When Westrey co-owner/winemaker David Autrey stopped by to drop off a few cases of his product the other day I mentioned to him that in my opinion the 2010 Oregon pinot vintage is the best I’ve tasted through since at least 2005, and I had just had his new 2010 Willamette Valley Pinot and it was probably the best 2010 I’ve tasted at the under-$25 price level. He appreciated the compliment of course, but also said that he thought that the fruit quality and balance in the 2010s was probably the best he’d seen since 1992 or ’93. LOVE that kind of perspective! I have to agree. These 2010s are a great vintage to stock up on. At their best they have everything I want in Oregon pinot: beautiful aromatics; perfect ripeness allied with fine tannins and brisk acidity; great palate feel, i.e. not too heavy nor light, exactly where you want pinot noir to land; and just unbelievable flavor purity. This 2010 Westrey “Willamette Valley” is nothing less than near perfect to me. It is simply classic Oregon pinot noir, with strawberries, plum, spice, and earthy aromas and flavors. Showing pristinely ripened fruit and a rich, medium bodied texture balanced by the amazing 2010 acidity, this is so good now, but the bottles I already have in my basement won’t see a corkscrew for another 3 or 4 years. But should you need some instant gratification please don’t hesitate as this will be a showstopper with some grilled salmon or a crisp roast chicken. To me if you are a fan of Oregon pinot, or for that matter a red wine lover in general this is a must buy. This is about as good as Oregon pinot gets, and you when you can get it for under $25 then that says it all!
ADD WESTREY: Also available right now is the 2010 Westrey “Abbey Ridge Vineyard” Pinot Noir ($35.95 btl/ $345.00 cs) which is as good as Oregon pinot gets. From perhaps the finest pinot noir vineyard in the state it is sublime. Take everything mentioned above and amp it up about 5 notches, add a healthy dose of black cherry and a few shovelfuls of earth and you’ve got it. Cameron, J. Christopher, and Westrey are the only three wineries to use this hallowed fruit, and Westrey’s is somehow is priced at $10-$20 less per bottle than the others. If you’re spending $40+ for any Oregon pinot noir and not buying this one you seriously need to rethink your wine buying plan!