2010 & 2011 Pyrenees Umpqua Valley Meritage, Oregon $5.99

Silverdale, WA    2010 is 12.7% alc.   2011 is 12.8% alc.      (Purchased on 8/16/13)

IMG_1101Cork closure.  The 2010 is clear rather pale ruby/garnet;  a bit more fruit and certainly less vegetal in the nose than its counterpart.  But the nose is really very subdued and non-descript.  The flavors are almost raspberryish with some cherry…great for a Grenache, but not for Cab, Merlot etc.  Acidity seems a bit less harsh than the 2011.  The tannins still seem to be the focus and I just don’t find any balance here.  While I can deal with Pinots having a lack of dark color, I don’t expect to find the same in Bordeaux blends.

Screw top.  The 2011 is also clear rather pale ruby/garnet; vegetal green bean nose with some smokiness.  In the mouth it’s tart and acidic, thin and watery and totally lacking any body, depth or texture.  Flavors are more green bean and perhaps some cinnamon.  There are lip-smacking tannins, but little Bordeaux style fruit or flavors.  I find nothing to like in this wine.  Reader comments about it being pretty poor are right on the money…but I just had to experience it myself.IMG_1097

It strikes me that all the Pyrenees reds I’ve had (haven’t seen the Syrah, which seems to have the only redeeming value thus far per our readers) are from rather young vines that haven’t yet established any particular character.  If that’s not the case, then I’ll go out on a limb and suggest that the winemaker might need more practice.  The web site provides little information of substance regarding the wines and the 2009 Meritage is the only one included on their wine page.  I suspect that Cab Sauv and Merlot are in the blend, but that’s as big a leap as I’m willing to take.

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14 thoughts on “2010 & 2011 Pyrenees Umpqua Valley Meritage, Oregon $5.99

  1. Robert Luhrs

    It is medium bodied, very little tannin, no harshness, but a wonderful earthy-smoky-bark kick to it which I just happen to like. I give it thumbs up for my type of taste. I’m fond of retsina, vacqueyras, etc. I bought a case at 5.99 less 20 percent. Glad to have found it.

    Reply
    1. lim13 Post author

      Welcome to the blog, Robert. Are you referencing the 2010 or 2011? I’m certainly glad you enjoyed whichever one you’re talking about. They were both just too light bodied and out of balance for me. But there’s a wine out there for everyone. And for me…Vacqueras: yes, Retsina: no (just never been able to acquire a taste for the resin).

      Reply
      1. Robert Luhrs

        2011, sorry, realized just after I posted. I bought 2 cases after the dinner success was so good. I will be bringing it along to future dinners for a long time. We have a once a month extended family dinner where we pick a cuisine and each make a dish from it. So lots of chances to try out new wines! what fun to serve a few at prices we can handle, thanks, GO!

        Reply
    2. Robert Luhrs

      I’ve just served 2011 Pyrenees Meritage along with Concannon Cabernet and Echelon Pinot Noir at an Asian (roast duck, chicken, beef) dinner. The guests liked the PM much more than the other 2 wines. I hadn’t expected anyone to like the PM since critics were so harsh and only I liked it. But everyone loved it, and they all wanted to know where to get it.

      Reply
      1. lim13 Post author

        Thanks for the report again on the 2011, Robert and glad you and your guests love it so much. Should be plenty out there for you all, as I suspect it was a slow mover at most of the GO’s.

        Reply
  2. curtismapman

    Don’t like the 2011 Meritage at all. Tastes cheap with lots of negative artifacts. With very little effort, you can find better wines for $3 or $4 at GO and other places. I am disappointed our local GO (West Sacramento) would have this wine for $6 when there’s so much good local product for less.

    Reply
    1. lim13 Post author

      Sorry to hear you tried it, curtismapman…and had a similar experience as most. I’ve had nothing but negative encounters with the Pyrenees wines, so have been avoiding them like the plague.

      Reply
      1. RB

        There is still a lot of this wine hanging around the Olympia area, and no wonder…it’s pretty bad. But I’m still enjoying the Pyrenees Tempranillo that I stocked up on when these wines first showed up. Apparently, that one wasn’t seen widely.

        Reply
  3. EricfromRichmond

    I thought the Pyrenees Syrah was pleasant, but not all that memorable. Certainly not in the same league as the Palmieri Alexander Valley (which is long gone at the Richmond store) or even the Niner Syrah (still a couple of cases left last time I checked).

    Reply
  4. wineoracle

    I bought a couple bottles at the Madrona store that I hadn’t heard mentioned here – 2010 Merlot and 2010 Tempranillo. The 2010 Merlot left me totally cold – but I never expect much from Merlot, or from Cabernet Sauvignon either. I think there’s a reason that Bordeaux is usually a blend! Anyway, the Tempranillo was much better. Not a superb deal, but probably worth the $6 it cost. It seems the house style here just doesn’t work very well with Bordeaux grape varieties, especially in the cold 2010 and colder 2011 vintages. Maybe that’s why it’s getting dumped at GO.

    Reply
  5. jwc

    Thanks Lim13, while the picking of quality wine in the Portland metro GO’s has been relatively thin, there is plenty of this stuff.
    Appreciate you taking one for the team, have been avoiding this one.

    Reply
    1. lim13 Post author

      Happy to help!! Just returned both of my bottles to GO this afternoon and was once again graciously provided with a refund (which is but a “spit in the bucket” compared to what I’ve spent there in the last few years).

      Reply
      1. jwc

        Still a bunch of this Pyrenees 2011 Meritage on the West Side of Portland, a neighbor brought over a bottle, drinkable but mediocre. Guessing this will be reduced in price soon, but still a pass.

        Reply

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