Oregon 1996: Drink soon
Southern Oregon was less troubled by rain and turned out some good wines
Longtime fans of Oregon Pinot Noir would describe 96 as “classic,” while others may merely say the growing season was typical. It was long, relatively cool and ate, with some harvest rains. But the rains were not so extreme as to cause mold or dilute the wine. It shares some similarities with both 91 and 93. The cool, clear conditions for most of the spring and early summer led to an average crop load and average maturity rate. Sugar level were normal, not high, and Pinot Noir was being harvest the first two weeks of October, a little on the late side for most winemakers. There were intermittent rains. Most winemakers indicated the condition of the fruit, unlike that of 95, was clean and free from rot. The style of the vintage leans toward delicacy and balance over power.
See best producers
Bethel Heights (Southeast Block Reserve), Archery Summit ( Red Hills Estate, Arcus ), Cristom (Reserve & Marjorie Vyd), Panther Creek (Freedom Hill), Brick House, Ponzi Reserve, Domaine Serene Reserve, Apex, King Estate, Joe Dobbs Signature, Adelsheim (Ridge Crest), Torii Mor Reserve