' Blog - Lenne Estate


August 8, 2016
I am one of the most impatient people I know...ask my wife. But I have become very patient with wine. Is that an oxymoron?  Perhaps but there is nothing like experience to slap you in the face with the hard, cold reality: Oregon Pinot doesn't become interesting until 2 to 3 years after we release it. 

Okay, I have said it  and some of you may not want to hear it, but it is just the reality of Oregon Pinot Noir. At least you aren't waiting 15 years like some Burgundies(by the way, I only started collecting a few Pinot's from accross the pond since 2003 and haven't drunk a one of them).  But once you have been patient with your Oregon Pinot Noirs you will never go back to drinking them young.

Recently I have revisited the coolest vintage ever, 2011. I tasted the 2011 LeNez numerous time in the last two months. While still delicate, it is delicous, with aromas starting to develop that were only on a wish list two or three years ago. I suspect it will be around for another decade and in two to three years will be savor worthy. Then I tried the 2011 Lenné Eleanor's 114 and the 2011 Karen's Pommard and both of them were like bright lights, illuminating what the difficult vintages can become. I am starting to form a clear image of where these wines are headed. In two to three years they may become one of my favorite vintages, time will tell. 

But there is no doubt that there is magic in this vintage. I skiped over it in favor of the 2012 wines because the 2011 wines were undrikable 4 years ago. Not anymore. The more I do this the more I realize it is the cooler vintages that capture my imagination, never in the beginning but always in the end. We are so lucky to have this variation and it sure keeps life interesting for me. 

I hope you have 2011 wines in your cellar and if you do, hold them at least another year. Yes, I know, nothing comes easy that is good and it couldn't be more true with respect to Pinot Noir from the Northern Willamette Valley. Just be gratefull that you don't have to wait as long as Burgundy.