Expression 44° Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir 2008
Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
The Eola-Amity Hills AVA, which is located within the Willamette Valley, is home to many of Oregon's finest Pinot Noir vineyards. During the growing season, ocean breezes push through the Van Duzer corridor in the Coastal Range maintaining a consistently cool climate that is the hallmark of all great Pinot Noir winegrowing regions. This climate, combined with the shallow, well-drained volcanic soils of the Willakenzie and Nekia soil series that dominate this area, are the primary reasons this viticultural area is emerging as one of the top winegrowing regions in North America.
Winemaker Notes Moderate crop levels combined with a warm growing season typified the 2008 vintage in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA of the Willamette Valley, and resulted in superb fruit quality at harvest. Winemaking began with cluster sorting and destemming, after which secondarily sorted whole berries underwent a prolonged cold soak, followed by gentle fermentation in small batches. The resulting wine lots demonstrated diverse personalities based on vineyard sites and clonal diversity; these qualities revealed themselves further during 11 months of barrel aging in French oak barrels. Reductive winemaking techniques helped further define and sculpt these wines. The final blend is representative of the spirit of the AVA, with complex aromas and flavors, minerality and plush-textured mouth feel.
Wine Spectator - "Refined, focused and elegant, weaving a strong mineral note through a chorus of blackberry, raspberry, pepper and floral flavors, mingling effortlessly on the extended finish. Drink now through 2018. 848 cases made."
Expression Wines represent a commitment to producing the finest Pinot Noir from the best sub-appellations on the West Coast.
Our vineyards at different latitudes represent different 'Expressions' of great Pinot Noir and our winemaker, Richard Sowalsky, is dedicated to crafting only the best wines from each region. Our winegrowing regions include the Santa Rita Hills (34°), the Sonoma Coast (38°), the Anderson Valley (39°), and the Eola-Amity Hills (44°) of Willamette Valley, Oregon. View all Expression 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.