Wines from Oregon have made significant inroads into the international market over the past decade, establishing themselves as on par with some of the best in the world by winning awards and gaining recognition. Now, an international publication is adding to critical acclaim for the state's wines, including a number in the Newberg area.
Wine Spectator published its annual list of the Top 100 best and most interesting wines around the world on Dec. 29, and Oregon set a record for appearances since the list's inception in 1988; seven Oregon wines made the Top 100.
More than 10,000 wines are typically received for evaluation by the magazine, which assembles a group of writers and editors with wine expertise to form the list.
"Our selection prioritizes quality (based on score), value (based on price) and availability (based on the number of cases either made or imported into the United States)," a release from Wine Spectator said. "These criteria are applied to the wines that rated outstanding (90 points or higher on Wine Spectator's 100-point scale) each year to determine our Top 100. … These wines are a diverse group — ranging from emerging labels and regions to traditional estates exploring new directions — and all generate the excitement we call the 'X-factor.'"
Oregon's top entry was the Beaux Freres Pinot Noir Ribbon Ridge 2018, which finished ninth on the list with a score of 95 points. The wine was described by Wine Spectator editor Tim Fish as "A wine of presence and expression, impeccably structured yet elegantly layered, with evocative raspberry, rose petal and brown baking spice notes that pick up richness and tension toward fine-grained tannins."
A rating of 95-100 means a wine is considered a "Classic" by the magazine, while 90-94 is considered "Outstanding." The latter distinction applied to the remainder of the Oregon wines that made the list.
Résonance's Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2017 finished 19th on the list and earned 93 points; The Four Graces' Pinot Noir Dundee Hills Reserve 2017 finished 29th with 94 points; Ken Wright's Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2017 earned 91 points to finish 33rd; Bergström's Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Cumberland Reserve 2018 got 94 points for a 37th place finish; La Crema's Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2018 finished 64th with 92 points; and Stoller's Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2018 notched 90 points to finish 79th.
"Placing a record seven Oregon wines among the world's Top 100, and five in the top 40, is welcome recognition for Oregon and a reflection of the exceptional fruit and winemaking talent here," Oregon Wine Board President Tom Danowski said in a press release.
It was the first appearance on the list for Stoller Family Estate, which acknowledged the significance of the achievement in the press release: "Wine Spectator is one of the most influential publications in our industry, and it's an incredible honor to earn a spot on its Top 100 list," founder and owner Bill Stoller said. "Our vice president of winemaking, Melissa Burr, has been honing her craft over the last 15 years. She created an everyday pinot noir that embodies the spirit and complexity of our region. To have our 2018 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir place alongside some of the best in the world is a testament to Melissa and her team's dedication."
To view the full list, visit top100.winespectator.com.
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