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Bruno Michel "Blanche" Brut Champagne $34.99One of our best non-vintage Champagnes, this organically grown blend of half each Chardonnay and Meunier comes entirely from Bruno Michel's estate. It has been aged for six years on the lees and shows wonderful natural toasty quality as well as incredible vibrance! This was the big hit of our most recent staff Champagne tasting and we think you will love it too.

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« Getting to Know: Jeremy Bohrer | Main | Pre-Harvest Report: Willamette Valley 2010 »
Wednesday
Sep292010

Wine Wednesday: 2008 McKinlay Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Matt Kinne looking out over his vineyards.

"Decent wine needs to be affordable," says Matt Kinne, the bearded, soft-spoken sage of McKinlay Vineyards in the Willamette Valley. "Then wine will have a chance to surpass Budweiser as the national beverage."  Of course, it also has to be good. Kinne's 2008 McKinlay Willamette Valley Pinot Noir ($16.99) is both. Made from entirely estate-grown fruit on jory and nekiah (igneous volcanic) soils at a combination of three small vineyards near his home. 

Of course, you've probably never heard of McKinlay since Matt prefers to stick close to home tending his vines (as well as some goats and pigs) rather than run around the country marketing his wine. And he only makes between 2,500 and 3,200 cases per year, split between the Willamette bottling and smaller lots of single-vineyard and Reserve wines that sell out very quickly. 

The 2008 vintage was exceptional in the Willamette Valley and this wine certainly belies its modest price. More elegant than most Pinot Noirs under $20, it leans toward brighter, almost filigreed raspberry fruit, with an undercurrent of sweet cherry and a vein of minerals flecked with spice. The tannins are soft and focused, and there is plenty of juicy acidity to help it pair with almost anything you can cook up, including Matt's wife Holly's delicious seafood chowder. Unfortuantely, supplies are limited, but the riper, more forward '09s (which I recently tasted out of barrel) will be blended, bottled and released soon.

Want to learn more about Matt Kinne and McKinlay Vineyards? Check back soon for a video interview.

Leah Greenstein

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Reader Comments (1)

Yes, this man IS Zak G. Or should be played by him.

I seriously do hope that wine surpasses Budweiser. I think the world would be a much more lovely place if that became true.
October 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrooke@Foodwoolf

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