2011 Windy Bay Oregon Pinot Noir $7.99

Silverdale, WA    12% alc.   (Purchased on 4/23/14)

IMG_1476Clear very pale ruby color…could double as a rosé. Green peppercorn, stemmy nose. The flavors are similar to the nose with the green peppercorn seriously emphasized; lacks any semblance of typical black cherry characteristic. Thin and watery with some tannins, but I find little in the way of redeeming qualities in this Pinot.

I’ll be returning the remainder of this bottle on my next visit for something at least drinkable.  I’ve had a number of better Pinots from GO…and for a  buck or two less.


5 thoughts on “2011 Windy Bay Oregon Pinot Noir $7.99

  1. Ffej

    I find this a delicious and soft Pinot. Nothing Rose’ about it. Tart and pie cherry like. Great bargain. When I was beginning to enjoy wine I really enjoyed a rick Russian River Cali Pinot. Now that I have learned to appreciate the variety…. I still like the indulged Cali Pinot, yet appreciate the Oregon Pinot even more. That being said it is a great 8.00 Pinot.

  2. JoelA

    I bought a bottle of this last week, thinking it was something new, and then saw that it had already been reviewed.

    Like lim13 I have no problem with a lighter-colored and/or lighter-weight pinot noir. In fact, in the past I have had a few of these that were very nice – well-balanced, including several from Burgundy and one from Rod at Joseph Swan. The nose is what I call the “rainwater pinot nose” and it and the taste suggest that it is indeed 100% pinot noir. I didn’t find the green peppercorn taste in this wine. It’s not as bad as Lim13 found it to be, but it’s not much either (certainly not a cherry bomb). It has some pinot fruit and some body (but not much), but not worth getting another bottle whatever the price. I rate it just drinkable..

  3. lim13 Post author

    Your comments are appreciated, pmarinx. Please excuse me if I sound like another “nose in the air” wine primadonna (because that’s the last thing I want to convey)…but after 31 years in the wine industry and 40+ drinking and professionally tasting wine, I feel I have a pretty good grasp of what Pinot should taste like. Personally, I don’t mind fruit bombs, so that’s not a problem for me. And on this blog we’ve had a number of discussions about lighter colored Pinots…right, Seedboy? They don’t bother me either if there’s sufficient fruit and body. Pinot is likely the most cantankerous grape to work with, especially in terms of color and extract. I made a Pinot from Pasco, WA grapes back in 1989…and the Windy Bay reminded me of it…rather green, overly peppery and stemmy. Pasco was not the best source for Pinot Noir, a grape that has had little success in our state.

    Unfortunately, I already returned the bottle…so I can’t recheck the label. But I believe it said “produced and bottled by”, which indicates it’s not a negociant…though it could be a second label of a more recognized winery. BTW, the GO store proprietor was with me when I returned the bottle and as always there was no problem with my return…especially when she saw I was buying 15 more bottles of the Marlo Chardonnay I recently reviewed (all but three for my snowbird friends who don’t return home until next week). As the owner told me…I’ve purchased hundreds more bottles than I’ve returned. And GO’s policy is whether it’s wine or any other product in their stores, “If you don’t like it, return it” for your money back/refund/exchange/gift card.

    So if you try a bottle of the Windy Bay, pmarinx…I’d really appreciate hearing your take on it…but I can’t honestly recommend it…especially at the GO price.

  4. pmarinx

    I haven’t tasted this one myself so please accept my comments with that in mind. There are some “lighter-style” Pinot Noirs which aren’t necessarily “bad,” but may not be what you were expecting. Probably no other varietal offers such different possibilities based on the fruit used, the terroir, and the techniques of the winemaker.

    For example, many lower-priced Pinots may have a very strong “fruit,” cherry, etc, taste but not much else. In particular, I’ve noted this to be true of California Pinot Noirs. Orgeon of course is famous for its mid- and high-end Pinot Noirs, but that certainly doesn’t mean that all Oregon Pinots are “great,” or even necessarily “drinkable.”

    I’ve never heard of Windy Bay and they sound like they may be a “negociant” who purchased this in bulk, and then bottled and labeled it under their own label which doesn’t seem to have been established before this particular bottling. They have a website that says “About Us” but it doesn’t describe their winery or location, though it does describe this wine (and ONLY this wine.) I’d agree it’s somewhat suspicious.

    The notes on the website do say it is 100% Pinot, which means does not have any other components which often are added to “fill-out” the taste profile, especially of cheaper bulk-market Pinots.

    The research I just did actually is tempting me to try this wine (and if I find it, I’ll definitely comment further.) I do enjoy the lighter style Pinots from Oregon if there are nice subtleties in the flavor — I’d take that over a California “cherry bomb” any day. I agree that $8 is a bit high for a “this probably won’t be worth it, but I’ll try it.” — on the other hand, I’ve only rarely returned wines to GO, except when they are clearly “bad” — oxidized, disintegrating cork, etc. I usually just “swallow it” (literally) on the ones that I just don’t like the taste of that much.

    Thanks for your review, I always appreciate knowing a little more about a wine, and other people’s opinion of it, even if the opinion is about why they DIDN’T like it. It’s still useful info.


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