5 Winners from the Willamette Valley

October 2020
Written By: 
James Ginley
Photographs by: 
courtesy of the wineries

With over 500 wineries, it’s Oregon’s answer to Napa 

Elouan Chardonnay 2018
Willamette Valley, Oregon $18

Pale gold in color, the nose is full of apple, citrus, and honeysuckle aromas. On the zesty palate, hints of honey, passion fruit and peaches come together. There’s a bit of oak throughout this medium-body, fruit forward example of Oregon winemaking. A good match for seafood dishes, chicken and pork.

Willamette Valley Pinot Gris 2018
Willamette Valley, Oregon $16

Nectarine, tangerine and lime hints on the nose, with green apple, lychee and honeydew flavors in the mouth. Balanced and fruity, with refreshing acidity and a crisp, tart extended finish. The Pinot Gris grape is drier, with more body than Pinot Grigio, and it goes well with salads, seafood, and Asian dishes. Earned a 90 point rating from Wine Enthusiast.

Cristom Mt. Jefferson Cuvée Pinot Noir 2018
Salem, Oregon $35

This unique Pinot Noir is a blend, or cuvée, from Cristom estate and other nearby vineyards. Red berry and orange peel aromas, plus dried fruit and spice, give it tangy acidity and firm tannins. With structure and finesse, it will please the most discerning palate. Pinots are versatile and will complement many foods, including salmon, roasted chicken or duck, and beef dishes.

Résonance Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2017
Carlton, Oregon $33

This winery opened just a few years ago  and is owned by Maison Louis Jadot, founded in 1859, in the Burgundy region of France. Like all wineries in Burgundy, Jadot specializes in Pinot Noir, and this American version won’t disappoint. Aromas of red and black fruits, with subtle spice. The taste is elegant and rich, coming to a prolonged finish. Rated 93 points by Wine Spectator. 

Adelsheim Willamette Valley Rosé 2019
Newberg, Oregon $16

A nose of strawberry and peach lead to a smooth, well-textured palate with structure and bright acidity. This wine is 100% Pinot Noir and was bottled this past spring. The refreshing taste can accompany many dishes, such as appetizers, salads, and lighter fare. One of the first vineyards in the Willamette Valley, this label is also the first of the Artist Series done by local artists.