Naumes Family Vineyards, Rogue Valley (Oregon) Pinot Noir 2016

($40):  The history of the Naumes Family Vineyards seems to confirm the mantra that good wine starts in the vineyard. They’ve been making wine only for a handful of years, but have been farming fruit for 100 years, according to their website.  They must know how to grow grapes.  At the same time, I don’t want to take anything away from their winemaker because to make a Pinot Noir like this from a vineyard that was planted only in 2013 takes real talent.  Far too many New World Pinot Noir examples are solely fruity, lacking complexity.  Not this one.  They’ve managed to combine a delicate cherry-like fruitiness with a subtle, but clear, savory element that gives the wine the all-too-elusive “flavor without weight” character that I prize in Pinot Noir-based wines.  Its character is all the more impressive because the Rogue Valley is the warmest part of Oregon and Pinot Noir usually thrives in cooler climates.  Fine tannins and freshness make it perfect for current consumption.
92 Michael Apstein Apr 21, 2020