Erath Oregon Pinot Noir 2008

Posted: June 26, 2010 by bacchation in Wine
Tags: , ,

I am going to be honest here, I am not a wine connoisseur, and my palate is a bit out of practice in picking out the subtle notes of “spring fruit, leather, and fresh alfalfa” like some reviewers. I have technically been trained in wine tasting (I got an A in my beverage class at the culinary institute) but that was a long time ago. As someone who loves food, and eats a lot of it, I usually drink wine and think of all of the things that I would like to be eating at the same time… and I can generally tell when I have something in my glass that I want another sip of, and when it is something that I would rather pour out.

All of that out of the way, I am going to proceed with wine reviews assuming that all of our faithful readers are coming in with that understanding (read as an excuse for later down the line when people realize I have no clue what I am talking about).

Dick Erath, the grandfather of wine making in Oregon, exists happily in the town of Dundee. It was Dick who brought grapes to the Willamette, over 20 varietals to start, and it was Dick who gave us pinot noir, now iconic in our region.

That is an impressive resume, but how is the wine?

Erath garners high 80’s every year from Wine Spectator for this pinot bottlings, and this one is no exception, coming in at a solid 88. For a sub $20 wine, and only 2 years old to boot, it has a lot to offer. I believe that most Oregon pinots are best (in general) in around their fourth year, but Erath displays a mellow taste that belies its age. It is smooth, well balanced, and demonstrates a surprising sweetness where you expect astringency. Cherry, cherry, cherry.. I would like to tell you there were some complex flavors of plumcot or currant, but cherry is good enough of a description to get the flavor across (maybe you have stirred the glass with a cinnamon stick or skipped a black peppercorn across the surface). If this was concentrated and sweetened, you would think you were sipping a ruby port… that much cherry.

Do you have a problem every year deciding what to drink at Thanksgiving? Having a hard time deciding what goes well with ham, turkey, and tofu loaf, all at the same time? If your budget calls for “under $20” or even “a bit over $20” this is a good selection. It will pair nicely with fish, both fin and shell, and anything that you cook which includes some fruit will pair very nicely (don’t forget to shake a little of this into the pan while working on your masterpiece).

Yes, this is the second wine review we have up, so it is easier to make this statement now than it will be in a few years, but this is the best wine we have reviewed to date!

Erath 2008 Oregon Pinot Noir $19

Sippability: 8.5

Culinary Value: 8

Cost to Value Ratio: 8.5

Worth Buying Again: 9

Composite: 8.5 Good
Visit Erath!

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  1. Thanks for the info. I can get so lost staring at a wall of wine.
    I really like the T-Day idea.

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