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Lemelson Thea's Select Pinot Noir 2000

Pinot Noir from Oregon
  • RP88
0% ABV
  • WS91
  • JS93
  • WS92
  • WE90
  • WE90
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Winemaker Notes

Thea Lemelson likes her Pinots on the racy side - deeply fruity, rich and satisfying, with softer tannins while still having the firm acidic backbone needed to pair easily with fine cuisine. Thea wants the complexity that comes from low yields and minimal intervention in the winery without having to wait a decade. Thea's Pinot Noir is indeed a "selection," a Reserve-level blend that brings together elements selected from individual barrels showing the most juicy, forward, perfumed, racy fruit, while still having the requisite tannins needed to age and gain in complexity. In our blending tasting selections, we have kept Thea's wishes in mind and have tried to please her... we hope you are also tickled!

Critical Acclaim

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RP 88
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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Lemelson

Lemelson

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Lemelson, Oregon
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Lemelson Vineyards has quickly established themselves in the top tier of wineries producing some of the world's finest Pinot Noir. Eric Lemelson's strong commitment to sustainable agriculture, combined with a winery that blends the latest technical innovations with respect for centuries-old winemaking tradition, reflects the high level of quality that increasingly characterize Oregon wines. An Oregonian since the late 1970s, Lemelson's first career was not as a farmer, but as an environmental lawyer with a strong commitment to "green" principles. His father was the late Jerome Lemelson, one of the 20th century's most successful and prolific independent inventors. Eric Lemelson fell in love with Pinot Noir's subtle flavors and distinct textures early in the 1990s. He planted his first vineyard in 1995, five years after moving to a Yamhill County farm from Portland, where he had lived since 1979. Two years later, realizing that he loved the work involved in growing winegrapes, he planted an additional 30 acres of Pinot Noir and began planning for construction of a sophisticated, gravity flow winery. The winery's first vintage (1999) of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Rose was released in October 2001.

Home to some of America’s most celebrated Pinot Noir, Oregon maintains a tight focus on small production, high quality wine even while the state’s industry enjoys steady growth. As a world-renowned wine region, Oregon has more than 700 wineries and is home to well over 70 grape varieties. With a mostly Mediterranean climate, its cooler and wetter regions lie in the west, close to the Pacific Coast.

By far the most reputed region is the Willamette Valley, which is further subdivided into six smaller appellations: Chehalem Mountains, Dundee Hills, Eola-Amity Hills, McMinnville, Ribbon Ridge and Yamhill-Carlton.

The Valley’s obvious success story is with Pinot Noir, which here takes on a personality that could be described in general terms as somewhere in between the wines of California and Burgundy—and is often more affordable than either one. The best Willamette Pinot noir has a rare combination of red and black fruit, elegant balance, high acidity and rustic earth. While completely enjoyable in their youth, some of the better, single vineyard or appellation-specific Pinot noirs can often benefit from some cellar time.

Other AVAs in Oregon’s west worth noting include Umpqua Valley and Rogue Valley.

In the east are Snake River Valley, which overlaps into Idaho, and Columbia Valley, which Oregon shares with Washington. Summers are hot and dry in these regions but winters are cold and rainy.

Other successful varieties in Oregon include Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot blanc.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

In the Glass

Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Villages or Cru level wines.

HNYLEMPTE00C_2000 Item# 61692