned and is always worth a read. While it's true that you'll find his offerings California heavy, it's hard to fault him since he's in California, and we've been accused of being Oregon and Washington heavy ourselves. And so, we run it down for you:

The Wine Spectator Top 100
90: Elk Cove Pinot Gris 2009, Willamette Valley, $19
75: A to Z Wineworks Pinot Noir 2008, Oregon, $20
71: Roco Pinot Noir 2008, Willamette Valley, $30
32: Evening Land Pinot Noir 2008, Eola-Amity Hills, Seven Springs Vineyard La Source, $65

The Wine Enthusiast Top 100
100: Scott Paul 2008 Audrey Pinot Noir, Dundee Hils, $65
One? There's only one wine coming out of the state of Oregon that made the top 100 in the Wine Enthusiast? I'm a bit shocked by this, but hey - different strokes for different folks I suppose. I noticed a lot of California Pinot Noir on the list, particularly from the Russian River Valley. While slightly discouraging, it's nice to see the wine that they're making at Scott Paul get some recognition. Overall though the Enthusiat was far from enthusaistic about Oregon's offerings. Oregon did, however, fare better in their Top 100 Cellar Wines, wines that can look forward to serious promise with some aging.
70: Chehalem Statement Pinot Noir 2006, Ribbon Ridge, $99
69: Ken Wright Cellars Pinot Noir 2008, Canary Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir, $50
35: Adelsheim Pinot Noir 2007, Boulder Bluff Vineyard, $58

The San Francisco Chronicle
So the San Francisco Chronicle does their listing of top 100 West Coast wines, so no old world magic to hog the spotlight. They break the list down further by varietal, or varietal and types, for the most part. For example they list out Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and then, other whites and roses. Due to the West Coast focus, Oregon did some serious butt kicking in this top 100 list. There are no number designations given, at least that I could find, so I'll list them at the Chronicle does:
Other Whites and Roses
Brandborg 2009 Umpqua Valley Riesling, $16
King Estate 2009 Signature Oregon Pinot Gris, $17
Pinot Noir
Adelsheim 2008 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, $32
Alchemist Cellars 2008 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, $25
Anam Cara Cellars 2008 Nicholas Estate, Chehalem Mountains, Pinot Noir, $29
Bergstrom 2008 Bergstrom Vineyard, Dundee Hills, Pinot Noir $78
Brooks 2008 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, $25
Chehalem 2008 3 Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, $27
Cristom 2008 Mount Jefferson Cuvee, Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir, $30
Phelps Creek 2008 Cuvee Alexandrine, Columbia Gorge, Pinot Noir, $42

A great showing for the 2008 class of Oregon Pinot Noir in the San Francisco Chronicle. I do think that as we see the rest of the ‘08’s released this spring, we can expect to see a little more Oregon Pinot in the top 100 lists of 2011, as well. Heck, maybe even in the Wine Enthusiast.


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