1998 Willamette Valley Vineyards 1998 Freedom Hill Pinot Noir

To celebrate a belated anniversary, Megan and I had an important decision to make. What wine in our collection would be worthy of such an occasion? Our choice was a true treat - a 1998 Fredom Hill Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley Vineyards, which represents one of the WVV single vineyard signature Pinot Noirs.

After sampling this sultry deep red, unfiltered gem (91 points by Wine Enthusiast) nearly one year previously, Megan and I decided that this indeed was our favorite Pinot Noir. By the way, the Hoodview and Karina Vineyard Pinots are absolutely superb too! Stay tuned for reviews on these beauties! Ok, back to the review...

After a brief breathing period, two glasses were poured. My first observation was the rich deep red color and supple texture resulting in a smooth mouthfeel superior to other, less refined Pinots. I attribute this unique texture and mouthfeel to the unfiltered nature of this wine.

Placing one's nose over the glass results in a very complex reward that is rich in oak, caramel, black cherry, and vanilla. A brief sip confirms these olfactory signals, while bringing anise and cinnaman to the pallete. The wine is ever so subtly sweet and spicy, rich with the taste of dried black cherries. There is no bite, the Freedom Hill is smooth all the way from sip to swallow. It's the kind of wine that is perfectly suited to drinking in front of a warm fire, rich and elegant, yet comforting and soft.

If you ever have the opportunity to enjoy one of WVV's single vinyard Pinot Noirs, take it. The single vinyard yield allows the winemaker to bring out the subtulty of a specific grape and highlight each unique characteristic. An effort well appreciated in the 1998 Willamette Valley Vineyards Freedom Hill Pinot Noir.