2012 Ponzi "Reserve" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1220850 92 points Vinous

 Deep red with a bright rim. Spicy, smoke-accented black raspberry and candied cherry aromas are complemented by suggestions of rose pastille and sassafras. Sweet, palate-coating dark berry and cherry-cola flavors tighten up and become spicier in the mid-palate. Rich, concentrated, lively Pinot with velvety tannins framing the plush fruit and contributing to an impression of power. (JR)  (10/2015)

92 points Wine Enthusiast

 This reserve bottling spent 20 months in 50% new French oak. Spicy and complex, it deftly moves from pretty scents of lavender and blueberry into a firmly knit wine nuanced with nutmeg, star anise, ginger, citrus and tobacco. Drink now through 2020. (PG)  (2/2015)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Firm tannins surround a dark core of cherry, plum and dusky spices, coming together harmoniously with the texture as the finish persists elegantly. Has depth and distinction. Best from 2016 through 2022. (HS)  (2/2015)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2012 Pinot Noir Reserve comes from the estate's oldest sites based on a hillside about eight miles from the winery, planted with vines in 1975 and 1978, intended to be a wine for cellaring. It was fermented after a five-day cold soak with a seven-day post-ferment skin maceration before aging in French oak barrels for 20 months (50% new). The bouquet is generous and attractive with ripe red cherries, raspberry preserve, vanilla extract and sous-bois aromas that are nicely defined. The palate is medium-bodied with rounded red berry fruit, soft as a pillow in the mouth, caressing in texture with lithe red cherries and wild strawberry on the sumptuous finish. Disarmingly approachable, though intended for cellaring, I would not begrudge opening this now and drinking over several years. (NM)  (3/2015)

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Price: $54.99

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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 (%): 13.8