Value Alert: 2007 Adelsheim Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Here's an interesting one. If you're like me, and base at least some of your wine purchasing decisions on ratings from publications like Wine Spectator, you'll find that it's often tough to find inexpensive, highly-rated wines. Unless they're high-production, they disappear from the market quickly and retailers are unable to obtain them at or near their release price.

Take $20 domestic Pinot Noir as a category for example. According to Wine Spectator, only 2 wines are rated 90 or more point and cost $20 or less. Both are from Siduri. Good luck finding any of these around. When I have seen them they've been priced closer to $25 or $30 before quantity discounts. This kind of wrecks the QPR.

Sometimes it's a more effective approach to find the 90 pointers that *are* available in stores that are available at good prices. A problem with this approach is that you're at somewhat at the mercy of retailers and their often-shady shelf talkers. Of course you can always carry along a cheat-sheat in your pocket or carry along a mobile phone to look things up on the fly.

Recently, I picked up a wine at Wine Connextion in North Andover, MA that lists for $32, but was available for $23.99- the 2007 Adelsheim Pinot Noir Willamette Valley. I used the iPhone app to look up consumer ratings for this wine on CellarTracker. As of this writing, the wine carried a median of 88 points and an average community value of $29.79. This told me $23.99 was a good price for this wine, and since I'd received positive comments about Adelsheim from my cousin Michelle in the past, I bought a bottle.

I cracked it open last night after hearing Wine Spectator dropped a 90-point rating on the wine. They did a piece featuring 13 Oregon Pinot Noirs they scored between 90-92 points and cost between $32 and $85.

My Notes:

Rather low alcohol at only 12.8%. Light bodied as well, but not necessarily light in flavor. On the nose, in addition to red raspberries, was wet wood. Like the wet wood you'd smell waiting in the queue to ride the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ride at Disneyland after it's been raining. Quite fascinating, but perhaps the oak needs some time to integrate. After that, sour cherry on the palate. This is definitely not a big, amped up Pinot Noir. This is an elegant, thoughtful wine.

89 Points WWP/Very Good

Check 'em out:
Adelsheim Vineyard
On Twitter: @Adelsheim

Of course, another approach to wine buying is to simply trust your local wine merchant. I did just that recently and wound up with an Oregon Pinot Noir I'd rate 92 points and it only cost $15. Read more about that one HERE.

This Adelsheim would be a great wine to enjoy with the bird for Thanksgiving dinner. In case you missed it earlier this week here's our take on what wines to serve on Thanksgiving:

Purchase this from
Disclosure: I am a affiliate.

Question of the Day:
Have you had wines from Adelsheim before? If so, what did you think? If not, have you found any good Pinot Noir values lately?


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