The aroma is tumescent with blueberry fruit. Blended with this wonderful robust blue fruit one can find Moroccan spices, a hint of butterscotch, and a sense of gravelly earthiness.
As the aroma implies and promises, the flavor is concentrated blueberry and blackberry juice, which aids integration of nice spice flavored French oak. The palate is rich, creamy, and super juicy.
This whopper of a wine seems to have everything. Rocky earthiness, black forest cake, and a surprise raspberry to red cherry flavor in the long finish.
"The Nuthouse cuvee is released a year behind the other Pinots. The 2005 Pinot Noir Nuthouse is one of the major successes of a challenging vintage. It has a slightly aged appearance and is exhibiting an alluring perfume of spice, red fruits, and blueberry. On the mid-palate it has a wide band of fruit atypical for 2005. It has the structure of the vintage so it may well evolve for 4-5 years and drink well through 2020. It is a home run for the vintage.
While the focus of this report is on 2006 Pinot Noir, it is undeniable that Argyle Winery is producing among the best sparkling wines made in the USA and they cannot be ignored. Argyle is also the hangout of veteran vigneron Rollin Soles who knows as well as anyone what's happening in the Oregon wine scene. Argyle's Pinot Noirs have a bit more competition than the Sparkling Wines but they have been up to the challenge for quite some time."
Twenty-five years ago, Argyle began making wine in Oregon's Willamette Valley. Since 1987, winemaker Rollin Soles and viticulturist Allen Holstein have teamed up to produce world-class method champenoise sparkling wines, barrel-fermented Chardonnay, and silky-textured Pinor Noir from low-yielding vines that are winery farmed on some of the best hillside slopes and elevations. Argyle wines have received a total of 11 Wine Spectator Top 100 designations - more than any other winery in Oregon. The Argyle wines represented on this list include sparkling wine, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, truly making Argyle one of the finest practitioners of the craft of elegant, long-lived winegrowing.
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Named for the river that runs through the valley from Portland to Eugene, Willamette Valley is home to some of the best Pinot Noir vineyards in the Northwest. While along the same north/south line as Seattle, the Willamette Valley is protected from Pacific rains by the Coast Range on the western border and the Cascade Ranges to the east. Though sunshine is typically plentiful, rainfall can occasionally be tricky, and the wines here vary vintage to vintage. Within the Willamette Valley is a number of sub-regions, including McMinnville, Dundee and Yamhill.
The valley is known for its Pinots – Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. With a climate similar to Burgundy – in rainfall, sunlight hours and other climate factors – Pinot Noir has flourished here. Pinot Noir in Oregon produces wines that are fruit forward, yet complex, some with good agebility.
Other than Pinot Noir, many wineries grow Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. Pinot Gris from Oregon is delightful in its texture and food friendliness. Chardonnay in the valley adapts well to the cool climate and produces lean, elegant wines.
Oregon has long been an agricultural state, producing everything from hazelnuts to cattle. The Willamette Valley in particular is a fertile basin for all sorts of produce. Not quite pegged as a wine state, in 1965, a UC Davis graduate named David Lett decided that the Willamette's climate mirrored that of Burgundy in France. With that in mind, he decided to plant some Pinot Noir clones to see how they did. And a good gamble it was. The Willamette is now one of the only regions in the world to focus solely on Pinot Noir as its red variety. Also known for Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. The southern part of Oregon has been slower in delving into the world wine market, but has been making excellent strides with their Rhone style varietals, like Syrah and Grenache. There are also coastal regions producing promising wines.
This is a bold, atypical pinot that stands out from the gentler Napa Valley productions. This one is a rugged ruby pioneer from Oregon. Rich and bold with berries...primarily black and blue with notes of exotic spices, perhaps nutmeg or the tiniest hint of earthy clove balanced with a sweet buttery cream note that hits the back of the tongue. The finish lingers for a good long while and evokes images of belly dancers.
I guess I was expecting a lot from this wine with the high ratings and price. I know that price is not a good gauge, but Williamette Pinot Noirs are very good wines. I was disappointed in this wine. It did not have the finishing I was expecting. I expected something a little extra from a $55 bottle with a rating of 94/93. Overall, this wine is not worth the price. And it’s a screw top. I will not buy again.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.