1999 Hamacher, Pinot Noir:
If more people in this country made pinot noir like this, I’d buy more domestic pinot noir. If you have ever had the chance to taste wild strawberries and wild raspberries, you know how different they are from the cultivated versions – a more penetrating flavor, an earthier tone, maybe a harder edge to them – more the essence of the fruit than the fruit itself. This wine captures that essence, both on the nose and palate, with a balanced intensity. There is a chalky edge to the texture, very fine but substantial tannins, 13% alcohol, a very pleasant earth/leather/mushroom accent, and, a finish that not only persists but carries a flavor profile that changes from moment to moment. I’m guessing this is a decade from full maturity (possibly more); the fullness of the tannins, the slightly oaky note on the finish, the expansiveness of the fruit from when the bottle is first opened to last sip – all these lead me to decide to continue to cellar my remaining bottles.
Still, I am happy to have tasted it now, and still happier to report that this is world class in quality, could be from no place other than Oregon, and, has a wonderful complexity and nuance to it that I have not found in any other domestic pinot noir.