2016 Bow & Arrow Wines, Rhinestones, Johan Vineyard, Willamette Valley, Oregon.
The brilliant and edgy Rhinestones a Loire Valley inspired Pinot Noir and Gamay blend from Bow & Arrow Wines is one of the best Oregon wines that is under the radar, in fact it is one of the best new world wines for the money period! Scott Frank’s killing it with his latest releases at Portland’s Bow & Arrow Wines, especially this Touraine style Rhinestones cuvee that comes from the all organic/biodynamic vines and the marine sedimentary soils at Johan Vineyards, in the Van Duzer Corridor of the Willamette Valley, this wine has so much going on and still beautifully detailed. In Burgundy you have the earthy/feral Gamay and Pinot Noir blend, called Passetoutgrain, but while interesting it never seems to be taken too seriously, here though Frank reaches for the Loire for inspiration and the natural winemaking hot bed there to craft his Rhinestones, a wine that I’ve always loved, and this 2016 looks to be the best yet. It’s outrageously seductive and pretty with a stemmy/racy vitality and gorgeous purity, heightened by an exotic perfume and extraordinary length. Whole cluster and native ferment, the Rhinestones is an intriguing play between ripe fruitiness and savvy savoriness with a tangy, but juicy/generous Gamay palate and graceful Pinot Noir structure, it is nicely brisk and great slightly chilled, even though it fills out in the mouth with a medium body and a heavenly texture featuring black cherry, plum, mulberry and currant fruits along with sweet liquid roses, hints of lilac and walnut as well as dried basil, peppery spices, mineral, chalk, anise and cinnamon. The stems add grip and tension to this absolutely fantastic wine, judged on it’s own merits this stuff rocks and is truly profound, Bow & Arrow’s Gamay stand alone is pretty damn good, but this wine is on another level, it made me say the F-word followed by YEAH! The 2016 Rhinestones is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Gamay, it’s a runaway success of sensual sensations and vibrancy, Bow & Arrow has just blown away all the doors, removes all prejudice about blending Pinot Noir and shows Gamay to be a great partner of remarkable character, do not miss this wine. This is one of America’s new wine geek(y) treasures, unique and with it’s own personality that will appeal in particular to those with a wilder mind, this latest Rhinestones is sensational.
($24 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive

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