According to Merriam Webster, the word “kudos” means “praise or respect that you get because of something you have done or achieved”. For Laurent Montalieu, this word takes a new meaning. Providing quality wine at affordable prices is always a key way to introduce folks to new wines and regions. With nothing over $35 a bottle, Kudos Wines are definitely a great introduction to Oregon wines.
I was recently approached to review 4 of the Kudos wines. For the purpose of this post, I was presented with their 2014 Pinot Gris, 2014 Chardonnay, 2013 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir and 2012 Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir.
I first opened the Chardonnay. This was an interesting wine. With notes of pineapple and lime on the nose, I was intrigued. When I chilled the wine down a little more, just to see if the aromas were still there, I was hit with another interesting smell. Coconut. I’ve never in my life smelled coconut on a Chardonnay, so needless to say I was captivated by it. On the palate there’s nice hints of white stone fruit and citrus. When it’s cold, there the stone fruit turns into pronounced peaches and the citrus is shown with lime. Available at Total Wine and More for $14.99, this is a wine worth seeking out.
About a week later, I opened the 2014 Pinot Gris. This Pinot Gris greets you with loads of citrus mingled with stone fruit on the nose. On the palate, the citrus carries through and a distinct note of peaches is found, along with hints of minerality to give it a bite and some sweetness to round out the finish. This is another wine worth seeking out and it won’t break the bank. A quick search of the website shows a “buy now” link that leads to Total Wine, where they sell the Pinot Gris for $11.99.
Shortly after opening the Pinot Gris, I went for the gusto and opened both Pinot Noirs on the same night. Oh my…was that a blast!!
Comparing and contrasting not only the vintage differences, but the AVA differences as well was an experience. The 2012 Reserve led the charge with a nose of ripe red berries and figs, while counterbalancing the nose with an earthy, yet fruity palate that makes Oregon Pinots so desirable. This wine is approachable and would be a great introduction to Oregon Pinot Noir.
The 2013 is a slouch, though. With a nose full of black tea and dark berries, this wine leads you the path of least resistance. On the palate, there’s red fruit, spice and vanilla that bring a nice balance. I would recommend leaving this open for a bit, as the experience just keeps getting better with this wine the longer it’s opened.
In conclusion, I would highly recommend all of the Kudos wines. The marriage of great wine and a great price point is always a good way to introduce people to the beauty that is Oregon wine, and these deliver on both of those accounts.
Disclaimer: The wines featured in this post were provided as samples by the winery.