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Penner-Ash Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2009

Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • WS90
14.5% ABV
  • WS92
  • V91
  • D90
  • JS92
  • RP90
  • WS90
  • WE90
  • WE92
  • WW91
  • WS91
  • RP91
  • RP90
  • RP91
  • WS90
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5.0 2 Ratings
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5.0 2 Ratings
14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Dark ruby in color, this exceptionally perfumed Pinot displays an aromatic array of wood smoke, toast, floral notes, black cherry, and black raspberry. This leads to an elegantly styled, spicy, focused, impeccably balanced wine with excellent volume, intensity of flavor, and a lengthy, seamless finish.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 90
Wine Spectator
Sleek and silky, with cherry and wet earth flavors, finishing on a savory note. This has firm tannins that stay behind the fruit as the finish lingers. Drink now through 2017. 4,800 cases made.
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Penner-Ash

Penner-Ash

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Penner-Ash, Willamette Valley, Oregon
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Penner-Ash Wine Cellars embodies the spirit and passion of small producers focusing on Pinot Noir in the northern Willamette Valley, Oregon. After working for some of Napa's premier wineries and Rex Hill Vineyards in Oregon, winemaker Lynn Penner-Ash and her husband, Ron, started Penner-Ash Wine Cellars in 1998. In the winery, the focus is on small-lot indigenous yeast fermentation with extended cold soaks to extract a rich, fruit-focused, textured mouth feel. Each lot is treated individually and depending on the outcome, either blended into their reserve quality Willamette Valley Pinot Noir or bottled separately as a vineyard designate.

Willamette Valley

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One of Pinot Noir’s most successful New World outposts, the Willamette Valley is the largest and most important AVA in Oregon. With a temperate climate moderated by a Pacific Ocean influence, it is perfect for cool-climate viticulture—warm and dry summers allow for steady, even ripening, and frost is rarely a risk during spring and even winter. Mountain ranges bordering three sides of the valley, particularly the Chehalem Mountains, provide the option for higher-elevation, cooler vineyard sites. The three prominent soil types here create significant differences in wine styles between vineyards and sub-AVAs. The iron-rich, basalt-based Jory volcanic soils found commonly in the Dundee Hills are rich in clay and hold water well; the chalky, sedimentary soils of Ribbon Ridge, Yamhill-Carlton, and McMinnville encourage complex root systems as vines struggle to search for water and minerals. The silty loess found in the Chehalem Mountains, somewhere in between the other two in texture, is fertile and well-draining but erodes easily, creating challenges for growers but necessitating careful vineyard management.

The celebrated Pinot Noir of the Willamette Valley typically offers supple red fruit, especially cranberry, without the powerful punch often packed by its California counterparts. Elegance is paramount here, and fruit flavors are balanced by forest floor, wild mushroom, and dried herbs—much more in line with Burgundian examples of the variety. Chardonnay too takes its inspiration from the French motherland, focusing on tart, crisp fruit and minerality, rarely relying upon heavy new oak. Pinot Gris here is fleshy and bright, and Riesling is dry, aromatic, and citrus-focused.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

STC109522_2009 Item# 109165