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Patton Valley Lorna-Marie Pinot Noir 2011

Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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    Winemaker Notes

    The 2011 Lorna-Marie Pinot Noir appears to laugh at the cool, wet growing season that gave this wine its start. Unlike many of its 2011 counterparts, this barrel selection has the structure and fruit of a much warmer vintage. Leading with boysenberry, cigar-box, smoke, rose petals, and plum, the nose is as rich and concentrated as you would expect from this classic blend. The dark aromatics in the nose are overtaken by mouthwatering, bright flavors of Bing cherry and zesty lemon. The back of the palate is textured by bright acidity and soft tannins that push out the long and lingering finish. Drink now or cellar for 10-12 years.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Patton Valley

    Patton Valley

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    Patton Valley, Willamette Valley, Oregon
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    Patton Valley was founded by Monte Pitt and Dave Chen in 1995. We met in the mid-1980s while attending business school in Chicago. In between classes, we found ourselves exploring Chicago's legendary wine shops and developing a passion for what we consider the world's finest wine: Pinot Noir.

    Having caught "Pinot fever," we pursued our dream of owning a vineyard and making wine. Our search led us to Oregon's Willamette Valley, where we purchased a 72-acre parcel with the ideal combination of soil, exposure and elevation. With the site for the vineyard in hand, we formed Cherry Hill, LLC, the parent company of Patton Valley 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 Mediterranean 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 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. Silty, loess soils are found in the Chehalem Mountains.

    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, not Pinot noir. 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 Village or Cru level wines. So "red Burgundy" still necessarily refers to Pinot noir.

    NWWPT11L6_2011 Item# 141106