2004 Ken Wright "Carter" Williamette Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1043533 93 points Wine Spectator

 Lithe and open-textured, a basically delicate Pinot, with a gorgeous thread of blackberry, currant and vaguely minty flavors that persist on a long, velvety finish, balanced against refreshing acidity. Drink now through 2014.  (12/2006)

91 points Wine Enthusiast

 The Carter has an appealing softness in the mouth; it’s almost airy, but not thin or dull in any way. Cranberry/cherry fruit seems to float above pillowy tannins, with just a bare hint of mint in the finish. Light and delicate.  (5/2006)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Waxy black cherries are found in the aromatic profile of the medium-bodied 2004 Pinot Noir Carter Vineyard. This outstanding wine boasts impressive breadth, depth, structure, and length. Its sweet black fruit and spice flavors are highly expressive and linger in its fruity finish. Drink this wine over the next 4-5 years.  (6/2006)

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Youthful red color. Rich, deep bouquet of ripe red berries and spicy, exotic oak. Full and fleshy, the fruit character verging toward liqueur-like, with hints of vanilla and clove adding interest. Finishes supple, round and long. An emphatically New World pinot that I'd drink on the young side.  (6/2006)

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Price: $49.99
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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.


- 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.