10 Best Pinot Noir Wines in Oregon (2022)

Best Pinot Noir in Oregon Featured

Why Is Pinot Noir So Popular?

Today, Pinot Noir, despite being difficult to cultivate, is among the best and the most popular wines in the world. However, this wasn’t always the case, would you believe the release of a film greatly changed its fortunes? In October 2004 the film ‘Sideways’ had its US debut – its main character has a lot of good things to say about Pinot Noir while, at the same time, repeatedly putting down Merlot. This continues throughout the film. After release Merlot sales immediately fell by 2% while Pinot Noir sales grew by 16%. This trend continued to affect Merlot over the next decade with an estimated US$400m being lost post-release of the film!

Can We Blame This Totally on One Film?

To be honest, a lot of the change may have been due to large quantities of people, discovering and in turn preferring, the lighter style and lower alcohol content of Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir gets its name from the French words for pine (referencing the tight cone-shaped grape clusters) and black (as the grapes have a dark purple almost black color to the skins). This tight packing of the grapes on the vine makes Pinot Noir more likely to fall prey to rot. It has to be carefully managed to avoid this.


Best Overall Best Value Best Under $15 Best Under $20 Best Under $25 Best Under $30 Best Under $40 Best Under $50 Best Under $100 Best With Unlimited Budget
Bottle
Name Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir Elouan Pinot Noir Firesteed Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Willamette Valley Vineyards Whole Cluster Pinot Noir The Four Graces Pinot Noir Lemelson Vineyards Thea’s Selection Pinot Noir Penner-Ash Pinot Noir Shea Wine Cellars Estate Pinot Noir Beaux Frères The Beaux Frères Vineyard Pinot Noir Alexana Revana Vineyard Estate Pinot Noir
Color Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red
Country United States United States United States United States United States United States United States United States United States United States
Grapes Pinot Noir Pinot Noir Pinot Noir Pinot Noir Pinot Noir Pinot Noir Pinot Noir Pinot Noir Pinot Noir Pinot Noir
Taste Strawberry, Oak, Leather, Vanilla, Cherry Strawberry, Red Plum, Oak, Boysenberry, Cherry Cherry, Raspberry, Strawberry, Cranberry, Oak Dark Chocolate, Cranberry, Strawberry, Cola Cherry, Blueberry, Vanilla, Chocolate, Tobacco Raspberry, Cherry, Cocoa, Licorice Strawberry, Raspberry, Cherry, Oak, Hint of Spice Cherry, Raspberry, Plum, Toast, Vanilla Black Cherry, Strawberry, Plum, Cola, Dark Chocolate Raspberry, Strawberry, Black Cherry, Vanilla, Earthy Notes
Food Pairing Pork Tenderloin, Duck, Cedar Plank Salmon, Anything With Wild Mushrooms Roast Duck, Fried Haddock, Beef Bourguignon, Venison, Cassoulet Oysters, Shaved Brussel Sprouts, Pork Chops, Lamb Rack, Ahi Tuna Chicken Marsala, Roast Pork, Murhsoom Risotto, Pan-fried Salmon, Filet Mignon Pork tenderloin, Roast Duck, Cedar Plank Salmon, Chocolate Dessert Grilled Lamb, Ahi Tuna, Pork Tenderloin, T-Bone Steak Calamari, Escargot, Lobster, Salmon, Filet Mignon Pulled Pork, Roast Duck, Pork Chops, Chicken Casserole, Seared Salmon Cheese Fondue, Mutton Zafrani, Roast Turkey, Flat Iron Steak, Chocolate Soufflé Seared Pork Chop, Coq Au Vin, Braised Chicken Thighs, Dark Chocolate Brownie
Alcohol Content 13% 13.7% 13.9% 13.5% 13.1% 13.5% 13.5% 14.5% 14.1% 14.1%
Sugar Content Dry Dry Dry Dry Dry Dry Dry Dry Dry Dry
Our Rating 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5) 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5) 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5) 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5) 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5) 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5) 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5) 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5) 4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5) 4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5)
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Best of the Best

If you live in the Pacific Northwest or just happen to be there, do not forget to have a glass of the famous Oregon Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir is a type of red wine that is known for its rich flavor. The wine has a smooth finish and can be easily paired with any food item, ranging from vegetarian dishes to meat, as well as a myriad of cheeses. Pinot Noir wine was the first to use a terroir or unique environmental and agricultural practices in its production. This practice ensures that the grapes are healthy and suitable for the production of wine.

