Brandborg Bench Lands Pinot Noir 2017



There are many ways to shop for great Pinot Noir: you could buy pretty labels, or look for the most expensive bottles, or research all the Pinot available in the world.  Or you could go to Oregon Pinot Camp.

Long ago in the early days of Waterford Wine & Spirits, our Faithful Correspondent did go  to Oregon Pinot Camp, and it was rough.  Seven hundred Pinots, 300 clone selections, 35 sub-regions to taste through.  Add on top of that the four-star parties, the helicopter vineyard tours, the bands, soirees and fandangos, it’s a wonder he made it back at all.

But I never met Sue and Terry Brandborg at Oregon Pinot Camp.  I met them when they came through the doors of my store to do a meet-and-greet with their Ferris Wheel Oregon Pinot Noir from Umpqua Valley.  I didn’t know where Umpqua was at the time, but after tasting the wine, I knew it was a great spot for growing Pinot; with its cashmere notes of cherry, a finish of crème caramel, Grand Marnier and a hint of pomegranate.  Now here was a tasty Pinot Noir!

The Brandborg Benchlands Pinot was born out of a love affair; Terry and Sue met at a Pinot trade show when she was living in Wyoming and he was in California.  Through postage mail, Terry and Sue began their lives and their search for great Pinot Noir together.  As a joke, they mailed a refrigerator magnet with two monkeys on a Ferris Wheel back and forth to symbolize their love for each other and their dreams for making great wine.

Betting everything on a patch of high elevation, sandy loam costal soil, Sue and Terry planted their Pinot in Umpqua Valley and named the vineyard after their peripatetic refrigerator magnet.  This vanilla cherry, tangy orange Pinot Noir is why Sue and Terry came walking through my door.

Our Faithful Correspondent had brought them here.  As Sue explained, it didn’t matter that Terry and Sue were no-name winemakers from a no-name region.  It didn’t matter that they couldn’t give you a spit and shine tour through a manicured 1,000 acre vineyard, or a whirly bird ride, or a party.  All that mattered was what was in the bottle.

And what is in the bottle is one of Oregon’s tastiest Pinots; smells of cherry preserves, cloves, orange peel, and toast melded with a classic Oregon Pinot palate; lithe, textural and …singing. This is gorgeous Pinot Noir.

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