The Cloudline Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2021 is 100% Pinot Noir sourced from several vineyards in the Willamette Valley AVA of Oregon, about an hour south of Portland. Cloudline is a brand (this is its 20th year) from Domaine Drouhin in collaboration with their importer Dreyfus, Ashby, and Co.
The Drouhin Family has one of the largest wine estates in Burgundy, France (founded in 1880) and has expanded to a 235-acre estate in the Willamette Valley in 1987. They bring an established Burgundian style to Oregon wine. The 235-acre estate vineyard is named the Roserock vineyard and 25% of the grapes for the Cloudline Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2021 come from this vineyard.
The Cloudline Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2021 received 91 points from Wine Advocate and should be found in both wine shops and grocery stores with a decent wine selection. I found this Pinot Noir selling for $16.99 at a local supermarket chain and the Cloudline is one of the leading-selling Willamette Valley wines.
While 25% of the Pinot grapes come from the estate vineyard the other 75% of the grapes come from top-quality vineyards. The Drouhin Family has had relationships with local growers and wineries for 35 years and has access to excellent grapes.
While Willamette Valley is not known for producing under $20 wines, they specialize in the $25 to $75 range, there are a few quality value-priced Pinot Noir to be found. The sales literature for these well-priced Pinots always refers to them as easy-drinking wines as if the expensive wines are somehow hard to drink.
The 2021 vintage in the Willamette Valley was long and dry, giving the grapes a full growing season. Harvest lasted for three weeks which allowed all the grapes to be picked at their peak. The alcohol content is 13.9%.
The Cloudline Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2021 Tasting Notes
The color is a see-thru garnet red with a touch of purple. The nose is bright and interesting, a good Pinot Noir has unique scents. There is ripe cherry, exotic spice, raspberry hard candy (not sweet), herbs, a little mushroom, violets, and cassis. The Cloudline Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2021 is medium to light-bodied and while it is silky smooth upfront it blossoms into an array of flavors and textures.
The Pinot Noir tastes like black cherry, strawberry, tart cranberry, black pepper, and candy spice. The mid-palate brings cooling blueberry, a rough-edged spice, a little orange zest, and a hint of Dr. Pepper, followed by a slap of herbs. The acidity is well-balanced and gives this Pinot Noir excellent length.
- The Cloudline Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2021 is an excellent Willamette Valley Pinot Noir at an excellent price.
- This Pinot Noir has loads of flavor and structure.