Contributing Editor


Reviews wines from Oregon and Washington.

Oregon Wines

The Oregon Wine region has become synonymous with high quality Pinot Noir, and rightfully so, according to our Oregon Wine Guide. Within the last decade, the Willamette Valley AVA has seen a notable increase both in production and accolades for their wines. The moderate maritime climate allows the Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris grapes to gain flavor and structure during the warm days, yet maintain their acidity with the cooler temperatures that can roll in from the Pacific Ocean. Within the Willamette Valley, there are six sub appellations all with their own sub climate and terroir. The single vineyard Pinot Noirs from these areas are some of the highest rated wines in our Oregon Wine Reviews. The Southern Oregon AVA is the other main wine region and includes the sub AVAs of the Umpqua and Rogue Valleys. While Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris dominate the plantings throughout this area, as they do in the Willamette, Syrah and Cabernet Franc can also produce rather intricate and bold wines, especially in the Rogue Valley. Our Oregon Wine Ratings will help to decipher the wines that are worth your attention and have received the highest acclaim.

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100
points

Cayuse 2007 En Chamberlin Vineyard Syrah (Walla Walla Valley (OR))

  • Online Exclusive
  1. $65
In a stunning lineup of Cayuse Syrahs, the En Chamberlin wins by a nose. It’s smooth and silky, with a tongue-bending blend of flavors that include blood and iron, umami and salt, at first overtaking the pure fruit, but adding tremendous depth and power. The endless finish unfolds into a wine with exotic spices and complex layering.  — P.G.  (2/1/2011)
99
points

Cayuse 2009 En Chamberlin Vineyard Syrah (Walla Walla Valley (OR))

  • Editors' Choice
  1. $75
In a vintage that produced the finest overall lineup of Cayuse wines to date, it may seem a little nit-picky to score some higher and some lower. But the En Chamberlin deserves first place again. Brilliant aromatics of smoked meat, bacon fat and otherworldly roasted accents seduce instantly. Once on the palate, the silky, balanced, near-perfect mix of umami and…  — P.G.  (3/1/2013)
99
points

Cayuse 2007 Cailloux Vineyard Syrah (Walla Walla Valley (OR))

  • Cellar Selection
  • Online Exclusive
  1. $65
The only one of the Cayuse Syrahs that is co-fermented with Viognier, this opens with a stunning, floral bouquet, showing extraordinary depth and texture. The wine has a floral top, a thickly fruity middle and a base with smoke, rock and meat. Still very young, it is already a complete, fully-realized, near-perfect wine with a finish that extends for many minutes…  — P.G.  (2/1/2011)
98
points

Cayuse 2007 Bionic Frog Syrah (Walla Walla Valley (OR))

  • Online Exclusive
  1. $75
Often considered the iconic Cayuse wine, this bears the cartoonish label with the leering frog, though it is a single-vineyard offering like the others. Initially showing some fat and sweetness, it is supple and textural, with the density that comes from a mix of flavors: pain grillé, smoke, umami, fungus, coffee grounds and dark fruits. A richly organic compendium…  — P.G.  (2/1/2011)
98
points

Cayuse 2007 En Cerise Vineyard Syrah (Walla Walla Valley (OR))

  • Online Exclusive
  1. $65
Aromatic and invited, almost jet black in color, this single-vineyard offering is a pungent mix of blood orange, rosemary and cassis. Dense and focused, compact and layered, it is structured very much like a Cabernet, but with a full palette (and palate) of Syrah fruit flavors.  — P.G.  (2/1/2011)
98
points

Cayuse 2007 Widowmaker Cabernet Sauvignon (Walla Walla Valley (OR))

  • Online Exclusive
  1. $70
This En Chamberlin vineyard offering has never been better. Simply spectacular Cabernet Sauvignon, pure and focused and textural and terroirdriven. A low yield, pure varietal wine, it is immensely concentrated, deeply flavored with cassis, cherry, and berry fruit that is substantial and detailed, with a light dappling of dried herb, chocolate powder, licorice and…  — P.G.  (2/1/2011)
97
points

Cayuse 2009 The Widowmaker Cabernet Sauvignon (Walla Walla Valley (OR))

  • Cellar Selection
  1. $80
Using grapes sourced entirely from the En Chamberlin Vineyard, this pure Cabernet is deep, dark, focused and tight, with firm but velvety tannins and a perfect mix of cassis, coffee and earth. Even more than previous years, this vintage displays astonishing depth and power. Flavors of Serrano ham and other cured meats, plus a delicate saltiness and minerality keep…  — P.G.  (3/1/2013)
97
points

Ken Wright 2012 Abbott Claim Vineyard Pinot Noir (Yamhill-Carlton District)

  • Editors' Choice
  1. $65
From first sniff this exquisite wine grabs you and won’t let go. Brambly berries, redolent with rich umami notes of spice and pine needle cascade into a wine densely packed with fruit and herbs. It lingers, opens and becomes more and more expressive, with soil-generated flavors of forest floor.  — P.G.  (8/1/2014)
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