Caballus Cellars, Willamette Valley (Oregon) Pinot Noir 2016

($129):  Caballus, a cooperative effort of Veronique Drouhin and Isabell Dutartre, two horse lovers, mothers, and winemakers, is a stunning wine that shows the heights Oregon Pinot Noir can achieve.  Caballus starts with wonderful aromatics and them combines bright but subtle red fruit flavors with minerals.  It’s alluring revealing a hint of this and smidgen of that.  A stylish wine, its suave texture and delicacy makes it a joy to drink.  A welcome hint of bitterness, more minerality speaking, in the finish reminds us that its emphasis is not on fruitiness.  The wine expresses far more.  It demonstrates my definition of Burgundian sensibility — flavor without weight.  It’s a bit incongruous than Drouhin Oregon’s property, Domaine Drouhin Oregon, focuses on, and makes exemplary wines from, single appellations (the Dundee Hills and Eola-Amity AVAs), whereas Caballus is a blend from AVAs within the Willamette.  Just goes to show there’s more than one way to make superb wine.
96 Michael Apstein Apr 12, 2022