This review marks our third go-round with Oregon’s Left Coast in the last year. This quartet of wines were all released at the tail end of 2019 and are designed for cooler weather sipping — including the first sparkling wine from Left Coast we’ve encountered. As always, all wines hail from the Van Duzer Corridor, Willamette Valley, Oregon.
Let’s dig in.
2013 Left Coast Cellars Blanc de Noir – Bold, fruit-forward, and lightly creamy, this sparkler made from pinot noir could easily pass for a top-shelf California sparkling wine, heavy with notes of apple, lemon peel, and lime leaf, filtered just so through a basket of shortbread cookies, giving it a biscuity, doughy element — some of the remnants of the yeast showing themselves. Fresh and ready to lay down for years. A- / $55
2018 Left Coast Cellars Chardonnay Truffle Hill – Buttery on the nose, but a little green. Things open up on the palate, which offers an expressive lemon character atop a moderately rich body. Hints of spice work well with an emerging green apple character as the wine opens up in the glass, though the finish has a somewhat dusty, brooding quality. B+ / $24
2017 Left Coast Cellars Pinot Noir Cali’s Cuvée – This entry-level pinot noir is approachable but not overwhelmingly distinguished, dominated by a simple fruit profile that is a bit brambly on the way to a rather humble core of cherry cola, touched with vanilla. The body’s a bit on the thin side, but a solid price makes the otherwise straightforward wine worth a look. B+ / $24
2016 Left Coast Cellars Pinot Noir Latitude 45 – Rich and peppery, this is a particularly aggressive pinot for this region and this producer, with notes of licorice root and peppered beef jerky informing a palate rich with plum and cherry notes. It’s an awfully dense, black cherry note, but when paired with the right meal (something spicy, perhaps) this more intense character really shines. Hints of tea leaf on the finish. A- / $38