7 Unique Oregon Varieties That Aren’t Chardonnay Or Pinot Noir

In the August 2018 Issue of The Wine Advocate, Erin Brooks made her reviewing debut with her first (of many) Oregon reports. “I spent two weeks tasting samples from across the state and visiting more than 20 wineries in Willamette Valley. I didn’t need an umbrella—I needed sunscreen,” she says of the third hot, dry and sunny vintage the area has seen.

Indeed, the great state of Oregon produces a great number of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir—some of the finest in both the country and beyond. But the Beaver State has more to offer than those two varietals. “Producers are making delicious Oregon versions of Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux blends, Malbec, Tempranillo and Syrah,” Brooks says. “Eyrie [in the Willamette Valley] is crafting Pinot Gris, Pinot Meunier and Trousseau, while Origin [and other producers] are discovering the potential for Chenin Blanc.” 

These seven wines from Oregon—all rated 90 points or higher—are made with unique varietals to the region. Get to stocking up. 

"It's medium to full-bodied and black fruited in the mouth with very firm, fine-grained tannins and lovely freshness lifting the long, savory finish."

"The 2014 Petit Verdot Windrow Vineyard is very deep purple-black in color with a nose of blackcurrant, licorice and crushed black cherries with accents of blueberry, exotic floral perfume and savory nuances of smoked meat and bacon fat."

"This is a wonderful example of New World Viognier."

"The 2015 Tempranillo is pale to medium ruby-garnet in color with a nose of sour cherry, fresh cranberry, soy sauce, bitter root, tree bark and touches of tar."

"This puts most Beaujolais to shame."

"This is funky and delicious!"

"The palate is big and full-bodied with luscious dark fruit and spice notes, firm, grippy tannins and plenty of refreshing acidity carrying the long finish."

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