2008 Lenne Yamhill-Carlton District Pinot Noir

SKU #1267193 91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright ruby. Intensely perfumed aromas of black raspberry, cola, mocha and Indian spices. The palate offers a range of red and dark berry preserve notes lifted by tangy acidity, with a smoky quality emerging on the back half. The spicy finish features impressive cling and lingering sweetness. I'd let this age for a few more years but it shows good complexity now. (JR)  (7/2011)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Lithe, refined and spicy, featuring white pepper and clove overtones to the dark berry and meaty flavors. Shows finesse as the flavors play through the finish. (HS, Web-2010)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Lenne’s 2008 Pinot Noir – of which 400 cases (very large by estate standards) were rendered – is about to be re-released this fall, and its current performance holds out hope that perhaps Lutz’s 2010s will be more complex and better-balanced in a couple of years. The tiny berries that he says characterized this crop seem very evident in its concentration of black raspberry and cassis with tart and bright fruit skin edge and a palpable sense of high-extract. Bitter chocolate adds both richness and depth, but there is none of the extraneous caramelized resin from this wine’s one-third new barrel that I experienced in several Lenne 2010s. Maritime saline and alkaline notes; crushed stone; and humus lend positively sinister complexity to an austere but powerful palate impression and strong finish that features a focus as well as a saliva-inducement such as I didn’t encounter in any of the Lenne 2010s. (DS)  (8/2012)

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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.
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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.