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Expression 44 degrees Willakia Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006

Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • WS91
  • RP90
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Winemaker Notes

Willakia vineyard is located towards the northern end of the Eola-Amity Hills AVA, which is located within the Willamette Valley, 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 Nekia series that dominate this area, are the primary reasons the Eola-Amity Hills AVA is emerging as one of the world's most exciting winegrowing regions.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 91
Wine Spectator

This is lovely, tempting the nose with violet-tinged currant and blackberry fruit, washing easily over the tongue with a graceful balance of fruit and spice, lingering effectively as the flavors hover. Drink now through 2014.

RP 90
The Wine Advocate

The 2006 Pinot Noir Willakia Vineyard offers a deeper color, greater aromatic complexity, but essentially a similar personality. This smooth, seamless wine can be enjoyed over the next 4-6 years.

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Expression

Expression

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Expression, , Oregon
Expression
ex·pres·sion / (ik-‘spre-shen)
1: an act, process, or instance of representing in a medium
(a): something that manifests, embodies, or symbolizes something else

2: great pinot noir! (see below)

Pinot Noir is notoriously fickle, but can be brilliant when grown in the right terroir. 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.

Our goal is to showcase both the 'Grand-Cru' vineyards and the terroir of each sub-appellation. Each vintage, we will be bringing to you our finest blends from each latitude as well as small single vineyard designate lots that represent the best of what our vineyards can deliver!

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Zinfandel

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Unapologetically powerful, heady, and fruit-forward, Zinfandel is often thought of as a truly Californian grape, though in fact it is anything but. This variety has followed an intriguing trajectory to reach its adoptive home, beginning, surprisingly, in Croatia. Originally known as Tribidrag, it first made its way to southern Italy where it became known as Primitivo. From there it eventually migrated to what is now unarguably its most successful outpost, in California, and has thrived throughout the state. Of course, this is also the grape of White Zinfandel, a sweet pink wine that enjoyed great popularity in the 1980s and 90s. Though White Zin still has a significant following, today the variety is increasingly associated with the red version.

In the Glass

Zinfandel commonly features a bold, plush texture and notes of dark plum, blackberry, sweet spice, black pepper, dark chocolate, leather, and licorice, and can often be described as “jammy” and a little bit sweet. Very ripe examples may express a hint of dried fruit like raisin, fig, or prune. Despite its significant alcohol and weight, Zinfandel has very smooth, gentle tannins.

Perfect Pairings

Zinfandel is a powerfully flavored wine, mingling happily with bold food like brisket, lamb shanks, pork ribs, or anything barbecued. If care is taken with regards to alcohol levels, Zinfandel’s hint of sweetness can work well with milder Indian-spiced dishes like lamb curry.

Sommelier Secret

Thanks to its popularity both for home winemaking and as communion wine, many Zinfandel vines were able to survive prohibition, leading to the abundance of "old vine" Zinfandels. These low-yielding vines tend to produce wine that is concentrated, complex, and elegant.

HNYE44WPN06C_2006 Item# 97549

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