2011 Big Table Farm "Wirtz Vineyards" Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir

SKU #1140668 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Wild ginger-, sassafras-, walnut- and lemon rind-inflected red berries scent and flavor Carver and Marcy's 2011 Pinot Noir Wirtz Vineyard whose infectiously juicy brightness, incisive spiciness, zesty piquancy, red raspberry seed-crunch and cyanic cherry-pit glow are further augmented by a sharp and subsequently musky bite uncannily akin to rose radish. I imagined a significant contribution of stems in the fermenter given the great support, complexity, the vibrancy that attends the tannins here, but it turns out that nearly all of the fruit for this bottling was de-stemmed. Finishing with vibrant and invigorating persistence, this buoyant (12.6% alcohol) beauty ought to perform gloriously through at least 2022.  (10/ 2013)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Vivid red. High-pitched redcurrant, strawberry and blood orange scents are complemented by notes of spicecake and fresh flowers. Bright, racy and subtly sweet, offering zesty red fruit and floral flavors and a bracing jolt of minerality. Closes with lingering sweetness, soft tannins and a sexy note of candied rose.  (8/ 2013)

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Price: $45.99

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Varietal:

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.
Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

Oregon

- 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.