bottle shot - 2016 Pinot Noir

94 points – PinotFile
92 – James Suckling
91  – Wine Enthusiast
91 – Wine & Spirits
92  – Washington Wine Blog
Gold – SavorNW Wine Awards
Silver –  SF Chronicle
Silver – SF International
Silver – Oregon Wine Awards
Silver – Cascadia Wine Competition
Outstanding! – Great Northwest Wine

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2016 Knudsen Vineyards Pinot noir

A bright ruby color denotes the vibrant youthfulness of this Dundee Hills Pinot noir. The nose is blooming with soft rose petal, ripe raspberry and cherry pit. Touches of worn leather and warm, toasted oak linger in the background. The wine is medium-bodied, with pliable tannins and well-integrated acidity. It has a core of ripe cherry and an essence of strawberry, framed by a gentle herbal note which gives lift to a well-balanced finish.

55 | 46.75 Club

94 points

“Complex and toasty oak on offer here with a core of fresh lemons and peaches in pristine form. The palate has a terrific, powerful core of mouthwatering lemons and white nectarines and a wave of toasty, attractively spicy oak through the finish.”

James Suckling

96 points

“Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. Complimentary aromas of citrus fruits, honey and caramel oak. Gentle and soothing on the palate, with delightful flavors of lemon, pineapple, apple pan dowdy, crème brûlée and subtle blonde caramel. The wine has a generous acid underbelly and the oak is woven in beautifully. Highly refreshing, with a finish that strongly encourages another sip.”

prince of pinot logoRusty Gaffney, PinotFile

92 points

“Textbook Willamette Valley Chardonnay from the Dundee Hills AVA—I have toured the vineyard more than once, a parcel planted in 1995 with French Dijon clones—the vines sit in deep, brick-hued volcanic soils at elevations between ranging from 710-650 feet. Purity reigns here—a kaleidoscope of crisp Opal apples, pears and lemon curd sink beneath a dusting of talcum powder. The oak is well integrated, lending a light touch of toast to balance out an elegant mineral and spice flecked fruit profile.

Christine Havens

GOLD – 2019 SavorNW Wine Awards


SILVER – 2019 SF Chronicle Wine Competition

SILVER – 2019 SF International Wine Competition

SILVER2019 Cascadia Wine Competition

94 points – PinotFile
“Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Quintessential Dundee Hills Pinot Noir featuring waves of red cherry and red raspberry fruit aromas and flavors, complimented by tones of sandalwood, baking spices and fertile earth. I swear I could taste an “iron minerality” in this wine. Impeccably balanced, with a deft touch of oak, empowering juiciness and a long cherry-fueled finish. Intoxicating in a good way.”

92 Points – James Suckling
Sweetly fragrant aromas of fresh berries and berry pastry make for an attractive, young-pinot nose. The palate has a sweet of fine, grainy tannins and a smoothly ripened, deliciously fresh-fruited palate.

91 Points – Wine Enthusiast

92 points – International Wine Report
“The bouquet of the wine screams Dundee Hills with delightful dark fruits, spicebox and black truffle aromatics that build in the glass. The palate is downright delicious, unveiling a good combination of red and dark fruits with a touch of cola and earthy undertones. The mid-palate weight delights.”

Outstanding, Selected Wine of the Week – Wine Press Northwest
“The historic Knudsen family, led by the late Cal Knudsen’s daughter, Page, adds another delicious chapter to its young brand with this fruit-forward Pinot Noir crafted by Argyle winemaker Nate Klostermann. Clone 777 dominates this blend across four blocks, and the dark fruit profile is reminiscent of boysenberry, blackcurrant and black cherry. The 16 months in 20% new French oak barrels allows for baking spice, cola and toasted sesame seed as a touch of earthiness adds to its panache. Pleasing density of plum, cherry-skin tannins and boysenberry acidity combine for a rich finish. This marks the third consecutive vintage that Great Northwest Wine’s tasting panel has given its top rating to the Knudsen flagship Pinot Noir, adding validation to Wine Press Northwest magazine naming Knudsen Vineyards as its 2016 Oregon Winery to Watch.”

Mary Cressler, Vindulge
“I tasted the very first vintage of this wine several years ago, and I love trying it year after year. And one of the biggest things I get is consistency. It’s always incredibly elegant, pretty, and balanced. A lighter style for the Willamette Valley, but not lacking in flavor, it has black cherry, cranberries, minerality, a touch earthy, with some spice and good acidity. This was one of the wines I brought onto AM Northwest to pair with Thanksgiving dinner.”

92 Points – Washington Wine Blog’s “Pacific Northwest Wines for Thanksgiving”
“I love the earthy aspects of this great Pinot Noir but this, too, has the weight to stand up to turkey.”

Christine Havens
“The 2016 vintage was quite warm for the Willamette Valley, here Knudsen’s estate-grown Pinot Noir expresses a touch more black fruit than I have found in previous vintages—black cherry and black raspberry along with more ethereal notes of twiggy underbrush, a touch of iron ore, talc, and nuanced florality. It’s round and silky on the palate, with ultra-fine, ripe tannins and a degree of expressive lushness as one would expect for the vintage.”

The Daily Meal
“I’m always excited to see Willamette Valley on a bottle of Pinot Noir – this Oregon region has become one of my favorites for wines made from the heartbreak grape. Knudsen Vineyards Pinot Noir 2016 from the Dundee Hills AVA is a charming sip. Medium-bodied with vibrant crushed cherry flavors with a touch of strawberry, pomegranate, and a touch of black tea leaves. Very supple and fresh.”

Appellation: Dundee Hills

Soil: Jory – red volcanic: drains well during winter; holds water during summer heat.
Alcohol: 14.1%
pH: 3.62
Oak: 20% New French Oak
TA: 5.2 g/L
Cases: 500

This is the fifth vintage Pinot noir from Knudsen Vineyards and reflects an early and ripe vintage of wonderful fruit with perfect natural acidity, great depth of flavor, structure and complexity. Grapes from Block 5, among the lower elevation blocks at Knudsen Vineyards, provide the foundation for this wine, reflecting a brilliant light garnet color, red, with a hint of darker, berry aromas, great fruit freshness, palette weight and length. Block 5 has 18 year old vines planted to the French Dijon 777 clone. This wine is enhanced and gains complexity with smaller and equal contributions from Block 3 French Dijon 777 and 667 clones planted in 2001 and darker, deeply aromatic fruit with mild earthiness from higher elevation Block 1, planted in 2007 with the heritage Pommard clone. The wine was aged 16 months in 20% new oak barrels prior to bottling. This is a beautifully textured, fresh fruited and drinkable wine which will age well for 5 – 10 years.

The 2016 growing season was one of the earliest on record and the third of three consecutive warm growing seasons, pushing the envelope for defining the new normal in Oregon. Bud break was two to four weeks earlier than usual and a brief heat spell at bloom condensed flowering, resulting in a smaller fruit set and clusters. July and August had fewer heat spikes compared to the 2014 and 2015 vintages, which led to smaller berry size and a higher concentration of flavors, while consistent warmth in August shepherded along an early harvest commencing in late August and concluding in mid- September. The 2016 vintage produced ripe and rich fruit with supple tannins, typically strong natural acidity and great flavor intensity. 2016 was an exceptional vintage in Oregon.