The 2010 Wine by Joe Pinot Noir is 100% Pinot Noir sourced from contracted vineyards, mainly Willamette Valley with grapes also from Umpqua Valley.This isn’t a cutesy “Brand” wine, there is a Joe, he is Joe Dobbes, since 2002 he has owned and operated Joe Dobbes Wines in Willamette Valley, Oregon. 22 years ago he apprenticed at a winery in Burgundy, France and since then he has worked at topnotch wineries in California and Oregon. This Pinot Noir lists for $19, but is available on the internet mostly in the $15 range. Oregon Pinot Noir normally does not sell for under twenty dollars and the reason the Wine by Joe is value priced is that the grapes are not Estate grown grapes and were sourced from a number of vineyards. But, he is not buying grapes on the open market, these grapes are basically sourced from friends and neighbors. Joe Dobbes does not go in for the latest fade in winemaking, such as micro-oxygenation, these wine are made the traditional way. This Pinot Noir was aged in used French oak barrels and the alcohol content is 13.5%.
The color is a pale cherry red. The nose is light and delicate, red fruit, black cherries and raspberry, herbs and mushroom, with a faint touch of spice. This Pinot is delicate with a nice touch of finesse. It tastes of cherry with a bit of a grip in the back of your palate, along with a mix of savory herbs and sauteed mushroom. The acidity is well balanced and gives the wine excellent length. The finish is light, clean and long.
Inexpensive Pinot Noir usually do not come with this much finesse, they tend to be fruit forward with a decent array of Pinot’s funky flavors, but they are almost always a bit too heavy to compete with the big boys. The Wine by Joe Pinot Noir has more in common with the Pinot’s of Burgundy and the expensive Oregon Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, than it does with you usual bargain Pinot. Now, I enjoy a number of bargain priced Pinot Noir, for the price they tend to be more interesting than a comparably priced Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon. But the Wine by Joe Pinot Noir isn’t just a good, cheap Pinot Noir, it is a solid representation of what is good about Oregon Pinot Noir.