Another Noble Noir

by | Feb 5, 2006

We’ve been feasting on great wines, of late. Thankfully, we’re fortunate enough to do so, because there are some fine reds out there waiting for a celebration. Last night, at Saltus River Grill in historic downtown Beaufort, we uncorked another splendid Pinot from Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

According to Oregon Pinot Noir Club, the Terrapin Cellars Pinot Noir 2004 is a major score.

WOW – pinot noir that tastes good for just $16! I’ve been tasting a lot of “value-priced” pinots from Oregon lately – most of them are simply disgusting, and undrinkable. Thus I was quite pleased to find this gem. It’s made by a guy named Rob Clark, who manages nine vineyards around Salem, and got into winemaking as a very minor sideline. From the ’04 vintage he made almost 1,000 cases of pinot gris, and only 150 cases of this pinot noir. I just want to make a good table wine that sells for a reasonable price,” he told me. He succeeded with this wine, which has plentiful dark-flavored fruit, a bit of plumpness in the middle, and a fruit-based finish that is extended for long seconds thanks to that fresh ’04 acidity. It’s a bona-fide bargain.

This bold wine is earthy and spicy. The timid need not apply.