As you can imagine, we taste a lot of local Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. We are fortunate to be afforded an insight into each vintage and more importantly, have acquired an insider's knowledge of the Willamette Valley's distinct AVA's and single vineyard bottlings. The phrase 'Burgundian in style' has become a cliché at this point, yet for as often as it is used to describe Oregon wine, there are only a few producers that manage to achieve it. Walter Scott is one of them.
The fires of 2020 were devastating for Walter Scott. Sadly, there was no Pinot Noir produced (side note: on the bright side, his prized fruit was used to craft the best local rosé Andy and I have ever had!). When tasting through the lineup of these newly released 2021's another phrase came to mind: 'You don't know what you have until it's gone'. As we are all recovering from 2020 in general, a deeper appreciation has set in for the things that we once took for granted. This thought raced through my mind as each of the wines we tasted were excellent as expected. This was no surprise for a Walter Scott lineup, but it struck me that consistency is not something that we should get used to, it's an achievement to be celebrated.
Like most of our favorite wines, Walter Scott's cuvées are made in limited quantities and this is often the only chance we get to carry them. We've assembled a specially priced 3 pack of Chardonnay and a 3 pack of Pinot Noir that we felt best exemplify the range of vineyard sites that they are working with. If you're unfamiliar, you can't discuss Oregon wine without including Walter Scott and this is an excellent introduction to both the whites and reds.
To the already initiated, this is a great opportunity to add the 2021 vintage to your collection; you know, for consistency's sake...
2021 Walter Scott 'Freedom Hill Vineyard' Mt. Pisgah Pinot Noir- Willamette Valley, Oregon
Technically Speaking: From an organically farmed site whose vines sit on sedimentary soil. 20% whole cluster, aged in 228-liter barrels (15% new) for 15 months.
Impressions: Aromas of black raspberries, red plums, violets and iron lead to a plush, juicy texture with velvety tannins that leave an earthy finish with lasting notes of sweet tobacco and forest floor. This continues to be our favorite structured Pinot from Walter Scott.
2021 Walter Scott 'Sojeau Vineyard' Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir- Willamette Valley, Oregon
Technically Speaking: From an organically farmed site whose vines sit on Nekia, Ritner and Witzel soil. 30% whole cluster, aged in 228-liter barrels (15% new) for 15 months.
Impressions: Aromas of red raspberries, cranberries, dried rose petal and maitakes entice towards a corpulent, silky texture with velvety tannins that leave a red-toned, elegant finish with exit notes of dried tobacco and gravel. Fruit forward, yet balanced and complex.
2021 Walter Scott 'Temperance Hill Vineyard' Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir- Willamette Valley, Oregon
Technically Speaking: From an organically farmed site whose vines sit on Jory and Nekia soil. 30% whole cluster, aged in 228-liter barrels (20% new) for 15 months.
Impressions: Aromas of underripe strawberries, raspberries, rhubarb, eucalyptus and iron reveal a mineral forward, juicy/silky texture with velvety tannins that leave a spicy toned, long finish with hints of dried herbs. Incredibly food friendly yet equally enjoyable on its own.