The history of the Oregon Pinot Noir dates back to the year 1965 when David Lett started the Eyrie Vineyards in the Willamette Valley. Later, more vineyards began operating in the area, and slowly there were 19,000 acres of vineyards in the Willamette Valley, out of which 74 percent have been planted with Pinot Noir grapes. Moreover, the production of Pinot Noir in Oregon has increased by 16 percent since 2005, making Oregon Pinot Noir famous worldwide. Let us now take a look at some of the best Oregon Pinot Noir varieties, according to different price points.


Best Oregon Pinot Noir Wines

Best Overall

  • Name — Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir
  • Winery — Domaine Drouhin
  • Country/Region — United States, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills
  • Type — Oregon Pinot Noir
  • Aroma — Strawberry, Raspberry, Mushroom, Truffle, Floral
  • Grapes — Pinot Noir
  • Taste — Strawberry, Oak, Leather, Vanilla, Cherry
  • Alcohol Content — 13%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Pork Tenderloin, Duck, Cedar Plank Salmon, Anything With Wild Mushrooms
Overall Rating: 4.8

Positives
  • Exceptional Taste
  • Graceful
  • Rich And Sleek
Negatives
  • Can Be Too Acidic For Some People

Tasting Notes

Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir is a red wine that is produced in the Dundee Hills. According to the 2016 Vintage, it is among the top one percent of all wines in the world. This wine is known for its smooth finish, though it can be dry and slightly more acidic. Domaine Drouhin has tasting notes of dried cherry and blackberry, with a slight tinge of oak and leather. Overall, one can expect to get the taste of strawberry and raspberry, along with floral notes.

History

Established in the year 1987, Domaine Drouhin Oregon belongs to the Drouhin family of Burgundy, France. The Drouhin family is known for its disciplined approach towards wine growing and wine production, which has led to it earning an excellent reputation for its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines. Today, Veronique Boss-Drouhin, the fourth-generation descendant of the Drouhin family owns the Domaine Drouhin winery. The winery has earned a name for producing wines known for their smooth finish, elegance, and distinct taste.


Best Value

  • Name — Elouan Pinot Noir
  • Winery — Elouan
  • Country/Region — United States, Oregon
  • Type — Oregon Pinot Noir
  • Aroma — Cherry, Raspberry, Vanilla, Tobacco, Oak
  • Grapes — Pinot Noir
  • Taste — Strawberry, Red Plum, Oak, Boysenberry, Cherry
  • Alcohol Content — 13.7%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Roast Duck, Fried Haddock, Beef Bourguignon, Venison, Cassoulet
Overall Rating: 4.7

Positives
  • Great Quality
  • Not Too Acidic
  • Well-balanced Finish
Negatives
  • Slightly Too Dry

Tasting Notes

Elouan Pinot Noir is known for its mellow taste with undertones of cherry. The tasting notes of this wine mainly consist of strawberry and red plum, though some may also find the taste to be earthy with undertones of oak. Overall, the wine is considered to be light and has a high acidic content. It often tops the best Pinot Noir in Oregon charts.

History

Elouan Pinot Noir is one of the most renowned wineries in the world, famous for growing the Pinot Noir grape. The Elouan vinery came into existence as a result of a few winemakers from California deciding to move to Oregon and establish their wineries. The name Elouan stands for ‘good light’ and symbolizes the cool summers dominating the climate of Oregon, together with ample sunshine throughout the year.

The main aim of the Elouan vinery is to produce wines that have an enriching flavor, along with a dash of vibrancy and suppleness. The grapes in these wineries are grown on a diverse terrain of soils. This leads to the wines having an intense, unique structure, along with an acidity that sets them apart from other wines grown around the world.


