2017 Dr. Edge, Pinot Noir, Williamette Valley, Oregon.
Peter Dredge is Dr. Edge, an Aussie cutting edge (no pun intended) winemaker based in Tasmania, famous for Pinot in his homeland, has released a selection from the Willamette Valley in Oregon and I was thrilled to get my hands on it, it is a ripe and vivid Pinot with loads personality and eccentric charms. This bottling, one of three distinct Oregon Pinots by Dr. Edge, is a blend of Chehalem and Eola-Amity vineyard sites with some Jory (volcanic) and marine sedimentary soils and it shows it with hints of smoke, flinty stones and mineral to go with an impressive array of vivid red fruits, light floral tones and snappy herb and spice on the medium bodied palate, that is lively, but silky textured. The Dr. Edge wines have already created quite a buzz and an almost frenzy to get them, especially after some insanely good ratings from well respected critics, in other words, the word is out, these wines have become the hot ticket. I think there is so many great new Oregon wines right now, it would be hard to elevate just a few and there are plenty of awesome values to be had as well, so while I was greatly impressed with this 2017 Dr. Edge Willamette Valley Pinot, there are plenty of alternate choices in case you can’t find it, now is a fantastic time to discover the new generation of Willamette producers. I am now getting a thirst for Dredge’s Tassie Pinot, and his new Oregon Gamay, both of which are getting a buzz too.
This 2017 Dr. Edge Willamette Valley Pinot, which has a label perfect for the Halloween season, comes from sustainable and organic vines and looks to have some whole cluster, which helps cut into the ripe fruit character of the vintage and brings some savory notes to the profile which is led by black cherry, plum, crushed raspberry and pomegranate fruits and some pretty details that are accented by some peppery notes, tea spices, wild herb and a subtle wood toast. It’s the play between its satiny round texture and its expressive vivid nature that captivates you in this bright ruby/garnet Pinot. Peter does not give away too many of his secrets, but I would think he is following his generation’s trend of mostly used French oak in the aging and fermenting his wines with lots of whole bunches and native yeasts to promote terroir character in his wines as well as allowing the purity of the grapes to shine through. I will be trying my best to get some of the 2018s to compare, especially since these 2017s were just his first goes with Willamette sourced Pinot and are already getting huge attention. The 2017 opens up exceptionally well, delivering a top notch performance when it gets some air, blowing off a touch of reduction, and it was incredibly hard not to seduced by the complexity and lingering aftertaste, this is tasty stuff and it should only get better in the next 3 to 5 years. There’s a lot of pleasure to be found here, it will appeal to a wide range of Pinot lovers and there will be no penalty for opening it in its youth, though I suggest enjoying it with cuisine, it has a generous vinous mouth feel, but it will impress more with food.
($45 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive