“Our goal with this wine is simple – to make the best Pinot Noir in the world for under $20!” ~ Erath Winery
Well, I think they have achieved their goal! Erath Winery’s Oregon Pinot Noir has always been my “go-to” bottle when I lived in Oregon and needed a great Pinot Noir at a fantastic price point. I remember stocking upon on it at Costco when the price was around $15 a bottle, no joke! It’s like an old, dear friend…reliable yet wonderful! Honestly, if you’re after a great Oregon Pinot Noir in the UK, that won’t break the bank, then this is the bottle for you.
Located, in the beautiful Dundee Hills AVA, the Erath Winery prides itself on being one of Oregon’s Pinot Noir pioneers. Relocating his family from California to Oregon in 1968, Dick Erath was determined to prove that Oregon wines could rival those of Burgundy. He purchased 48 acres in the Dundee Hills and planted 23 grape varieties; however, Pinot Noir proved to be the most successful. The Erath’s first vintage was in 1972 and the rest is history. Now, it’s a highly regarded winery, located in the most desirable Oregon AVA. The Erath’s wines are an Oregon institution!
You may be wondering how a bottle of Oregon Pinot Noir can be sold in the UK for around the £20 price-point. Well, the Erath’s winemaker, Gary Horner, has managed to employ innovative winemaking techniques that cut costs, yet still create a high quality Oregon Pinot Noir.
This bottle of Erath Oregon 2018 Pinot Noir has been created using a process called micro-oxygenation. Basically, the wine is aged in stainless steel tanks while microscopic levels of oxygen are slowly added along with custom toasted French oak pieces. Together, these practices replicate the barrel ageing process but at a fraction of the price. Some Old-World producers frown at this process; however, I’m actually quite impressed with the fact modern technological advances are enabling high quality wines to be made at a fraction of the price!
The wine itself is a lovely medium ruby red colour and has beautiful clarity. Horner uses a process called ‘cross-flow filtration’ which filters out unwanted micro-biological components in the wine. Some more traditional winemakers believe that filtration diminishes the complexity and terroir-specific characteristics of a wine and refuse to employ it. However, Horner insists that this type of filtration is gentle, beneficial and creates a “bright, fruity and fresh” wine with exceptional clarity. Personally, I love this wine. It’s not too complex, yet not lacking in terroir specific characteristics. It’s the Goldilocks of Oregon Pinot Noirs.
On the nose, you’ll enjoy bright, fresh ripe red strawberries, cherries and red currants along with soft clove and sweet spice notes. On the palate, you’ll savour a refreshing level of acidity along with soft tannins, a lingering continuation of freshly picked red summer fruits and subtle toasted oak notes. This Oregon Pinot Noir has it all!
Enjoy this Oregon Pinot Noir on its own or enjoyed with a roasted chicken dinner. Try pairing it with my Barbecued Beer Can Chicken recipe.
Grapes: Pinot Noir
Closure: Screw Cap
Colour: Medium Ruby Red
Red fruit: strawberries, red cherries, red plums, red currants and raspberries
Oak: Subtle toasted notes
Drinking Window: Drink now until 2024!