2020 Ken Wright Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, Oregon
This is one of, if not the best, deal in domestic Pinot Noir that we have right now- and fans of California Pinot will love it! Oregon Pinots often tend towards the lighter, more ethereal style, but this wine isn't lean at all- its got great mouth filling fruit and the type of texture from balanced, fine tannins that one expects in a much more expensive Pinot. On the nose, its got Oregon charm, with dark berry fruit, dark floral notes and a hint of wet earth. The palate has surprisingly juicy red cherry fruit and a long finish, and it opens up considerably with some time in the glass. Easy recommendation for lovers of Pinot at any price point, let alone at $25. ~Ryan Smith, Enoteca Direct
In 1986, with family, belongings and 10 barrels in tow, Ken Wright moved to McMinnville and started Panther Creek Cellars. His concept of focusing on vineyard-designate bottling began during those years at Panther Creek and this was cemented as a core philosophy in 1994 when Ken Wright Cellars was founded. Ken Wright Cellars now produces a single vineyard Pinot Noir from 13 different vineyard sites in the Northern Willamette Valley.
His approach to the craft of wine growing is one of stewardship rather than manipulation. He uses organic certified practices as a base and expands upon that with advanced nutrition-based farming. By analyzing both the soil profile and vines, maintaining proper crop levels, personally sampling each vineyard, and hand-sorting each cluster, Ken ensures that the inherent character in the fruit is revealed in the finished wine. The Willamette Valley Pinot is a representation of many of the single vineyard Ken Wright Pinot Noir sites in one bottle.
Ripe rainier cherry, red plum and blackberry are nestled between notes of rose petal, cedar and turned earth. The wine is vibrant and lively on the palate with a generous finish. One of the best "crowd-pleaser" Pinots at this price we've come across in awhile.