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Top Oregon Pinot Noir wines – William Kelley

See William Kelley's tasting notes and scores for more than 80 Oregon Pinot Noir wines, available exclusively to Decanter Premium members.

Oregon’s wine industry has seen explosive growth in the past decade, going from just 17 wineries in 1987 to more than 500 today, writes William Kelley in a feature for Decanter magazine’s December 2017 issue and now available online to Decanter Premium members.

‘It’s hardly surprising that Burgundians feel at home in Oregon. After all, it was admiration for Burgundy’s wines that led the region’s pioneer vintners to plant Pinot Noir,’ writes Kelley.

‘And they chose to plant it here instead of in balmy California precisely because its more marginal climate revealed a stronger affinity with the Côte d’Or.’

‘Burgundy is our Jerusalem,’ said The Eyrie Vineyard’s winemaker, Jason Lett.

Kelley added, ‘Unsurprisingly, Burgundian influence is correspondingly pervasive, frequently felt in both the cellar and the vineyard.’

However, Kelley said that it would be unfair to think of Oregon Pinot as a carbon-copy of Burgundy.

‘Oregon Pinot doesn’t have the earthiness of Burgundy,’ said Laurent Drouhin, of Burgundy’s Domaine Drouhin, which provided something of an early endorsement for Oregon Pinot champions by investing in the area well before the boom years.

Kelley said that growing attention paid to the soil in Oregon has led to a rising number of single vineyard Oregon Pinots in recent years.

Decanter Premium members can access more commentary on the latest happenings in Oregon, the differences between Oregon and Burgundy Pinot and Kelley’s tasting notes on more than 80 Oregon Pinot Noirs wines. See Kelley’s full article on Oregon Pinot here.

eyrie vineyards, daphneExclusively for Decanter Premium members:

See all of William Kelley’s tasting notes and scores for 89 Oregon Pinot Noirs



A selection of Oregon Pinot Noir wines tasted by William Kelley:


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