Our takeaway from sampling many different Pinot Noirs is that, in general, no two Pinots taste alike. Buying a bottle of Pinot Noir is a crapshoot, we may love it or hate it. We took a gamble on the 2013 Cloudline Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley.
Willamette Valley in Oregon has a cool, moist climate, and is recognized worldwide for its Pinot Noir. The combination of finicky Pinot Noir grapes and the unpredictability of weather and rainfall in the Willamette Valley contribute to sizable variations in vintages. The 2013 growing season in Oregon’s Northern Willamette Valley was described as warm and relatively even.
The pour is a brilliant clear ruby red. The nose is earthy, punctuated with red fruit. The scents carry through on the palate with fresh loam, nuts, and a trace of sweet red cherries in a light to medium body. The low tannins and moderate alcohol offer a delicate balance. Dried herbs linger in a medium finish without the sour aftertaste that often appears in low priced Pinot Noirs. We found the subtlety of Cloudline to be very appealing. It may not be favored by wine drinkers looking for a bold, lush fruit character.
Prices vary between about $15 – $20.