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2003 vintage guide for Oregon Pinot Noir

Oregon 2003: Drink soon

Richly ripe but structured wines

Weather Conditions

Another dry and another early harvest for Oregon. With 10-13 fewer inches of rain, the winter and spring continued the streak of three low rainfall years. There were a few threats of spring frost but little damage was recorded. Typical July rain showers did not arrive. August turned out to be an unusually warm month, with several hot days by Oregon standards. A few heat spikes ripened the fruit quickly. Harvest was underway by mid-September. As the warm spell continued, wineries had to scramble to pick the fruit before it became over-ripe. Light showers occurred, but most fruit was safely in the cellars by mid-October.

Best Appellations

Willamette Valley, especially mature vineyards at higher elevation sites; Rogue Valley

Best Producers

Domaine Drouhin, Beaux Freres, Rex Hill, Broadley, Ken Wright, Cristom, Ponzi, Erath, Shea, King Estate Reserve

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