2011 Cameron "Abbey Ridge" Dundee Hills Pinot Noir (Previously $55)

SKU #1145168 91-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 In thinking about the personality evoked here, Iím imagining a blend of Lafarge Volnay with Erich Weberís non-malo Saar Spatburgunder! Tasted in pieces from barrel, Cameronís 2011 Pinot Noir Abbey Ridge -- eventually around two-thirds Wadenswil and one-third Pommard clones -- is dominated by tart, fresh ginger-tinged juicy red fruits shadowed by their distilled counterparts, traits by now firmly associated with its vintage; and while itís marked by an impression of maceration on their pits and seeds, the tannins still come off as mild and conducive to considerable textural allure even in youth. A saline, sweet, iodine-tinged evocation of lobster shell reduction makes for mouthwatering savor; shitakes add to the umami effect; and even with a stony undertone as well as cyanic fruit pit notes none of the component lots here manages to come off as overly austere. I suspect this will thrill through at least 2022.  (10/ 2013)

K&L Notes

From the winery: "The 2011 Abbey Ridge Pinot Noirís aromatics begin with a beautiful hit of strawberry/rhubarb pie followed by kirschwasser, Madagascar vanilla pods, lavender, black pepper and horseradish. The palate evokes flavors of ripe strawberries and cherry pits. Its bright acid and long lasting finish in the back of the palate is typical of Abbey Ridge."

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Price: $39.99

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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 Spštburgunder 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.