Rascal Pinot Noir comes from The Great Oregon Wine Company in Dundee, Oregon, USA.
They call Rascal the wine for dog people.
Why? Because some time ago the winery had a Golden Retriever named “Rascal” who greeted visitors at the vineyard.
He’s since passed, but his memory lives on.
You may even notice the halo over Rascal’s picture on the bottle label.
My Second Time Reviewing Rascal Pinot Noir
I should point out that this is the second time I’m reviewing this wine.
The folks at Great Oregon Wine saw my first review of the 2010 vintage and were kind enough to send me a sample bottle of the 2018 Rascal Pinot Noir for me to review.
So, towards the bottom of this review you’ll find my thoughts as to how the 2010 and the 2018 compared.
I should also mention that I purposely didn’t look at my review of the 2010 before tasting the 2018.
I didn’t want to have any preconceived notions going into this new review.
Rascal Pinot Noir Tasting Notes and Review
From the bottle:
Rascal sets out to create exceptional Oregon wine that inspires dog lovers to indulge while giving back to national and local foundations including the Humane Society…
Great Oregon Wine tends to source fruits for Rascal from all over Oregon.
Including the Willamette Valley, the Umpqua Valley and other areas.
In the glass, the wine was clean and cherry in color, as is typical of Oregon Pinot Noir.
Legs were thin and slow to fall.
Overall, Rascal Pinot Noir is certainly an aromatic wine, with the bouquet noticeable from a few feet away from the glass.
On the nose, I initially sensed vanilla, likely from the oak aging.
After that, raspberry notes were dominant along with some subtle tobacco.
There was also a mild whiff of alcohol.
Rascal Pinot Noir alcohol content 13.5% per the bottle label.
Rascal’s taste definitely carried forward from the nose.
There were obvious red raspberry notes, with a darker, vanilla layer in the flavor.
Also, secondary flavors of ripe plum.
A fresh pour brought out more of the vanilla and plum notes.
Overall, I found the wine to be quite tasty and easy-drinking and maybe even a bit juicier than other Oregon Pinot Noir I’ve tried.
Mouthfeel and Tannins
I found the wine’s mouthfeel to be juicy.
Tannins were restrained, but lingering and felt all over the palate.
The wine finished medium to long with a nice transition from the flavors to the tannins, which settled finely on the palate.
I suspect this wine was well-filtered, given the subtlety of the tannins.
My Overall Opinion of Rascal Pinot Noir
Overall, I found this wine to be very enjoyable.
Many Oregon Pinot Noirs are singularly cherry oriented, however this one did a nice job of smoothing out its ripe red fruits with a lovely vanilla sheen.
I also believe this wine would age well, as it was still fresh and clean three years later. And after sitting in my wine rack for a good year at room temperature.
Rascal Pinot Noir price $15.00, making it a nice under $20 selection for your own wine rack.
Rascal is great on its own as a sipper or you could pair it with a tasty lobster ravioli. Yum!
Comparing and Contrasting Vintages – Rascal Pinot Noir 2018 versus 2010
So, as mentioned above, this review is an update from the review I did of the 2010 vintage of Rascal Pinot Noir.
Here’s what the 2010 Rascal Pinot Noir bottle looked like:
Note, even back then it had Rascal the Golden Retriever on the bottle label, with his halo.
I won’t repeat the full review I did for the 2010 vintage, but here are the main differences between the two:
- Both vintages similar in appearance.
- The aromas between the two vintages were different. The 2010 was delicate, however the 2018 was more aromatic and complex.
- Similarly with the taste, the 2010 was lighter in flavor, but the 2018 was more robust and flavorful, especially with the vanilla. Perhaps a difference in oak aging caused this?
- Similar finish length, but the 2010 vintage was more buttery.
- The 2010 was priced at approximately $7.00 due to the over-abundance of fruit at that time.
- Overall, I enjoyed both vintages, but would give the 2018 a definite edge due it being more complex and flavorful.
And that’s it… I hope you enjoyed this review!
Ari Walker says
Hi Jon thank you for this review! I noticed that the wine you tasted was the 2010 vintage. I am glad to see that the wine held up so well over 9 years!
If you would like to review our current Oregon offerings (Rascal, Great Oregon Wine Company, Duck Pond Cellars, Lifevine Wines) I would be happy to arrange for you to receive samples of the current vintages.
IBG Wines, LLC
Jon Rogers says
Hi Ari and thanks for commenting!
I do have a soft spot in my heart for Oregon Pinot Noir and its terroir.
I’m always impressed with how the winemakers there have to content with the climate and soil, yet stil seem to produce such fabulous wines.
I’ll be in touch!