Based out of Eugene, but widely distributed within the areas of Oregon we have been traveling thus far, Hinman Vineyards (http://www.hinmanvineyards.com) is the first Oregon Pinot Noir we are tasting. As a ‘test’ we decided to try the Rogue Valley Red (Syrah, Cab Sauv, Merlot and Cab Franc) first to give us a baseline of grapes we were widely familiar with. This blend was a gentle, smooth, easy drinking red with minimal tannins and acid.
This evening we twisted the cap on the Pinot Noir. It is claimed to be a blend of Willamette Valley and Rogue vineyards. It is translucent, quite likely the lightest red wine I have poured; terrific, that is what I expect from a true Pinot Noir. The nose is subtly smoke and earth, the palate is pie cherry and raspberries all the way through the minimal tannic finish. Not bad, in fact, good. Our Washington palates and expectations had to be put aside to be open-minded enough to experience the reality of Pinot Noir. We will call this a success and look forward to the last week of our vacation as we meander through Oregon’s Willamette Valley tasting and learning about the AVA’s on this western side of Oregon.