Firesteed 2005 Oregon Pinot Noir

Firesteed Cellars holds an interesting page in the Pacific Northwest wine book. Formed in the early 90's as an answer to consumer demand for lower cost, quality reds in the emerging northwest wine regions, Firesteed started out as what you would call a virtual winery. Sourcing all of their fruit from other growers, utilizing cellar space at existing wineries, and borrowing spare time from other winemakers, Firesteed started out making an Oregon pinot and an Italian wine. In 2003, Firesteed bought an existing vineyard in Rickreall, OR and now is expanding in a more traditional fashion.

Yesterday we popped the cork on a bottle of the 2005 Oregon Pinot Noir. This pinot is a blend of grapes from 4 different appellations in Oregon. Right out of the chutes, this wine seemed a bit hot in terms of alcohol and it was getting a bit overpowered by the sirloin steak we were eating with it. The wine opened up over the course of the evening and a fruity, jammy nose emerged although the heat lingered on the finish of the wine. While I didn't dislike the wine, I wasn't overly impressed either. Tonight, I poured another glass and the wine has certainly mellowed out. My roommate and I both agree that we like it more this evening than last night, although I think it's a bit flat for my taste.

The saving grace of this vintage is the price -- at around $15 retail, it's quite affordable for an Oregon Pinot Noir. So, while it isn't my favorite, it's a great value wine and if you have those friends coming over who don't appreciate a really good wine, but you don't want to serve franzia or the likes, this may be a good route to go. Keep your eye on Firesteed as well, as they just produced a state best of classification Pinot Gris.


Anonymous said...

One and a half years later... I just opened a bottle of Firesteed 2005 Pinot Noir and it's absolutely fantastic. Smooth and delicious or maybe just way better than an Estancia, which I had right beforehand.