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Flat front label of wine

Rex Hill Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2009

Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • WS93
  • WE90
13.5% ABV
  • JS91
  • WS91
  • JS91
  • RP90
  • WS90
  • WS92
  • TP91
  • WE91
  • WW90
  • WS90
  • WE90
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Try the 2014 Vintage 36 99
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3.0 2 Ratings
13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

#38 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2011

The 2009 Rex Hill Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is a classic example of Oregon Pinot Noir from a vintage that gave us intense fruit and intense flavors. Initial perfumed aromatics redolent of violets and roses, black currants, blueberries, black raspberries and wild strawberries are joined by suggestions of tobacco leaf, clean earth, dried fruit, smoke and spice as the wine opens. Some whole-cluster fermentation contributes dark fruit, tea and savory aromatic characteristics. The attack is rich with beautifully ripe tannins and flavors of red fruits and the blue fruits which are a hallmark of the vintage. The lithe mid-palate finds additional complexity with a strong, lingering finish that includes minerality, graphite and spices.

This wine has the intensity, structure and concentration to age and become more complex over the next 15 to 20 years.

100% Pinot Noir

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Focused, satiny and elegant, with a powerful thrust behind the pure currant and boysenberry flavors, shaded with touches of talcum and cream as the finish expands. Drink now through 2019.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
Rex Hill makes a wine assortment of Pinots; this sports the black label and is widely available and fruit forward. It's loaded with raspberry and cherry flavors and dusted with a bit of clean earth. There is a typical (for Oregon) streak of Dr. Pepper flavor as well. Overall, a nice bottle for immediate enjoyment.
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Rex Hill

Rex Hill

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Rex Hill, Willamette Valley, Oregon
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Rex Hill has been making elegant Pinot Noir for 30 years in Oregon's Willamette Valley. The landmark winery is located at the gateway to Oregon's wine country and welcomes visitors daily to their historic tasting room. Estate vineyards, including the crown jewel, Jacob Hart Vineyard, are farmed to Biodynamic tenets and the winery itself is L.I.V.E. certified. Now owned by the families at A to Z Winewords, the Rex Hill legacy of superior Pinot noir continues. The group brings combined Oregon winemaking experience that spans more than two decades and three continents, as well as high energy, commitment and love of Oregon Pinot Noir.

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.

CNC105061_2009 Item# 110939