Seven Oregon wines appear on Wine Spectator magazine’s recently released “Top 100 Wines for 2023″ list. When the magazine debuted its Top 100 list in 1988, the Oregon wine industry considered it a great year if even one Oregon wine was mentioned.
How times have changed.
In addition to Wine Spectator, several Oregon wines made the cut for similar lists compiled by Wine Enthusiast and Wine & Spirits Magazine. The average score for the 18 Oregon wines listed in those publications is 94.7 on the ubiquitous 100-point scale. The average bottle price is $56.40.
A few things about these lists stood out for me. First, the grapes involved aren’t all pinot noir, which is still Oregon’s global calling card. Wines featured on these lists were made with everything from syrah, grenache and tempranillo to viognier, pinot gris and riesling.
And what a showing for riesling. Three of the 18 Oregon wines listed here are made with the riesling grape, the pride of Europe’s Rhine River region.
Even more impressive – the 2019 Brooks Jois Boli Riesling, at number 23, finished as the second-highest ranked riesling in the world on Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 list. This result was likely celebrated at a recent tasting of eight vintages of Jois Boli hosted by Brooks at their winery in Amity.
I was also impressed by the number of Oregon wineries that placed multiple wines on these lists.
Big Table Farm has a pinot noir on the Wine Enthusiast list while placing a syrah with Wine & Spirits. In addition to the Bois Joli, Brooks Wine landed a pinot noir with Wine & Spirits. Bergström Wines efficiently put the same pinot noir on two different lists.
My favorite Top 100 list story involves Bionic Wines, owned by Christophe Baron of Cayuse fame.
Bionic Wines has wines appearing on the Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast lists. Even though the listed Cayuse and No Girls wines are made in Milton-Freewater, Oregon, with grapes grown on the Oregon side of the Walla Walla Valley, it was common for people to miss counting them in their Oregon column.
Here are the complete lists of Oregon wines. Who knows? If the wines haven’t already sold out, you may find some holiday gift ideas here.
(Disclosure: I cover Oregon, Washington and Canada for Wine Enthusiast.)
The ranking, points scored and winery price for each wine is listed in parentheses.
Wine Spectator Top 100
- 2021 Résonance Wines Pinot Noir Willamette Valley (No.9 – 94 – $40)
- 2021 Domaine Drouhin Laurène Pinot Noir Dundee Hills (No.16 – 95 – $75)
- 2021 Purple Hands Lone Oak Ranch Pinot Noir Willamette Valley (No.20 – 94 – $30)
- 2019 No Girls Double Lucky No.8 Red Blend Walla Walla Valley (No.28 – 95 – $55)
- 2021 Bergström Silice Pinot Noir Chehalem Mountains (No.32 – 95- $92)
- 2021 Archery Summit Vireton Willamette Valley (No. 56 – 93 – $34)
- 2021 Ken Wright Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills (No.69 – 93 – $38)
- 2020 Cayuse En Cerise Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla Valley (No.10 – 96 – $94)
- 2021 Big Table Farm Cattrall Brothers Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills (No.22 – 96 – $72)
- 2019 Brooks Bois Joli Riesling Eola-Amity Hills (No.23 – 95 – $28)
- 2019 Soter Mineral Springs Brut Rosé Sparkling (No.49 – 95 – $75)
- 2020 Domaine Serene Rockblock Viognier Applegate Valley (No.67 – 91 – $45)
Wine & Spirits Magazine
Wine & Spirits Magazine doesn’t have a Top 100 list exactly like the ones published by Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast. I thought it was important to have them involved, so I asked Patrick Comiskey to provide six wines that stood out for him this year.
Comiskey is Wine & Spirits Magazine’s critic for all domestic wines outside of California and he is easily one of the very best in the business. He was gracious enough to provide brief descriptions for each wine, so I have included them here.
- 2019 On Wine Hill (Golden Cluster) Reduction Chardonnay Willamette Valley — crazy wine, totally improvised, a paean to reduction and millerandage fruit. (95 – $35)
- 2021 Ovum Off the Grid Cedar Ranch Riesling Rogue Valley — astonishing riesling from one of the country’s most unique, expressive sites. Ksenia and John seem to guide the flavors and stay out of their way at the same time. (96 – $25)
- 2021 Brooks Ara Willamette Valley Riesling — drawing from two old vine parcels, dramatic complexity and range of flavor. (94 – $38)
- 2021 Walter Scott Sojeau Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills — totally expressive and seductive, one of the most ‘alive’ pinots I tasted all year, pulsing in its vibrancy. (97 – $80)
- 2021 Bergström Silice Pinot Noir Chehalem Mountains — assertive use of whole cluster meets spectacular, expressive fruit. (95 – $92)
- 2019 Big Table Farm The Rocks Funk Estate Syrah — a Pinot guy managing all the funkiness of Rocks fruit, the flavors bold, the texture restrained and elegant. (95 – $68)
— Michael Alberty writes about wine for The Oregonian/OregonLive and Wine Enthusiast Magazine. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. To read more of his coverage, go to oregonlive.com/wine
In 1st start, Oregon native Shelstad hits winning 3 in OT for Ducks in 86-83 win over Michigan
EUGENE, Ore. – Freshman Jackson Shelstad, an Oregon high school product making his first start and home-court debut, hit a deep 3-pointer with 1.4 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Ducks an 86-83 win over Michigan on Saturday.
