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Lemelson Thea's Select Pinot Noir 2012

Pinot Noir from Oregon
  • WE90
14% ABV
  • WS91
  • JS93
  • WS92
  • WE90
  • RP88
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Thea's Selection Pinot Noir is the measuring stick of our success as growers and winemakers. A blend from blocks in each of the Lemelson vineyards, Thea's expresses the vintage, our intentions and our efforts perhaps more than any other.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
Complex aromas of tea, berry, baking spices, fennel and clean earth. Perfectly balanced, with pretty, supple red fruits and ripe, textured tannins.
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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 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.

LIM234020750_2012 Item# 133307