2010 Big Table Farm Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1083848 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Bringing together fruit from Pelos Sandberg and Johan vineyards in the Eola-Amity Hills with Wirtz on the northwestern edge of the Willamette, the Big Table Willamette appellation 2010 Pinot Noir is sappier and less woody than its pure Pelos Sandberg counterpart, its fresh plum and cherry tinged with sassafras and brown spices. Only at one of the sites that inform this did natural alcohol reach 13%, but Marcy didn’t chaptalize (though in 2011 he did a bit). One upshot is a levity that nicely fits the brightness and purity of fruit as well as the subtly silken texture on exhibit here. (DS)  (8/2012)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Light, bright red. Asian spices and red berries on the fragrant nose and in the mouth. This lithe, nervy Pinot finishes with strong cut and very good persistence. No excess fat here. (JR)  (7/2012)

K&L Notes

Big Table Farm is a collaboration between winemaker Brian Marcy (Turley Wine Cellars, Neyers Vineyards, Blankiet Estate, Marcassin) and artist (as well as successful wine label designer) Clare Carver who moved to Oregon's Willamette Valley from Napa to run a working farm, vineyard and winery in a collaborative and sustainable fashion. From the winery: "A slightly larger production than last year and more contributing vineyards have made this wine very approachable now--it has great fruit and spice that carries into a rich mid-palate, more spice, fruit and cola linger and keep me coming back for more. It is a very complete wine." Only 203 cases produced.

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Price: $29.99

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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.
Alcohol Content (%): 12.5