Shelstad was mobbed by teammates after his bucket blunted a career-best 33 points by Wolverines sophomore Dug McDaniel, whose half-court heave hit the back of the rim at the buzzer.
Shelstad, a two-time Oregon Gatorade Player of the Year in high school at West Linn, was starting in place of injured Jesse Zarzuela. He finished with 14 points on 6-of-13 shooting. Brennan Rigsby led the Ducks with 19 points and Jermaine Couisnard and Kario Oquendo had 13 each. The Ducks (5-2) shot 51%, made 10 of 16 3-point attempts and scored 18 points off 16 Michigan turnovers.
McDaniel shot 12 of 21, making a career-high seven 3-pointers on 12 attempts for Michigan (4-4). Nimari Burnett added 13 points and Olivier Nkamhoua 12. Michigan shot 48% and hit 13 of 31 from the arc.
McDaniel made 6 of 7 3-point attempts and scored 24 points in the second half. But after Oquendo made two free throws to tie the game with 15.1 seconds left in regulation, Jadrian Tracey poked the ball off McDaniel out of bounds, giving Oregon a chance at winning in regulation. The Ducks, though, missed a pair of jumpers.
Shelstad led the Ducks with five overtime points. McDaniel missed his three shots, including the final heave.
Oquendo scored the Ducks’ final six points of the first half for a 38-35 lead.
Head coach Juwan Howard, continuing to rest and rehab from Sept. 15 heart surgery, transitioned back to an assistant coach for this game while Phil Martelli continued to serve as interim head coach. Howard returned to the bench as an observer for the Wolverines’ previous three games. His designation as an assistant coach results in an on-court assistant returning to off-court duties.
Michigan opens its Big Ten season at home on Tuesday against Indiana. Oregon is home against UTEP next Saturday.
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Razor clam harvesting now open on Oregon’s central coast
Oregon’s central coast is now open to harvesting of razor clams, the Oregon Department of Agriculture announced Friday.
Razor clam harvesting is now allowed between Seaside and Waldport. Officials say levels of the biotoxin domoic acid have fallen below closure levels. Domoic acid is not dangerous to the clams, but can make humans ill if ingested and can even lead to short-term memory loss.
Symptoms of amnesic shellfish poisoning, which is caused by domoic acid, include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea and confusion.
An area must have two consecutive tests below closure level before the state will open it to harvesting.
The total area for razor clams now stretches from the Washington border to Cape Blanco.
Harvesting of bay clams, crabs and mussels remains open across the entire Oregon Coast.
Harvesters are encouraged to contact the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife for license requirements, permits and limits on catches.
Oregon school report card shows gains, declines and dramatic, continuing enrollment drop
The Oregon Department of Education recently released its annual statewide report card, providing a glimpse into the state’s public school system for the 2022-23 school year.
Officials reported a decline in enrollment and regular attendance, a decline in teacher experience and a higher number of students experiencing homelessness.
The percentage of students of color still is dramatically higher than that of teachers of color, with both increasing last year.
And, after adjusting for inflation, average teacher salaries have fallen over the past decade.
“Clearly the results show we have more work to do to set Oregon’s students up for success,” ODE Director Dr. Charlene Williams said in a news release.
The annual snapshot released Thursday includes hundreds of data points — everything from student demographics to education funding information — much of which also is released throughout the year in individual reports.
Among the findings in the 85-page report:
- There has been a dramatic and continuing decline in enrollment since the COVID-19 pandemic. There were 552,380 students enrolled in the state’s public schools on Oct. 2, 2022. That’s 29,350, or 5.1%, fewer students than in 2018-19, before the pandemic. Education officials attributed the decline to the impacts of the pandemic and distance learning.
- There were 21,478 students experiencing housing insecurity in 2022-23, a 15% increase from the prior year.
- There are 333 unique languages spoken by Oregon students.
- The number of women serving as principals increased by 3 percentage points to 58% in 2022-23, compared to 55% in 2021-22.
- For the fourth year in a row, there has been an increase in the number of non-binary students reported in fall enrollment.
- The percentage of ninth graders on track to graduate increased again in 2022-23, compared to 2021-22. The total statewide rate increased by 0.8 percentage points to 83.6% and is approaching pre-pandemic levels.
- Graduation rates increased for all student groups, with the largest increase in student groups whose needs have historically not been met by Oregon’s education system. The graduation rate for students experiencing houselessness increased by 3.2 percentage points, and for migrant students by 3.1 percentage points.
To view this year’s and past years’ reports, as well as at-a-glance profiles for individual schools and districts, go to www.oregon.gov/ode/schools-and-districts/reportcards.
Tracy Loew covers education at the Statesman Journal. Send comments, questions and tips: email@example.com or 503-399-6779. Follow her on Twitter at @Tracy_Loew
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