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Flat front label of wine

Ken Wright Cellars Abbott Claim Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008

Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • WS94
  • WE92
  • RP91
0% ABV
  • WS94
  • RP91
  • WS91
  • WS93
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Winemaker Notes

Raspberry, currant and subtle anise aromas. Glycerin laden mouthfeel. Dark fruit flavors that have depth and complexity. Very forward as is typical of this site.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 94
Wine Spectator
Light in weight and texture, with complex, mineral-accented blackberry, red cherry, whole grain and spice flavors that flow easily into the long, expressive finish.
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
The 2008 Pinots from Ken Wright display their individual terroirs quite succinctly, with little evidence of the (roughly) 30% new oak they receive. The Abbott Claim has a bit more of a chocolaty flavor, with full, spicy cherry fruit at its core. In fact there is so much fruit, spicy and candied, that it is a bit like fruitcake, in a good way.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2008 Pinot Noir Abbott Claim Vineyard comes from a site owned by Ken Wright and planted in 2001. It displays ample spicy fruit but not quite as much depth as some of its peers. Ripe, balanced, and correct in every way, it will benefit from 2-3 years of cellaring and provide pleasure through 2020, perhaps longer.
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Ken Wright Cellars

Ken Wright Cellars

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Ken Wright Cellars, Willamette Valley, Oregon
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Located in rural Carlton, Oregon, Ken Wright Cellars is devoted to showcasing the inherent quality of selected vineyard sites. With a clarity and breadth that is unequaled by other varieties, we believe Pinot noir best expresses the character of these sites. Rather than stamping wine with a varietal trademark, Pinot noir is the ultimate vehicle for conveying the aroma, flavor and texture of the location in which it is grown.

We also have a place in our hearts for the limited production of two white wines, Chardonnay from Celilo Vineyard near White Salmon, Washington, and Pinot Blanc from Freedom Hill Vineyard and Meredith Mitchell Vineyard.

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.

GVDKE68000902_2008 Item# 108290