May 8, 2018

A Classic Revisited

by Harvey Steinman

Willamette Valley’s 2008 Pinot Noirs looked golden from the start. Weather that year was ideal: Cooler-than-usual temperatures for most of the season helped preserve acidity and keep alcohol levels moderate, and harvesttime saw sunny skies and moderate temperatures that prevented overripeness. A smaller than usual crop led to intense flavors.

In my three decades of reviewing Oregon Pinot Noir, the dazzling 2008 vintage produced more outstanding ratings (90 or more points on Wine Spectator’s 100-point scale) and more classic ratings (95-plus) than any year before it. I rated the vintage 96 points, topped since only by 2012.

A decade later, it was time to revisit the several dozen 2008s stashed away in the temperature-steady cellar of our Napa office…


Several bottles under twist-off closures showed impressive development along with pristine flavors, including three magnificent beauties. The Argyle Eola-Amity Hills Nuthouse (95) delivers a sense of transparency to its gentle guava, raspberry and pear flavors.

Argyle Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills Nuthouse 2008
95 Points
Lithe and elegant, with gently expressed flavors of guava, raspberry, pear and clotted cream. Under twist-off, this should gain for many more years. Drink now through 2028.

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