I tasted several Oregon wines yesterday, most of which were new to me, and all were great. I'll review a couple of other wines from the tasting later, but I'll start with the wines from R. Stuart, which were easily the class of the tasting, because not one was disappointing, and they easily had the best price:quality rapport.
Big Fire Rosé--a beautiful, bright rosé, one of among many from Oregon, but this one is a standout. Vivacious, long flavors of rhubarb and black raspberry--I'd drink this at Thanksgiving. It's a steal at $17.
Big Fire Pinot Gris--A ragingly flavorful Pinot Gris, full of character and purity of fruit--this seems to be a hallmark of the Big Fire wines: nothing interfering with fruit expressions in any of the wines (see the Pinot Noir for more). This one has an undercurrent of cream that keeps the fruit broad, expanding the stone-fruit flavors. Another great value at $17.
Big Fire Pinot Noir--these days, this level of Pinot Noir from Oregon is generally one dimensional and doesn't have enough succulent fruit to be satisfying (for me, at least), but this wine blooms and soars with fresh cherry-toned fruit and an underlying moodiness that is hard to pin down...but why would you want to? It is enough to enjoy its mystery, and for $20, that's something special.
R. Stuart Pinot Noir Autograph Willamette Valley--This is the most 'complete' wine of the bunch. Broader and much deeper than the Big Fire (which is not shallow to start with) this wine contains fruit from all over the central Willamette Valley. It is not as immediately enjoyable as the Big Fire PN, as you'll have to wait a few minutes after pouring a glass to really get the best of it. One can easily detect the elegant detailing of breadth and richness right off the bat, but it gets better with every sip. The sensuous and persistent fruit expression makes it an excellent holiday feast wine. Given its quality, it is not much of a commitment at $35.
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