2009 Brittan Vineyards "Basalt Block" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1111636 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The Brittan 2009 Pinot Noir Basalt Block smells, in its own way, no less intriguing nor, metaphorically speaking, -mineral- than its successors from cooler 2010, displaying scents of ocean breeze replete with iodine and kelp wreathed in bittersweet floral perfume and allied to lusciously ripe yet tartly-fresh purple plum, cherry, and blackberry, which are highly piquantly-tinged with their pits and seeds. Despite harboring around 14% alcohol, this displays a remarkable sense of levity to accompany its vibrant, downright vibratory intensity. It’s hard for me to imagine it remaining riveting for any less than another dozen years. (DS)  (8/2012)

94 points Wine Enthusiast

 The fourth vintage for Brittan’s elegant Basalt Block Pinot Noir is arguably the finest yet. Tangy and pure, with an immaculate, expressive cherry flavor, it has great purity, with great depth of flavor and vivid minerality. It’s a beautifully crafted wine, sure to continue to improve over a decade or more. (PG)  (8/2012)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Sharply focused, tight and crisp, with juicy raspberry, pomegranate and white pepper flavors that zing through the finish. Shows intensity and deft balance. (HS)  (12/2012)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Vivid ruby-red. Heady, complex bouquet of candied dark berries, cherry-cola, potpourri and woodsmoke. Sappy, penetrating dark berry flavors show impressive depth and focus, with floral pastille and spicecake qualities adding complexity. Finishes sweet and long, with resonating spiciness and gentle tannic grip. (JR)  (7/2012)

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Price: $42.99
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Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- Highly touted for its Pinot Noirs, Oregon is part of the up-and-coming winemaking industry in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Most of Oregon is directly affected by the climate coming off of the Pacific Ocean, giving it mild winters and wet summers. This makes it a difficult place to ripen grapes, but some say that the harder grapes have to struggle, the more complex they will turn out to be. Chardonnay and Pinot Gris are two important and successful grapes grown in Oregon.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.5