Best Under $15

  • Name — Firesteed Pinot Noir Willamette Valley
  • Winery — Firesteed
  • Country/Region — United States, Oregon, Willamette Valley
  • Type — Oregon Pinot Noir
  • Aroma — Strawberry, Raspberry, Oak, Vanilla, Cola, Smoke
  • Grapes — Pinot Noir
  • Taste — Cherry, Raspberry, Strawberry, Cranberry, Oak
  • Alcohol Content — 13.9%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Oysters, Shaved Brussel Sprouts, Pork Chops, Lamb Rack, Ahi Tuna
Overall Rating: 4.3

Positives
  • Well-balanced Taste
  • Balanced Medium Acidity
  • Long Aftertaste
Negatives
  • Very Light

Tasting Notes

Firesteed Pinot Noir is one of the best-selling Pinot Noir wines in Oregon that come from the Willamette Valley. It is considered to be among the top 6 percent of all wines in the world, according to the 2016 Vintage. The wine is known to display a wide range of flavors including strawberry, raspberry, mushroom, truffle, and delicate floral notes. It is said to be as good in taste and quality as a glass of red Burgundy.

History

Firesteed Cellars, which produces Firesteed Pinot Noir wine, came into existence in the year 1992. The wineries were established by Howard Rossbach, an experienced wine professional. Since its inception, the Firesteed Cellars have been known for making wines that are famous for their finesse, high quality, and enriching taste. These wines are produced using grapes that can grow on a variety of terrains in the Oregon valley, including the Pinot Noir grape. Some of the other wines that Firesteed Cellars are known to produce include Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, and Riesling.


Best Under $20

  • Name — Willamette Valley Vineyards Whole Cluster Pinot Noir
  • Winery — Willamette Valley Vineyards
  • Country/Region — United States, Oregon, Willamette Valley
  • Type — Oregon Pinot Noir
  • Aroma — Cherry, Strawberry, Plum, Smoke, Herbal Notes
  • Grapes — Pinot Noir
  • Taste — Dark Chocolate, Cranberry, Strawberry, Cola
  • Alcohol Content — 13.5%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Chicken Marsala, Roast Pork, Murhsoom Risotto, Pan-fried Salmon, Filet Mignon
Overall Rating: 4.5

Positives
  • Smooth
  • Fruity Taste
  • Silky Finish
Negatives
  • Tad Too Sweet

Tasting Notes

Oregon Pinot Noir is a red wine that is light to medium-bodied and is finely boned. It is one of the top-rated Pinot Noir wines in Oregon. The wine has a wide range of flavors including strawberry, raspberry, and earthy notes of mushroom and truffle. It has a high acidic content along with a smooth finish.

History

Jim Bernau, who had been living in France, was encouraged by winemakers from California to move to Salem Hills in Oregon and start his winery – which he did in 1983. In the Willamette Valley, Bernau cleared an old and abandoned plum orchard farm, and began to plant the Pinot Noir grape. Later, the winery grew in size and scale and is today, one of the most famous wineries in Oregon and the US. Today, the winery sources all of its Pinot Noir grapes from its estate-grown vineyards spread across 500 acres of the Willamette Valley.


Best Under $25

  • Name — The Four Graces Pinot Noir
  • Winery — The Four Graces
  • Country/Region — United States, Oregon, Willamette Valley
  • Type — Oregon Pinot Noir
  • Aroma — Strawberry, Raspberry, Herbal Notes, Black Pepper
  • Grapes — Pinot Noir
  • Taste — Cherry, Blueberry, Vanilla, Chocolate, Tobacco
  • Alcohol Content — 13.1%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Pork tenderloin, Roast Duck, Cedar Plank Salmon, Chocolate Dessert
Overall Rating: 4.6

Positives
  • Well-Balanced
  • Easy To Drink
  • Great Aroma And Finish
Negatives
  • A Bit Too Watery

Tasting Notes

The Four Graces Pinot Noir is a variant of red wine that is finely boned and has a light to medium body. Similar to other variants of Pinot Noir that are produced in the valleys of Oregon, The Four Graces Pinot Noir has a fruity taste dominated by notes of strawberry, raspberry, and earthier notes such as mushroom and truffle. The wine also has an oak and chocolate-like taste.

History

The history of The Four Graces Pinot Noir dates back to the year 2003 when the Black family acquired an existing vineyard in the Dundee Hills of Oregon. The vineyard was then transformed into a farm where the produce was sustainably cultivated. Slowly it earned a reputation for producing wines that were known for their rich, elegant, and delectable flavor. Today, The Four Graces vineyard is owned by Bill Foley and produces wines such as the Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Blanc.


