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.
Ruby red in color. 13.3% ABV. There was a thin red line on the cork and a little bit of wine had seeped out below the foil. Pretty nose of red fruits, soil and roses. Medium body with perfect acidity. Light and elegant with crunchy fruits. Cherry, cranberry, black tea and earth on the palate. Medium length on the finish. Somewhat underwhelming but not flawed. Perhaps it has aged a little prematurely? There is a know issue with the 2015 Thomas Pinot Noir as a result of a problem on the bottling line. My two previous bottles were not impacted and were much better. Drink soon.
My rating: 90 points.
Thomas Pinot Noir makes a brief appearance at Portland-area wine shops soon after release, and is priced around $75 per bottle. Thomas did not produce a wine in 2020 due to the fires in the Willamette Valley. The 2021 will be released this Fall.
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.