One of the most collectible Pinot Noirs made in all of Oregon is from a winery you’ve probably never heard of: Thomas Winery. Located in Carlton, Oregon, winemaker John Thomas has been releasing small amounts of wine from the Thomas Vineyard since 1988. I don’t recall ever seeing ratings from the Wine Advocate or the Wine Spectator, and I don’t think Thomas has ever hosted a public event. The winery has achieved cult like status among wine collectors.
The color is striking. Light red. Almost translucent. 13.6% ABV. Beguiling nose of red fruits, baking spices, citrus and forest floor. Medium body with exquisite acidity. Light, crisp and fresh with structure in spades. Cherry, cranberry, black tea, nutmeg and earth on the palate. Exceptional length on the finish. There is a contingent of Thomas buyers who won’t open these bottles with less than 10 years of bottle age. Such a shame as they are breathtaking at 6-8 years of age. I’ll stick to my plan of buying a six pack with the intent of checking in on at least one bottle on the younger side. This will cellar well for another decade.
My rating: 95 points.
Thomas Pinot Noir makes a brief appearance at Portland-area shops soon after release, and is priced around $75 per bottle. The 2018 was recently released to members of the mailing list. If you want to put your name on the mailing list you will need track down the winery address and send John a letter. I’ve had the opportunity to taste bottles going back to the late 90’s, and think the wine shows best 7-10 years past the vintage date.
A visit to Thomas is on my winery bucket list.
I’ve blogged about Thomas previously in The 2020 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings and Thomas Winery: The Best Pinot Noir You Have Never Heard Of.