Yamhill Valley Vineyards 2004 Estate Pinot Noir


Those of you who won’t drink a wine with a screw top might as well stop reading right now. This is not an entry for wine snobs. On the other hand, if you have accepted the idea that screw tops are becoming more and more common and that a good wine does not need a cork, I’ve got a treat for you.

In my last entry, I raved about the delicious lamb and pasta that my wife and I had at The Clifton Inn. Choosing a wine to go with two dishes that different was not as easy as picking a cabernet to go with two steaks. We wanted a red’ but something light that would complement the lamb without overpowering the pasta. I had heard some good things about Oregon Pinot Noir, so I took a chance on something new to me: Yamhill Valley Vineyards 2004 Estate Pinot Noir.

Yamhill View

Yamhill Valley Vineyards is a 150 acre estate bottled vineyard and winery in the eastern foothills of Oregon’s coast range mountains. Of its 97 acres of grapes, 94 are dedicated to the Pinot family; pinot noir, pinot gris, and pinot blanc. According to its winemaker, Stephen Cary, Yamhill Valley Vineyards is located in Willamette Valley, in which eroded marine sedimentary soils dominate. Most other Oregon pinot areas have strong volcanic influences that are largely lacking in the Valley. Cary says that Yamhill Valley has “heavy clay soils that produce Pinot Noirs with unusually intense color, tannin, and structure.” He credits this terroir for making his pinot noirs unique.

Now, in spite of my warning to the wine snobs a moment ago, I have to admit that my first reaction when I saw the waitress unscrewing the cap on the bottle was concern. It is easy to succumb to snobbishness at a nice restaurant, particularly when one is trying to impress one’s new wife with a non-existent knowledge of every wine and vineyard in the universe. But my momentary snootiness did not survive my first sip.

This is a very nice wine with aromas of strawberry, blackberry, cherry. You might even get a touch of tobacco as you first stick your nose into the glass. The taste is a light combination of blackberry, cherry, and plum flavors. It is a dry, mellow, fruity wine. Cary tells me that 2004 was an excellent vintage and that his Pinot Noir will continue to improve for several years. As my experience at Clifton taught me, this is the perfect wine to get if you need to match red meat with lighter fare, such as pasta, chicken, or even fish.

Yamhill Valley Vineyards 2004 Estate Pinot Noir is available in a number of Northern Virginia and D.C. retail shops, including Daily Planet in Alexandria, Il Vino in Fairfax, and Vienna Vintner in Vienna. Cary also asked me to tell you that Yamhill Valley Vineyards is also offering its 2002 Pinot Noir Reserve, a “fabulous . . . and rather undervalued” wine at $30/btl. For further details on distribution in the D.C. area contact Malcolm Riddle at (703) 861-1699 or Jabo Gintner at (703) 217-8226.

5 Stars
$22 per bottle

Published in: on August 17, 2006 at 11:00 pm  Comments (7)  

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hello,

    Excellent review of this wine, I have not had a lackluster Pinot Noir out of the Willamette Valley yet. Styles may differ but all the Pinots have been good to delicious. Screw tops are a reality in young whites and softer reds meant to be consumed young so I can fully understand. Some people, creatures of habit, are taken aback when they first see the screw top. I suppose its association with cheap street corner wines still have lingering effects.

    Nice picture and once again excellent review. I will try to find this at Total Wine.

    Happy Sipping!


  2. Kudo’s to Stephan Cary for putting premium wine in screwcap and kudo’s to the above consumers for ‘getting over’ cork. As a winemaker I fail to see the point in farming my vineyard meticulously and carefully crafting fine wine only to roll the dice on a closure that will fail 5-10% of the time. There is also a misconception that wines bottled in screwcap are somehow less worthy of cellering. This is purely myth as the technology now allows for screwcaps to ‘breath’ in much the same way as cork should ( without the wide range of variability ). If we insist on projecting a sense of romance onto wine I think we should better choose who we share the wine with. Cork will only break your heart.

    Jerry D. Murray
    Patton Valley Vineyard

  3. […] Oregon pinot was from a vineyard featured in Wine with Dinner’s very first wine entry, Yamhill Valley Vineyards. In that entry, I reviewed Yamhill’s 2004 Estate Pinot Noir. For […]

  4. […] Oregon pinot was from a vineyard featured in Wine with Dinner’s very first wine entry, Yamhill Valley Vineyards. In that entry, I reviewed Yamhill’s 2004 Estate Pinot Noir. For […]

  5. I have seen another great review sounds like an amazing wine”Don’t let this wine pass you by! The last four releases of this wine have sold out within a matter of a few months, and the 2006 release is certainly going to do the same. Top, top quality, appellation-specific Oregon Pinot Noir for under $20 is becoming nearly impossible to get–all the more reason to grab 2006 Yamhill Pinot Noir Estate today!

    Yamhill Valley Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir is a bold red from the top wine region of Oregon, The new 2006 release bears the new McMinnville AVA (Approved Viticultural Appellation), one of the newest and smallest in America. This is an assertive Pinot Noir for lovers of big, earthy red wines. Yamhill Valley Vineyards is located in a 150-acre estate in the rolling foothills of Oregon’s Coast Range Mountains, one hour southwest of Portland in the WillametteValley.”


  6. Have you ever ever experienced a very memorable glass of wine?

    What about a unforgettable bottle? Which was additional crucial towards your experience, the company or perhaps the wine alone?

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