Shea Homer Pinot Noir 2010
Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
Homer is our blend of the "best" barrels in our cellar. The red fruit character of the vintage is here but this wine leans into the black fruit spectrum. The nose is big and the wine is structured and chewy. Spices and wood compliment the fruit. There is so much here that it will take years to unfold.
The Wine Advocate - "The 450 cases of Shea Cellars 2010 Pinot Noir Shea Vineyard Homer involve four blocks, only one of which also spawned a single-block bottling this vintage, feature all three of the vineyard's dominant selections or clones. "We look for our best barrels here," explains Shea, "but now that we've been doing this (bottling) for ten years, we're discovered that the flavor profile we want and what we’re trying to do with it seems mostly to come from the same blocks in the vineyard every year" – all, incidentally, on the upper-elevation west side, and dominated in aggregate by Wadenswil – "so now we sort of have in mind in advance what's going into 'Homer.'" Mint, bay laurel, smoky nut oils, and violet fascinatingly accent the ripe dark berries in this alluringly scented and polished, expansive, palpably extract-rich as well as downright energetic Pinot that easily (i.e. almost undetectably) digests its diet of 80% new oak. Billowing inner-mouth perfume; richness and concentrated fruit without heaviness; and an exhilarating ping to the long, mouthwatering finish all make for a memorable experience that should be deliciously replicable over at least the next 12-15 years. "
International Wine Cellar - "Vivid red. A heady bouquet evokes candied raspberry, boysenberry, Asian spices and potpourri, with subtle vanilla and cola notes building with air. Sappy, penetrating and pure, with red and dark berry flavors gaining weight and spiciness in the glass. Powerful but lithe pinot with excellent finishing focus and persistent spiciness. Give this youthful wine at least another five years of bottle age."
Wine Spectator - "Darker and richer than most 2010s, but sleek, offering dark berry, sassafras and clove flavors that mingle effortlessly against modest tannins. Lingering finish."
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Shea Wine Cellars Winery
Shea Vineyard, located in the Yamhill Foothills of Oregon's Willamette Valley, was first planted to wine grapes by Dick Shea in 1989 and 1990. Today the vineyard property consists of 200 hillside acres of which 140 are planted to wine grapes, largely Pinot Noir and a few acres of Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. The south facing vineyard sits in a viticultural region called the Willakenzie District. The soil of the vineyard is shallow and very well draining with sandstone subsoil. The vineyard has never been irrigated.
Currently the winery supplies several top Pinot Noir producers in Oregon (Archery Summit, Beaux Freres, Ken Wright, Panther Creek, and St. Innocent) and one in California (Sine Qua Non). The Wine Enthusiast in its annual review of Oregon wines in December 2000, wrote, "It is no coincidence that our two top rated wines... were made from fruit from Richard Shea's perennially superb Willamette Valley vineyard." View all Shea Wine Cellars 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.