Wine review: Erath 2008 Pinot Noir Oregon

erath 2008 pinot noirThis pinot pioneer winery was started by Dick Erath in the early 70’s. I visited Erath early in my wine career and had the fortune of staying at their winery guesthouse while in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. On the Saturday we stayed there, the toilet backed up and Dick Erath himself (a true rock star legend at this point) showed up to fix it. Jaws dropped, swooning ensued and a pride overcame me. You have GOT to respect that. That was ten years ago, and, in 2006 when Ste. Michelle Wine Estates purchased them (making Dick a mega millionaire), I wondered… worried even… if the quality of the wines could be sustained by a larger entity. It has and does.

At an affordable price of around $20, this wine delivers true value and quality. The grapes are sourced from throughout the state of Oregon, thus the “Oregon” designation on the label. It has well-defined and upfront acidity as a good pinot should, bright red cherry and strawberry flavors, oak spiciness and dusty mushroom earthiness. Light-bodied and easy on the palate.

I liked the 2007 Erath pinot as much as the 2008, so if you see either on a shelf, grab it and growl.

Sweetness: 1 out of 10
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
: $19- $22
: This was a sample sent to me from the winery.
Food pairing: Pizza with mushroom and pepperoni, sausage-stuffed portobello mushrooms (recipe)
Availability: High-end grocery stores and some fine wine shops
Locally in Tampa at Carrollwood Fine Wines and Spirits and at



  1. Taylor, I read your review and I just have to tell you that you are fag! Erath is the most overpriced nonsense I have ever tasted. It does taste like something out of a toilet, and I don’t mean raspberries either. This is another pretentious Pinot Noir from Oregon, that hides under the cover of “Burgundian” style, which really means that it has the body of diluted grape Kool Aid. Another case of the old fable about the king has no clothing on….

  2. Just opened a bottle with dinner. I must preface by stating that I prefer a heavier Cab to a Pinot. I found the wine to have a thin texture and to be mildly acidic. While it was drinkable, I would hardly recommend it.

  3. Great review, and I absolutely agree–I love this pinot! In my opinion, most American pinots completely miss the mark by trying too hard to appeal to the American taste for “big” wines. Pinots are not big wines, and leaving the grapes too long on the vine to increase their alcohol content doesn’t make them better, it just ruins them and makes them taste like lousy cabs. I respect Dick Erath for his decision to respect this subtle, beautiful grape. This is a silky wine, which is precisely what I look for in a pinot noir. If you love big California fruit bombs, this wine will likely disappoint you. But if you’ve ever wondered if a really nice, under-$40, authentic pinot is possible, Erath is definitely worth trying. A beautiful wine. Possibly not a heartbreaker, but pretty darn close.

  4. Bob – appreciate the kind words! Erath is a great deal. Dick definitely made the right decision selling to Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. That’s a company that respects a company’s history. Wish I could say the same about others…


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *