This is a throw-back ‘reserve’ bottle when Raylee was still the main brand and only a few lots got the “HUETT” label–and oh boy what a label it is. No indication where the fruit is from–just Oregon. Dark transparent ruby in the glass, nose a restrained mix of deep dark cherry with a weedy, calm underscore of slate and match-head. Light, easy barnyard, nothing overtly dank to scare away Pinot n00b. All-in-all, it is a rather California-esque-smelling bottle, round and ripe, black fruit dominant, nothing that’s going to blow Burg-freak away, nothing oddly characteristic to Oregon Pinot, a beautiful complement of oak, just enough drrrrty pinot essence in a package elegant and refined.
In the mouth, a wallop of concentrated fruit defies the thin aesthetic in classic Pinot fashion. Gritty raspberry and piquant pie-cherry ride shotgun with an acidic and tannic structure not waiting until the finish to become apparent. The light texture of the mouth-feel and its cool, watery body create a startling contrast to the brilliance of the fruit and the raspiness of subsequent underpinnings. I see a label this gaudy and understand it is a ‘reserve lot’ and immediately expect a fat, ripe, over-oaked example of the variety–but that is NOT what we have here. Cellar and classic nuances back up the un-slutty fruit, and the structure solidifies the deal. At 5, the deep berry feels a bit *behind* and under-funded, but I think it has another GOOD 5 to go. This wine will polish out nicely in the cellar and I suspect considerable complexity to display at 10. Not showing too many signs of slowing down, but I would keep a cautious eye on it. It is not a ridiculously balanced wine at this juncture, but in the context of all things *pinot*, it has the potential to go the long run.
2015 HUETT ‘The Silver Lot’ Pinot Noir Oregon 13.5