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Ken Wright Cellars Savoya Vineyard Pinot Noir 2007

Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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    Winemaker Notes

    The vineyards of the Yamhill-Carlton District were planted mostly in the late 1980's and early 1990's. The primary soil of this area is called Willakenzie, named after the Willamette and McKenzie rivers. It is a sedimentary soil with a sandstone base rock. The sand content is quite high and the soil therefore very well drained. The sites are generally on the lower slopes of a volcanic ridge. Wines of the area possess aromas of red and black fruits, with added elements of cocoa, leather and fresh-turned earth. Acidity levels are generally lower than other regions, prompting these wines to be lush and agreeable in their youth.

    This is the first vineyard directly owned and developed by Ken Wright Cellars. The vineyard is located in the Yamhill-Carlton District northeast of Carlton. Planting began in 1999 with 4.5 acres of clones 777 and 115 on phylloxera resistant rootstock.. Total planted acreage as of spring 2002 is approximately 17 acres. Vine spacing is 6.5' x 4' and the elevations averages 450'. The soil is comprised of marine sediments known as Wellsdale and Willakenzie. These are sandy soils which drain quickly and hasten the ripening process. Our first commercial crop, 2002, has produced a muscular wine that has aromas of dense black fruit, seared meat, cedar and anise. Approximately 240 cases are produced. Ken and Karen Wright are owners. The vineyard is managed by Mark Gould.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Ken Wright Cellars

    Ken Wright Cellars

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    Ken Wright Cellars, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    2007 Savoya Vineyard Pinot Noir
    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.

    MARKENWPSAV07_2007 Item# 100229