The Edwards Agency

Home & Garden

The Wine Cellar: International Pinot Noir Celebration--the Wines

The Wine Cellar by Rene Corton
The tenth annual International Pinot Celebration featured wines from the 1993 and 1994 vintages. Both vintages were good to excellent in California. The 1993 vintage in Oregon started late and developed slowly until record warm weather in September and October ripened the fruit nicely, and harvest conditions were mostly dry. The resultant wines are aromatic and well balanced with good acidity and tannins.
   In 1994, rain during the flowering season decreased the crop size, and the warm dry growing season resulted in very ripe concentrated fruit picked under ideal conditions. These wines are big, densely colored, and have ripe fruit flavors with moderate acidity and soft tannins.
   In short, the '94s are big forward attention-getters, while the '93s are probably more classic and ageworthy.
   Remember that vintage comments are only guides; making great pinot noir is partly science and partly art, and variations between producers can be much more important than vintages. Of the over 100 pinot noirs evaluated, I have selected some from Oregon that serve as outstanding examples and illustrate particular points.   Other outstanding wines: 1994 Tori Mor, 1994 Eola Hills Winemakers Reserve, 1994 Drouhin, 1994 Chehalem Reserve, 1993 Cameron Abbey Ridge, 1993 Bethel Heights Flat Block, and 1993 Adelsheim Elizabeth's Reserve.