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McKinlay Pinot Noir, Villamette Valley '22
In the 1970’s and 1980’s a brave group of growers and winemakers began to plant grapes and produce wine in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. The AVA (American Viticultural Area) called Willamette Valley was established in 1983, a stretch of over 100 miles from Portland to Eugene.
From the outset, the belief among producers was that with its long and cool growing season, diversity of soils and exposures, these vineyards were an ideal place to grow Burgundian varieties. Today, Oregon’s Willamette Valley has over 900 vineyards and over 700 wineries, the majority of which are dedicated to Pinot Noir.
Matt Kinne’s is one of the old guard of Oregon Pinot Noir producers. He established his winery in 1987, his family long time farmers in the region. His great-grandfather, Reverend George Angus McKinlay is the namesake of the winery.
Matt’s winery is based in the Chehalem Mountain AVA of the Willamette Valley. He is a proponent of dry farmed vineyards, seeking to produce grapes with great balance and elegance. In the winery, little has changed over the 35 years since his start. Fermentation is with natural yeast in barrel, with little new oak used at the winery. He doesn’t fine nor filter his Pinot Noir.
The other thing that hasn’t changed about these wines is the pricing. In Oregon, where there is a sea of $40-$70 Pinot Noir, Matt’s Willamette Valley Pinot Noir continues to be one of the finest values in the state.
The 2022 offers beautiful notes of wild cherry, raspberry, and herbs. True to form, this wine is ultra silky, with a repetition of red fruit flavors, spice cake, and a long, elegant finish. Pair this with a classic roast chicken.
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