2011 Evesham Wood "Cuvee J" Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir

SKU #1147842 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Consisting as usual of six ostensibly superior barrels (two new) from the estate vineyard – all in this instance from the same relatively elevated sector of what is throughout a gently sloping site – the Evesham Wood 2011 Pinot Noir Cuvee J projects high-toned red raspberry and cherry shadowed by their distilled counterparts, volatile to the point of nasal prickle, which some tasters will deem over-the-line. Fresh ginger, new leather, smoky black tea, smoldering incense and punk add pungent allure while reinforcing the sense of oxidative development. Between the effects of what by estate standards is relatively elevated new wood (besides drying tannins, those effects include a hint of caramel), and the tactile counterpart to the wine’s volatile elements, this is invigorating but a bit rustic. The same can be said for the tartness of fruit acids on display: they are invigorating but some tasters will find them grating or even slightly screeching. Is this simply one that – perhaps literally as well as figuratively – got away from Nuccio? It was due to be released shortly after this report goes into print and perhaps will have settled down by then; and will definitely prove fascinating short-term, not to mention deserve another look. (DS)  (10/2013)

K&L Notes

The often-shy Cuvée J is not shy in the 2011 release, according to the winery. It was raised on just 40% new oak, and while the sweet, spicy oak flavors are noticeable, they're rounded by notes of herbs and a core of sweet cherry fruit, and the texture shows silky softness. This wine should continue to integrate its components over the next year or two of cellaring.

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Price: $34.99
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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