Ken Wright Cellars Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2017
#33 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2020
The Ken Wright Cellars Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is a representation of many of the single vineyard Pinot Noir sites in one bottle. Ripe rainier cherry, red plum and blackberry are nestled between notes of rose petal, cedar and turned earth. The wine is vibrant and lively on the palate with a generous finish.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Ken Wright’s most affordable Pinot Noir is back in good supply, and just as aromatic and beautifully structured as ever. It starts out on the lean side, hinting at rhubarb but rolling into riper raspberry and spicy plum fruit. The herbs have a peppery bite, and the overall impression is of a complex and layered wine.
Over 40 years of wine making has taught Ken a simple truth: source is everything. Located, in rural Carlton, Oregon, Ken Wright Cellars is devoted to producing wine that showcase the inherent quality of world class vineyard sites. With a clarity and breadth that is unequaled, Pinot noir is the ultimate vehicle for conveying the aroma, flavor and texture of the location in which it is grown.
In 1986, with family, belongings and 10 barrels in tow, Ken moved to McMinnville and started Panther Creek Cellars. His concept of focusing on vineyard-designate bottling began during those years at Panther Creek and this was cemented as a core philosophy in 1994 when Ken Wright Cellars was founded. Ken Wright Cellars now produces a single vineyard Pinot Noir from 13 different vineyard sites in the Northern Willamette Valley.
Their approach to the craft of wine growing is one of stewardship rather than manipulation. We use organic certified practices as a base and expand upon that with advanced nutrition-based farming. By analyzing both their soil profile and vines, maintaining proper crop levels, personally sampling each vineyard, and hand-sorting each cluster, we ensure that the inherent character in the fruit is revealed in the finished wine. Minimal handling of wine is essential to preserve what it is; a gift of nature.
Home of some of the planet’s most amazingly elegant and expressive Pinot noir, the Willamette Valley is a pastoral, mixed landscape of green, bucolic rolling hills, dramatic forestlands and small, independent, friendly wine growers. As a leader in environmental stewardship, the valley has some of the nation’s most protective land use policies, with two-thirds of its vineyards farmed sustainably and over half, organically. While the valley claims a cool, continental climate, and is heavily influenced by the cold, moist winds of the Pacific Ocean, its warm and dry summers allow for the steady, even ripening of Pinot noir.
The potential of Willamette Valley Pinot noir continues to attract the investment of serious growers and winemakers both locally and from abroad, as naturally the finished wines bring accolades from professionals and enthusiasts. With a range of styles from delicate dried cherry, raspberry and hibiscus to stronger notes of truffle, mocha, plum and spice, a fine Willamette Valley Pinot noir is a perfect expression of both character and grace.