Best Under $30

  • Name — Lemelson Vineyards Thea’s Selection Pinot Noir
  • Winery — Lemelson Vineyards
  • Country/Region — United States, Oregon, Willamette Valley
  • Type — Oregon Pinot Noir
  • Aroma — Cherry, Strawberry, Raspberry, Chocolate, Vanilla
  • Grapes — Pinot Noir
  • Taste — Raspberry, Cherry, Cocoa, Licorice
  • Alcohol Content — 13.5%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Grilled Lamb, Ahi Tuna, Pork Tenderloin, T-Bone Steak
Overall Rating: 4.6

Positives
  • Fruity And Sweet
  • Balanced Oakiness
  • Great Acidity
Negatives
  • Slightly Leathery Aftertaste

Tasting Notes

Lemelson Vineyards Thea’s Selection Pinot Noir is one of the best red wines produced by the wineries of Oregon. It is a red wine that was considered to be among the top one percent of all wines in the world by the 2013 Vintage. Lemelson Vineyards Thea’s Selection Pinot Noir is known for its smooth taste which is light on the palate although it can be slightly more acidic than other Pinot Noir variants. It has tasting notes consisting of red cherries, cranberries, cocoa, forest floor, pepper, and licorice.

History

Lemelson Vineyards aimed to establish a winery that was famous for innovative and sustainable practices in wine-making. The first vineyard in the valley was planted in the year 1995 by Eric Lemelson, who applied methods such as organic farming and gravity flow production to make wines. However, Lemelson began enjoying his work so much, that two years later, he planted an additional 30 acres of the Pinot Noir grape. Today, Lemelson Vineyards has earned a reputation for producing wines such as the Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, and Riesling.


Best Under $40

  • Name — Penner-Ash Pinot Noir
  • Winery — Alexander Valley Estate
  • Country/Region — United States, Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • Type — Oregon Pinot Noir
  • Aroma — Red Fruit, Black Cherry, Chocolate, Floral Notes
  • Grapes — Pinot Noir
  • Taste — Strawberry, Raspberry, Cherry, Oak, Hint of Spice
  • Alcohol Content — 13.5%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Calamari, Escargot, Lobster, Salmon, Filet Mignon
Overall Rating: 4.6

Positives
  • Silky Tannins
  • Smooth Texture
  • Nicely Light
Negatives
  • A Little Bit Too Oaky

Tasting Notes

Penner-Ash Pinot Noir is a red wine that grows in the Willamette Valley in Oregon. The wine is known for its cherry-like taste with a floral taste. At the same time, the wine also has undertones of cedar, tannins, tobacco, chocolate, rhubarb, tomato, and gooseberry. Overall, the wine has a taste that ranges from light to bold, though it can be slightly acidic as well. The wine is neither too dry nor too sweet.

Penner-Ash Pinot Noir was considered among the top one percent of all wines in the world according to the 2015 Vintage and has also featured in the Vivino’s 2017 Style Awards: Oregon Pinot Noir (2012 Vintage).

History

The Penner-Ash winery is a part of the famous Jackson Family Wines in the Willamette Valley in Oregon. It was founded in the year 1998 by the husband-wife duo of Lynn and Ron Penner-Ash. The winery makes wines including Pinot Noir, Riesling, and Viognier. Each lot of the wine is carefully crafted using indigenous yeast so that the flavor of the wine is as authentic as possible.


Best Under $50

  • Name — Shea Wine Cellars Estate Pinot Noir
  • Winery — Shea Wine Cellars
  • Country/Region — United States, Oregon, Willamette Valley
  • Type — Oregon Pinot Noir
  • Aroma — Cherry, Blueberry, Smoke, Lavender, Violet
  • Grapes — Pinot Noir
  • Taste — Cherry, Raspberry, Plum, Toast, Vanilla
  • Alcohol Content — 14.5%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Pulled Pork, Roast Duck, Pork Chops, Chicken Casserole, Seared Salmon
Overall Rating: 4.7

Positives
  • Long And Smooth Finish
  • Medium Acidity
  • Great Finish.
Negatives
  • Higher Alcohol Content

Tasting Notes

Shea Wine Cellars Estate Pinot Noir is a type of red wine that is characterized by its light palate and smooth finish. The wine is said to have a high acidic content, yet it is delectable due to the undertones of cherry, chocolate, vanilla, prune, raisin, and other dry fruits.

