2011 A to Z Oregon Pinot Noir (Previously $15)

SKU #1118788 90 points Wine Spectator

 *Top 100 Wines of 2013, Smart Buys* This sleek red is tightly packed, with delicate layers of cherry, tobacco and cocoa flavors that mingle against refined tannins, persisting pleasantly on the light-stepping finish. Drink now through 2017.  (10/2013)

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Light, bright red. High-pitched strawberry and rose scents show good clarity and pick up spiciness with air. Clean and brisk, in the style of the vintage, but a modicum of sweetness gives the red fruit flavors a sense of depth. Closes tangy and slightly firm, with good cut and length.  (8/2013)

Wine Enthusiast

 Tart and spicy, this is loaded with flavors of raspberry and cherry pie, lightly dusted with accents of cocoa powder. The result is a pretty, slightly candied, ready-to-drink Pinot Noir.  (3/2013)

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Price: $13.99
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Staff Image By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/12/2013 | Send Email
In the sake of full disclosure we are not breaking any new ground by sending the A to Z Pinot Noir out to you in an e-mail. We’ve done it before and I bet we do it again. I’d bet that you seen this wine around, and I’d bet a smaller amount that you’ve probably tried it once or twice over the years. Sometimes the wine can be ho-hum after all it is a large scale Pinot Noir that can taste like, well, a large scale Pinot Noir. But in special years it can be that large scale Pinot that is just delicious and wildly affordable which is exactly what we think this 2011 vintage is. From fruit grown in both the Willamette Valley and Southern Oregon this combines the sassy, acid driven vibrance of the vintage from the North and the richer, balancing texture and darker fruit from the south into one amazing Pinot. With its inviting white cherry, loganberry and cassis fruit and a touch of sweet, woodsy spice the nose here is on the delicate side but it is not without its charms. Juicy and surprisingly round on the palate this is packed with tons of blue/black fruited goodness and enough complexity to keep you interested through an entire bottle but enough likeable simplicity to not get in the way of anything else you may be doing either. In fact I think it is about as perfect of an affordable cocktail Pinot as it gets. A little boysenberry, a little sandalwood, a slight touch of some wet Oregon ferns and a whole lot of soft, melty Pinot tannins and you have maybe the best $15 Pinot we’ve had in the store all year.

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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