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Argyle Pinot Noir 2009

Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • WS89
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Winemaker Notes

2009 was all about farming to balance Mother Nature's surprises. Argyle's farming culture got the crop level right on. We stripped leaves after the burning sun of August and in time for the Labor Day rains. We also believed September's drying, east wind forecast and put a security of water onto the vines to help them ride out the drying, late season heat with a maximum of ripening—which is the name of the game here in the Willamette Valley. Picking was unusually "segmented" this year. Usually we can say that every 200' rise in elevation can mean 10 days difference in ripening and thus picking. But in 2009 Argyle picked high and low elevation fruit at the same time! We picked all the sparkling fruit, then rested for a couple of days, then all the Chardonnay for still wine, rested another few days then all the red came in. The resulting wines are gorgeous, perky and sexy. I don't know that I have seen a more sensuous expression of flavor and aromas in my 23 years of Willamette Valley winemaking.

The aroma is surprisingly robust. Look for dark fruit aromatics like black berry, black cherry with nice Spice Route spicy complexity. The flavor is rich and robust as well. Black cherry folds nicely into lovely fresh earth on the middle palate. The ending is ripe black cherry and plum fruited.

Critical Acclaim

WS 89
Wine Spectator

This silky red shows pretty strawberry fruit, with a hint of licorice lurking in the background, persisting nicely. Finishes with finesse. Drink now through 2015. 19,200 cases made.

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Argyle

Argyle

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Argyle, , Oregon
Argyle
Twenty-five years ago, Argyle began making wine in Oregon's Willamette Valley. Since 1987, winemaker Rollin Soles and viticulturist Allen Holstein have teamed up to produce world-class method champenoise sparkling wines, barrel-fermented Chardonnay, and silky-textured Pinor Noir from low-yielding vines that are winery farmed on some of the best hillside slopes and elevations. Argyle wines have received a total of 11 Wine Spectator Top 100 designations - more than any other winery in Oregon. The Argyle wines represented on this list include sparkling wine, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, truly making Argyle one of the finest practitioners of the craft of elegant, long-lived winegrowing.

California

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Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production...

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Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production, if California were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest wine-producing nation. The state’s diverse terrain and microclimates allow for an incredibly wide-ranging selection of wine styles, and unlike tradition-bound Europe, experimentation is more than welcome here. Wineries range from boutique to massive corporations, and price and quality are equally varied—plenty of inexpensive bulk wine is made in the Central Coast area, while Napa is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive “cult” wines.

Just about every style of wine you can imagine is made in California, from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still to sparkling, light and fresh to rich and full-bodied. Each AVA and sub-AVA has its own distinct personality. In the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and other Bordeaux varieties dominate, as well as Sauvignon Blanc. Sonoma County is best known for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel. The Central Coast has carved out a niche with Rhône blends based on Grenache and Syrah, while Mendocino has found success with Alsatian varieties such as Riesling and Gewürztraminer. With all the diversity that California has to offer, it is certain that any wine lover will find something to get excited about.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration...

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin, and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice, and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb, and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

GVDLS68000902_2009 Item# 107437

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