‘The resulting wines are brilliant. They offer great concentration, wonderful lift and freshness and such fine tannins… the top producers have made wonderfully collectable wines that will age 15 to 20 years. A five-star vintage for the Willamette Valley’
The 2021 growing season was memorable, most notably for the heat dome the region experienced in late June when temperatures reached up to 47.5°C (117.5°F). That heat spike set new records by 3°C to 6°C (5°F to 10°F) across the Pacific Northwest. While there was plenty of crop damage, grape vines seemed to come through unscathed.
Many Willamette Valley winemakers I spoke with described 2021 as ‘easy’ and, largely, it was. Particularly in the context of the heartbreaking 2020 vintage – a year which saw unprecedented smoke damage, resulting in many producers not even making red wines. By contrast, 2021 felt largely normal, particularly as growing seasons continue to warm up year on year.
Scroll down for tasting notes and scores of the top Willamette Valley 2021 red and white wines
Willamette Valley 2021: the top scoring wines
The following wines scored 95 points or above and are listed white then red in score order.