Smooth, smooth, smooth!
Exclusively from Costco comes the 2008 Willamette Valley Vineyards Barrel Select Pinot Noir at $16.99.
From the bottle:
Pinot Noir grown in the Willamette Valley Appellation is among the highest quality of this variety in the world. Our mission in growing cool climate varietals is to create elegant, classic, Oregon wines from the Willamette Valley Appellation. All of our vineyards are certified sustainable - LIVE (Low Input Viticulture and Enology) and Salmon Safe. Pinot Noir, a thin skinned winegrape, develops a natural defense against botrytis (mold) in our moist, cool climate - the antioxidant resveratrol.
This wine has been very popular at my Costco, in fact, they have had trouble keeping it on the shelf. I decided to give it a try it after overhearing employees talking about how it was the third time they had to restock it in one day! In addition, this wine can only be found at Costco. When I asked Willamette Valley Vineyard about this wine their reply was that "We have the Barrel Select Pinot Noir in Costco......this wine is only available in Costco and you cannot find it on our website as it is not for general retail sale."
My guess is that this is an entry level wine for them designed to get Costco buyers to move up to their more expensive wines after trying this one. That strategy may very well work, because we liked this wine a lot. Smooth is the best word to describe it. This wine is very easy to drink -- it might be lacking a little bit of complexity as a result of the smoothness, but that's about the only bad thing I can say about it. This is a wine that I think everybody would like. 2008 was supposedly a very good year in Oregon for Pinot Noir, and it shows here. This just the second wine we've reviewed that has gotten a 9 ranking in taste.
One other side note, the label also includes a bunch of technical data which is pretty cool. It lists details like soil type, grape info, harvest date, temp, amount of resveratrol (3.5 Micromolar), and type of oak. I'd like to see more wineries do this. And for those interested, the level of resveratrol in this wine, and all pinot noir and other cool climate wines is quite high.
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.
Overall Rating: 7.8
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