History

The Shea Wine Cellars is owned by Dick Shea in the Yamhill County of the Willamette Valley, Oregon. The vineyard is spread over 200 acres and is divided into two separate vineyards, with the majority of the land producing clones of grapes. Although Dick Shea had begun growing grapes on the vineyard in 1988, it was only in the year 1996 that he took ownership of the farm. These vineyards use different blocks which are then blended into the main wine produced by the Shea Wine Cellars that is the Estate Pinot.


Best Under $100

  • Name — Beaux Frères The Beaux Frères Vineyard Pinot Noir
  • Winery — Beaux Freres
  • Country/Region — United States, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Chehalem Mountains, Ribbon Ridge
  • Type — Oregon Pinot Noir
  • Aroma — Blueberry, Strawberry, Violet, Lavender, Oak
  • Grapes — Pinot Noir
  • Taste — Black Cherry, Strawberry, Plum, Cola, Dark Chocolate
  • Alcohol Content — 14.1%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Cheese Fondue, Mutton Zafrani, Roast Turkey, Flat Iron Steak, Chocolate Soufflé
Overall Rating: 4.9

Positives
  • Crisp Yet Velvety
  • Well-Balanced
  • Fruity After Taste
Negatives
  • Could Be Cheaper

Tasting Notes

The Beaux Freres Vineyard Pinot Noir is famous for its sophisticated taste and grows in the Ribbon Ridge area of Oregon. The wine was considered to be among the top one percent of all wines in the world according to the 2015 Vintage. This wine is characterized by an acidic taste, a smooth finish, and is neither too light nor too bold. Some of the key ingredients of this wine include cherries, pepper, cinnamon, licorice, and spiced pear. The wine also exhibits dry fruits such as prunes and raisins.

History

The Beaux Freres winery is situated on a former pig farm in Ribbon Ridge, Oregon. The winery is spread over an area of 88 acres and is divided into two vineyards. The vineyard consists of plantations that are cultivated on south-facing slopes at 400 feet above sea level. Here, the wines are aged in French oak barrels over 10-12 months and then placed in stainless steel tanks to be bottled under gravity.


Best With Unlimited Budget

  • Name — Alexana Revana Vineyard Estate Pinot Noir
  • Winery — Alexana Winery
  • Country/Region — United States, Oregon, Dundee Hills 
  • Type — Oregon Pinot Noir
  • Aroma — Raspberry, Strawberry, Cinnamon, Pepper, Nutmeg, Violet
  • Grapes — Pinot Noir
  • Taste — Raspberry, Strawberry, Black Cherry, Vanilla, Earthy Notes
  • Alcohol Content — 14.1%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Seared Pork Chop, Coq Au Vin, Braised Chicken Thighs, Dark Chocolate Brownie
Overall Rating: 4.9

Positives
  • Perfectly Smooth
  • Perfectly Balanced
  • Rich Taste
  • Full Of Layers
Negatives
  • Might Be Too Complicated For Some People

Tasting Notes

Alexana Revana Vineyard Estate Pinot Noir is a light to medium-bodied wine produced in the Dundee Hills of Willamette Valley, Oregon. The wine was considered to be among the top one percent of all wines in the world according to the 2016 Vintage. This wine is characterized by a dry, slightly acidic taste, a smooth finish, and is neither too light nor too bold. On the palate, the wine is defined by cherry and raspberry flavors. These work well with a slight oakiness and hints of vanilla.

Perfection

Considering all the acclaim and awards, you can be confident when purchasing a bottle of Alexana Revana Vineyard Estate Pinot Noir for a special occasion. Think of it as the cherry on the top of any wine list and it will certainly pair with all the most exotic, traditional, or international cuisine that you would care to name. This is one for celebrating!

Conclusion

Oregon Pinot Noir is among the best red wines in the world. They come in multiple variants, they can be paired with almost any dish and are generally light on the stomach. The wines are also known for their floral aromas, fruity taste, and are usually not too acidic or too dry. What is the best Pinot Noir in Oregon? Hopefully, this list will help you to make an informed decision. Now, go ahead, buy your favorite and try a glass tonight.

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