Today's New York Times is reporting about a vintage that has already received plenty of accolades: The 2008 pinot noirs from Oregon's Willamette Valley. I've noted here before that I firmly believe these wines are among the best examples in the world of this notoriously finicky grape variety. And the region has had more than its share of standout vintages recently. But this one, it seems, is striking a particularly passionate chord.
These 2008's are, in general, "consistently top-notch. They were balanced and well-structured by virtue of their lively acidity," wrote Eric Asimov in today's column. "They were full of delicious red-fruit flavors without being syrupy, over the top or, to use the dreaded phrase of wine marketers, 'fruit forward.' They offered the rare combination of fruitiness and restraint. Most of them will be versatile with food. They are 'nonsteroidal pinot noirs,' as [tasting-panel member] Joshua [Nadel] put it."