Jean-Nicolas in Wine Searcher
Here are some of Jean-Nicolas' thoughts of Oregon in relation to Burgundy:
What is great about Oregon is that it’s really devoted to Pinot. As such, it's known in Burgundy. The fact that the region is two-thirds Pinot Noir tells something about the dedication of the people there.
In terms of climate and technical data for wine, the biggest difference is that the summers are really dry in Oregon compared to Burgundy. As a result, in general, I worry in Burgundy about ripening. Lately we've had some warm vintages, but the early 2010s, it was not that warm and the alcohol levels were not that high.
In Oregon, I don't worry about ripeness and alcohol, I worry about keeping the freshness and the acidity. So I would say the fundamental difference between the two regions is the difference at harvest.
Both regions should reflect the natural, true conditions each year. On that point, Oregon needs to be a little more confident, because there are still some people who think it is difficult to ripen grapes in Oregon – no, it's not. In that respect, it reminds me of what we heard about Burgundy 20 years ago, that it was very irregular, and that it was not always very good, etc, etc. My small experience in Oregon after five years is that you can really do wines that are not highly technically corrected. You can really do wines that reflect the natural conditions of the region, and this is great.