2014 Penner-Ash "Estate Vineyard" Yamhill-Carlton District Pinot Noir
Ruby-red. Aromas of blackberry, cherry cola, candied licorice and mocha take on a suave floral element in the glass. Sweet and broad on the palate, offering intense dark berry and violet pastille flavors sweetened by a building note of vanilla. The cola and vanilla notes come back steadily on a very long, penetrating finish that's framed and given grip by smooth, harmonious tannins. For a rich wine, there's quite good energy here. (JR)
Directly adjoining the famed Shea Vineyard, these grapes bring comparable quality. This is young, grapy and aromatic, with primary aromas focused on black-cherry fruit. There are streaks of licorice and cola, leading into a long, lemony, tobacco-laced finish.
A lightly chewy red with cedar, walnut and berry character. Soft and caressing on the palate. Medium to full body. Lightly candied finish. Drink now.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2014 Pinot Noir Estate Vineyard is completely destemmed. I found the aromatics to be missing a little complexity: straightforward red berry fruit mixed with light mossy aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with dark berry fruit mixed with black peppercorns, flinty notes and sage. Here the wine finally delivers the terroir expression with commendable delineation on the tart cherry and balsamic finish. Not bad at all, and it shows more gumption and breeding than the 2012 Estate Vineyard. We moved on to discuss the 2014 growing season. "It started off with great set because the weather was fine. We decided to let the vines hang a bit heavier and adjust the crop at a later date. We were at 4.5 tons per acre and then thinned out after véraison until we were at about three-tons per acre in order to keep the alcohol under control. We started around the 24 September and picked through October. We did a lot of saignée (10%) as the clusters were larger than predicted in order to get a better skin to juice ratio. There is real purity and focus in the wines." Generally, I found the 2014s to be a solid set of releases, even if they do not quite deliver the riveting quality of Oregon’s best. There was something maybe just a little "safe" about these wines, though the Zena Crown and Shea Vineyard provided Penner-Ash with some absolutely gorgeous fruit that has been translated into bottle. (NM)