Ponzi Reserve Pinot Noir 2011
Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
Initial aromas of maple candy, baked cherry and smoked meats precede savory notes, bay laurel and black licorice. The mouth is focused and elegant with touches of huckleberry crumble, cola and spice. The finish is persistent and bright.
International Wine Cellar - "Deep red. Pungent red berry, cherry pit, wilted rose and sassafras scents, with hints of vanilla and woodsmoke in the background. Shows very good clarity and lift on the palate, offering juicy redcurrant, bitter cherry and floral flavors that flesh out and gain sweetness in the mid-palate. Sappy, smoky and focused on the finish, which features dusty tannins and a whiplash of vibrant red fruit and floral pastille qualities."
The Wine Advocate - "Originating primarily with loess-based estate sites in the Chehalem A.V.A., in particular (as is often the case) the multi-clonal, old vines Abetina planted in 1975 as a test site, Ponzi’s 2011 Pinot Noir Reserve also includes a bit of Gran Moraine from Yamhill-Carlton. It spend a surprising 20 months in barrel, but was none the worse for wear either from that experience nor from its having therefore been bottled only shortly before I tasted it in July. (It did however benefit from aeration.) Tamarind, sassafras, licorice and caramelized resin from barrel inflect dark berries on the nose as well as a palate that is richer than in the corresponding “regular” bottling, although it lacks that wine’s winsome saline savor. Instead, here is one of those instances in 2011 where we have a strikingly appealing sort of cyanic glow to the finish. I would tentatively plan to enjoy this through 2018. "
Ponzi Vineyards was founded in 1970 by Dick and Nancy Ponzi in Beaverton, Oregon. Ponzi is truly a family winery; daughter Louisa is the winemaker, daughter Anna-Maria is marketing director and son Michel is winery controller. The small winery and vineyards are situated 15 miles south of Portland. Ponzi produces limited quantity Pinot Noir, Pinot Noir Reserve, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Arneis and Vino Gelato, Ponzi's Italian version of a Riesling ice wine. View all Ponzi 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.