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Willful Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2013

Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • WE90
13% ABV
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13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Earthy, and rose petal floral aromas alongside red raspberry and cherry notes with a lush, plumy mouth feel with a firm but supple texture.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
he gentle touch of the winemaker is clearly visible in this soft but substantial effort. Light cherry fruit, a streak of mocha and a hint of hazelnut combine gracefully. The tannins have a pleasant chalkiness. Native yeasts were employed, giving an extra dash of depth and complexity.
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Willful

Willful

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Willful, Willamette Valley, Oregon
As the saying goes, "where there's a will there's a way," and owner/winemaker Pam Walden is very willful! Her intention to live life to the fullest has always been clear, alongside a strong work ethic and independent spirit that embraces the unknown. After studying English literature in her native UK and working in television production for several years, winemaking found Pam in 1996, through a circuitous tale of love and adventure that began in France, and she has never looked back. Pam’s passion is the heart of all aspects of Willful Wine Company. With much gratitude to her ex-husband Aron and other mentors in the wine community whom she has had the honor to learn from along the way, Pam is proud to be one of the few female winemakers in this renowned Pinot Noir region and owner of her own company.

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.

NWWWF13PN_2013 Item# 156173