Iris Vineyards, Willamette Valley (Oregon) Pinot Noir “Areté” 2018

($35):  The wine is great, really superb.  The heavy bottle stinks.  Iris trumpets sustainable farming practices on their website, but resorts to environmentally unhealthy heavy bottles.  I’ll get off my soap box now because I review wines, not environmental practices, and this one is worth raving about.  And even at $35 a bottle, it is a bargain to boot.  Weighing in at 14.5 percent stated alcohol, it’s bolder and weighty than Iris’ regular Pinot Noir, but it is graceful, not heavy.  Bolder, yes, but the seemingly weightless character of Pinot Noir remains apparent.  The fruit signature here is more black than red, but the wine displays the same alluring and seamless dark fruit/savory balance found in their regular bottling.  Its silky texture makes it a delight to drink — really savor — over the course of a meal.  Another one to keep your eye out for.
95 Michael Apstein Aug 23, 2022