- The Washington Times - Monday, March 1, 2004

Wallace Brook Cellars, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, 2001, $15.

Oregon’s Willamette Valley grows arguably the best pinot noir in the United States — supple, seductive wines with genuine elegance and finesse. The only problem is that production tends to be small and prices high. The top wines, from such wineries as Breaux Freres, Domaine Drouhin, and Ken Wright, can sport price tags over $50.

Wallace Brook, made by pioneering Oregon vintner David Adelsheim, provides pinot panache much more affordably. Fashioned with grapes sourced throughout the Willamette Valley, it tastes of bright cherry fruit, with a spicy bouquet and a subtly earthy undertone.

Pinot noir is an inherently delicate grape that yields light-bodied, gentle wines.

Too many American vintners try to make their wines heavy, either by walloping them with oak or by letting the fruit get overripe and raisined. Nothing like that happens here. Instead, this wine tastes soft and delicate, just as a good glass of pinot should. Try it with roast chicken, grilled salmon or other foods that won’t overshadow its many nuanced charms.

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