Argyle Spirithouse Pinot Noir 2008
Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
There was a lot of buzz about the greatness of the Oregon 2008 vintage, and this wine is the proverbial proof in the pudding. This youthful wine slowly opens in the glass, first showing off rich spice, delicate oak, and cigar box, then unwinding to let lush dark Bing cherry come to the forefront. On the palate, this wine is like drinking velvet—soft, rich, and luxurious. Flavors reminiscent of red current jam, fresh picked Damson plum, warm forest berry cobbler with a dollop of vanilla bean, and light brushed-leather notes. With so many nuances combined with a clean streak of acidity, this is a wine that will reward for years and years to come.
Wine Spectator - "Light, with a savory edge to the panoply of raspberry, chamomile and floral flavors, remaining vivid and focused through the long, expressive finish. Drink now through 2019."
The Wine Advocate - "The fruit for 2008 Pinot Noir Spirit House was sourced from the Knudsen Vineyard in Dundee Hills and is also scheduled for a Spring 2011 release. It is a bit tighter than the Nut House but possesses all the right stuff for a graceful evolution of 5-7 years. Concentrated, focused, and beautifully balanced, it should easily achieve its 20th birthday in fine form."
International Wine Cellar - "Bright ruby-red. Vibrant red berry, spicecake and floral aromas show very good focus and pick up smokiness with air. Sappy, precise, palate-staining red fruit flavors display a refreshing bitterness and are complicated by notes of candied rose and clove. The spice and floral notes repeat on the suave, persistent finish."
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Twenty-five years ago, Argyle began making wine in Oregon's Willamette Valley. Since 1987, winemaker Rollin Soles and viticulturist Allen Holstein have teamed up to produce world-class method champenoise sparkling wines, barrel-fermented Chardonnay, and silky-textured Pinor Noir from low-yielding vines that are winery farmed on some of the best hillside slopes and elevations. Argyle wines have received a total of 11 Wine Spectator Top 100 designations - more than any other winery in Oregon. The Argyle wines represented on this list include sparkling wine, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, truly making Argyle one of the finest practitioners of the craft of elegant, long-lived winegrowing. View all Argyle Wines
About Willamette ValleyView a map of Willamette Valley wineries (will-AAM-it)
Named for the river that runs through the valley from Portland to Eugene, Willamette Valley is home to some of the best Pinot Noir vineyards in the Northwest. While along the same north/south line as Seattle, the Willamette Valley is protected from Pacific rains by the Coast Range on the western border and the Cascade Ranges to the east. Though sunshine is typically plentiful, rainfall can occasionally be tricky, and the wines here vary vintage to vintage. Within the Willamette Valley are are number of sub-regions, including McMinnville, Dundee and Yamhill.
Notable FactsThe valley is known for its Pinots – Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. With a climate similar to Burgundy – in rainfall, sunlight hours and other climate factors – Pinot Noir has flourished here. Pinot Noir in Oregon produces wines that are fruit forward, yet complex, some with good agebility.
Other than Pinot Noir, many wineries grow Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. Pinot Gris from Oregon is delightful in its texture and food friendliness. Chardonnay in the valley adapts well to the cool climate and produces lean, elegant wines.
About OregonOregon has long been an agricultural state, producing everything from hazelnuts to cattle. The Willamette Valley in particular is a fertile basin for all sorts of produce. Not quite pegged as a wine state, in 1965, a UC Davis graduate named David Lett decided that the Willamette's climate mirrored that of Burgundy in France. With that in mind, he decided to plant some Pinot Noir clones to see how they did. And a good gamble it was. The Willamette is now one of the only regions in the world to focus solely on Pinot Noir as its red variety. Also known for Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. The southern part of Oregon has been slower in delving into the world wine market, but has been making excellent strides with their Rhone style varietals, like Syrah and Grenache. There are also coastal regions producing promising wines.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
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