Text Size:-+

2001 R. Stuart & Co "Big Fire" Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon

In case you hadn't noticed, Oregon Pinot Noir is hot right now. So hot, perhaps, that the folks at R. Stuart & Co. have called it "Big Fire." They could have also called it "Big Fun" and it would have fit within their brand image nicely.

This quirky little winery operation/family/company is run by Rob Stuart, a veteran west coast winemaker who is now in his 21st vintage as a winemaker. His most recent stint was at Erath Vineyards but now he's focused on fulfilling his long time love of Pinot Noir by just making it for himself. Along the way he's enlisted the help of his wife as a PR and marketing director, and a couple of other local characters for sales and spiritual guidance, and together they've managed to build a friendly family operation that churns out some decent wines.

They currently produce two lines of wine, one of which is a reserve Pinot, bottled under the label R. Stuart & Co. the other of which is the wine under discussion, which is one of a pair they bottle under the label "Big Fire" (the other being a Pinot Gris).

This wine is, from the beginning, made to be accessible -- from the ripe (but not super ripe) fruit grown in the Bunker Hill, Temperance Hill, Melrose, and Arcus & Erath vineyards, to the aging in more neutral French oak (with just a touch of it new -- 10%). The wine weighs in at a light 13% alcohol. I'm not sure how much of it they produce but there's probably lots of it -- it may not be a small production wine, but it's made by a small family of folks, and from what I can tell, with some care.

Tasting Notes:
This wine is blood colored with a pleasing nose of cinnamon, leather, redcurrants and tobacco leaves. On the palate it is bright and light with primary flavors of redcurrant and sour plum and a light spice as the wine finishes clean without much tannic structure. This is one to drink early and often.

Food Pairing:
I always like to defer to the winemakers on pairings if they feel strongly, and the folks at R. Stuart & Co. feel like this one's a knockout with salt roasted chicken. I can easily imagine that it would be.

Overall Score: 8/8.5

How Much?: $15

You can buy this wine directly from the winery's site, or you can find them in various liquor stores around the country.

Comments (19)

01.29.06 at 8:16 AM

I will definitely have to keep an eye out for this one. I tried the '04 Erath Pinot Noir last week & it really impressed me.
Love the Blog too!


Kim Kenney wrote:
01.30.06 at 4:28 PM

Is this wine always cloudy? I was assured by the wine merchant that it was.

Alder wrote:
01.30.06 at 5:57 PM


Cloudiness is nothing to fear in a wine, nor is sediment of any kind. Usually they mean that the wine was unfiltered, which some believe leads to more expressive aromas and flavors.

Merlin Talbot wrote:
05.13.06 at 2:40 PM

first time, taste spicy and mystical, my wife says. Tell me because I don't know alot about wines, why does it not come with a cork? what is the difference?

Alder wrote:
05.13.06 at 5:50 PM


Corks sometimes contain bacteria which can spoil a wine. It's almost impossible to detect before putting the cork in the bottle, however. Industry research shows somewhere between 3 and 8 percent of all wines are spoiled because of this bacteria. There are many winemakers (and consumers) who feel that this is an unacceptable level of spoilage, so they have switched to screwcaps instead.

Dominik wrote:
08.22.14 at 11:27 AM

After exploring a handful of the blog posts on your
blog, I honestly like your technique of blogging. I book-marked it to
myy bookmark webpage list and will be checking back in tthe nar future.
Please visit my website as well and tell me your opinion.

08.23.14 at 10:15 AM

What a data of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious familiarity
about unpredicted feelings.

08.23.14 at 12:44 PM

In this way, the random image is displayed from a directory site.

08.24.14 at 6:58 AM

Link exchange is nothing else except it is just placing the other person's website
link on your page at appropriate place and other person will
also do similar in support of you.

08.24.14 at 11:30 PM

fantastic post, very informative. I'm wondering why the
opposite specialists of this sector don't understand
this. You should continue your writing. I am sure, you have a huge readers' base already!

rummy wrote:
08.26.14 at 12:21 PM

I have learn some excellent stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for revisiting.
I wonder how so much attempt you set to create this kind of wonderful
informative site.

08.26.14 at 2:43 PM

I was recommended this web site by my cousin. I'm not sure
whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about
my problem. You are incredible! Thanks!

08.26.14 at 2:46 PM

Keep on working, great job!

08.27.14 at 3:21 AM

In - Fact , Net vine cu noi afecteaza un element esen?ial

Tosha wrote:
08.28.14 at 6:15 PM

I think the admin of this website is actually working hard in support of his site,
since her every stuff is qualkity baed information.

08.28.14 at 8:22 PM

You could certainly see your enthusiasm within the work you write.
The sector hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren't
afraid to say how they believe. At all times go after your heart.

Stefan wrote:
08.29.14 at 6:54 AM

Dac? nu a?i dat seama pân? acum , locurile dulci am vorbit despre
sunt numite zone erogene . În acest gam? larg? de habitate patru sute de specii de pasari au fost deja înregistrate în Parcul .

08.29.14 at 1:21 PM

Heya i'm for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out a lot.
I hope to give something back and aid others like you helped

09.02.14 at 2:05 AM

A favourite for wedding spots and honeymoon destinations, the island is a failsafe spot for a romantic trip.

The Amphawa Floating Market is held each Friday, Saturday and Sunday and vendors
start setting up at around noon, but a good time to go is between 3:
00pm - 4:00pm when the heat of the day is beginning to
lessen. I remember how naive I was before I went to Thailand.

Comment on this entry

(will not be published)
(optional -- Google will not follow)

Type the characters you see in the picture above.

Pre-Order My Book!

small_final_covershot_dropshadow.jpg A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.

Follow Me On:

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Instagram Delectable Flipboard

Most Recent Entries

Earthquake Rattles Napa Harvest NIMBY Versus Vineyard in Malibu Vinography Images: Precious Droplets MORIC: The Apogee of Blaufränkisch 2014 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend: August 29-31, Healdsburg, CA The (Still) Dismal State of California Chardonnay What a Way to Go: Wine At the End of Your Life Vinography Images: Into the Tank 72 Pinot Noirs on a Sunny Afternoon: Tasting at IPNC 2014 The Great White South: An Introduction to Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc

Favorite Posts From the Archives

Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjo, Toyama Prefecture Wine.Com Gives Retailers (and Consumers) the Finger 1961 Hospices de Beaune Emile Chandesais, Burgundy Wine Over Time The Better Half of My Palate 1999 Királyudvar "Lapis" Tokaji Furmint, Hungary What's Allowed in Your Wine and Winemaking Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Appreciating Wine in Context The Soul vs. The Market 1989 Fiorano Botte 48 Semillion,Italy

Archives by Month


Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.