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Westrey Pinot Noir 2012

Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    13.6% ABV
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    13.6% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    The wine has a dense flavor spectrum of black-raspberry, Marionberry, and sweet spice. Fruit aromas are complemented by notes of clove and a hint of toasty vanilla oak. On the palate the wine is open and opulent, with loads of pure Pinot fruit, leading into a rich mid-palate. The finish is long and balanced, with a hint of well-integrated tannin.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Westrey

    Westrey

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    Westrey, Willamette Valley, Oregon
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    Westrey Wine Company was founded in 1993 by co-winemakers Amy Wesselman and David Autrey, along with David’s father, Robert Autrey, in Oregon’s burgeoning Willamette Valley. Amy and David focus on crafting elegant Pinot Noir wines, fruit-driven Burgundian-style Chardonnay and crisp, refreshing Pinot Gris. The wines are designed to be balanced and ageworthy, always complementing and enlivening the food with which they are served.

    Sourcing fruit both from the vineyards of long-time and well-respected friends in the Willamette Valley and from their own Oracle vineyard in the Dundee Hills AVA, Amy and David use these various puzzle pieces of fruit to build complexity into their wines. Vineyard-designated bottlings are designed to showcase the connection between the individual farms where the grapes are grown and the final personality of the wine.

    Amy and David strive to grow their grapes and make their wines using a sustainable approach. The vineyard is LIVE certified, a credential that is earned by taking into account not only organic approaches to farming but also by considering the inputs and outputs of the farm as a whole. Through their commitment to the !Salud! program Amy and David help to provide health care to vineyard workers who are otherwise uninsurable.

    The winery currently produces approximately 5,000 cases annually.

    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.

    VOSWTY12A002_2012 Item# 139170