2011 O.P.P. by Mouton Noir Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1123230

You down with OPP? Founded in 2007 by André Hueston Mack, former sommelier at the French Laundry and former head sommelier at Per Se in New York, Mouton Noir began as a negociant project to make wines from Oregon grapes for Mack's restaurant and sommelier clients in New York. Fortunately for Mack, his wines were good, demand went viral (with Mack's reputation and the motto, 'Kick-Ass Garage Wines from Oregogne,' how could it not?) and the project has expanded from 380 cases with the 2008 release cases to 20,000 at the end of 2012. Production now includes a tasty assortment of wines, all bearing clever, appropriately irreverent names and cheeky marketing slogans. This is the second release 'OPP' ('Other People's Pinot') and delivers more classic Willamette character, showing spicy red cherry and gingery earth spice aromas and flavors with floral top notes and herb undertones. Unabashadly juicy, made in an accessible and friendly style, this is a real palate pleaser that can be enjoyed with or without food. Now you don't have to dine in NYC's prestigious Marea, Aureole and Lure Fish Bar to get some! In a December 2012 article in the Wall Street Journal, wine writer Lettie Teague notes, "Mr. Mack admitted that some people are offended by the use of OPP, which references a certain popular rap song that references certain sexual practices, but he said he was just having fun with a play on words." (12/2012)

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Price: $19.99
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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.