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WillaKenzie Estate Pierre Leon Pinot Noir 2010

Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • W&S93
  • RP91
13.5% ABV
  • WE91
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  • W&S91
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Currently Unavailable $44.99
Try the 2014 Vintage 37 99
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This youthful wine features a striking ruby garnet color. Complex aromas of blackberry and red plum follow lively notes of black pepper, clove and forest floor. Red cherries and currants dominate the fruit components in the mouth while flavors of pepper and tobacco also emerge in harmony with the aromas. The texture is rich on entry and glides all the way to an impressively long, lush finish. Aging potential of five to seven years.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 93
Wine & Spirits
Generous and velvety, this has pretty strawberry and red cherry flavors contoured by a mild, tarry bottom note. For all that richness of fruit the wine feels composed, light on its feet. Give it time to settle, then serve with duck.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
While I still consider the widespread association in the Willamette of Jory soils with red fruits and WillaKenzie soils with darker berries (as opposed to considering ripeness, clone, and other factors more relevant to determining position on a red-black axis), the WillaKenzie 2010 Pinot Noir Pierre Leon and its Jory Hills Vineyard counterpart could easily be used to buttress received opinion. Blackberry and cassis dominate here, and the brown spices, resin and caramel from barrel are better integrated than was the case in that Jory bottling. Bright, juicy primary fruit; a seed-crunching tang yet against a polished background; and a savory, mouthwatering undertone of meat stock and roasted red meats come together for a complete, seamless, and sustained performance. This ought to perform admirably through at least 2018.
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WillaKenzie Estate

WillaKenzie Estate

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WillaKenzie Estate, Willamette Valley, Oregon
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WillaKenzie Estate is located in Oregon's Willamette Valley on rolling hillsides in the Chehalem Mountains. The winery was named after the Willakenzie soil on which the vineyards are planted to convey the influence that the soil imparts on the wine's flavors and aromas. The vineyards are planted with grapes of the Pinot family, mostly new Dijon clones of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris from Alsace. Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris are cool climate grapes, which are particularly well adapted to Oregon.

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 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.

CWC981891_10_2010 Item# 122013