2008 Ken Wright "Shea Vineyard" Yamhill Carlton Pinot Noir

SKU #1054563 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2008 Pinot Noir Shea Vineyard surrenders a sexy nose of underbrush, a hint of mineral, smoke, cherry blossom, incense, and assorted red fruits. Seamless on the palate with a satin texture, intense ripe fruit flavors, lively acidity, and outstanding length, this densely packed effort admirably combines elegance and power. This pleasure-bent effort should age gracefully and see its 20th birthday in fine form. (JM)  (10/2010)

93 points Wine Spectator

 This vivid red is firm in texture and racy in flavor, offering mineral-accented currant, pomegranate and blackberry flavors that zing through the fine-grained finish. This has style and vitality. (HS)  (2/2011)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Deep red. Intensely perfumed, sexy scents of black raspberry, Asian spices and potpourri, with a hint of licorice that gains strength with air. Broad and sappy on the palate, offering sweet red and dark berry flavors and intense spiciness. Extremely suave, with strong finishing cut and admirable clarity. This is awfully alluring right now but should reward patience; I'd say start drinking it in about three or four years (JR) 92+  (7/2010)

K&L Notes

Perhaps the best known of Ken Wright's vineyard sources, the famous Shea Vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton District produces some of the most legendary pinot noir fruit in Oregon, vintage after vintage. This is easily attributable to the careful attention paid to the vines, the site's slight elevation and well-drained sedimentary soils. And, for as good as these wines are, they're still reasonably priced. Which means our limited supplies will disappear quickly, so don't dawdle.

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Price: $57.99
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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.