Chehalem 3 Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006

I just moved the final 11 cases of wine from a storage space in downtown San Diego to our garage. Ouch. Remind me to never, ever move again – it’s been one year since I moved here, and I still have no idea where half of my wine is. That bottle of Ch. Musar Dad gave me? I dunno, maybe under the guest bed?Anyhow, I tried and somewhat succeeded to jam it all in a cheesy DIY “500 bottle” stand-alone wine cooling unit: it didn’t quite work, so I decided to just pull all of the stuff in Stelvin out and keep it in the one cool spot in the garage. I figure I’ll try to drink it this summer or serve it to wedding guests in August, what the heck.This brings us to this lovely bottle of Chehalem pinot noir. Oddly enough, this is the first red wine I’ve ever drunk from Chehalem: I love their rieslings and their pinot gris is pretty darned good too. They are of course from Oregon, however, so I’m obviously way behind on the Pacific Northwest boosterism/logrolling schedule, so here we go.First off, there’s a soothing, transfixing cola nut and Rainier cherry note that springs up the moment you unscrew the cap. It’s the kind of smell that instantly puts you at ease: whew, I just blew twenty bucks on a bottle of pinot and is thankfully not crap. It’s just a little bit sappy, so it doesn’t really strike me as a truly high end pinot, but the quality to price ratio? I can work with that just fine. There could also be just a hint of spicy barrel in there as well, and there’s even something like fresh roasted chestnuts (without the roasting). Go figure!Color is lovely: a milky light red that’s miles away from the overdone dark of some New World pinot. The flavor comes as a bit of a (welcome) surprise: fairly acidic and bright, no obvious sweetness, good body, with a bit of wood (?) supporting full, vibrant cherry and other red fruits. This is a fine example of standard quality Oregon pinot noir, and it’s very good value for money.NB: there seems to a very slight spritziness here that dissipates quickly; you might want to decant this one.ChehalemPrice: US $32Closure: StelvinDate tasted: June 2008

One thought on “Chehalem 3 Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006

  1. Thank you so much for your wonderful review. I think you hit it spot on! The 2006 was a very good bottling for us, even more interesting, the 2007 is going to deliver more bang for your buck. In fact, we are bottling it today, and through the rest of the week. So look out to try the ’07 in a little more than a month, although I would like to see it with a little more bottle age before release. BTW, we have free shipping on case orders + 10% off in the months of October and May. Thanks again, we really appreciate it!
    John House, Chehalem Sales Manager.

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