Ken Wright Cellars Pinot Noir 2019, Willamette Valley, Oregon

Located in rural Carlton, Oregon, Ken Wright Cellars is devoted to showcasing the inherent quality of selected vineyard sites. With a clarity and breadth that is unequaled by other varieties, they believe Pinot Noir best expresses the character of these sites. More than any other variety, Pinot Noir has very specific climatic needs. While other varieties can adapt to variable conditions, Pinot Noir can be rather finicky, achieving success in only a handful of places in the world. Nestled between the lower elevation Coast Range to the west, and higher elevation Cascade Range to the east, the Northern Willamette Valley is one of those very special places where Pinot Noir excels. By worldwide standards, it is extremely cool, and yet it enjoys a long growing season. This extended season or ‘hangtime’ provides time for the complete development of flavor, aroma and texture. All of the successful vineyards of this area are planted on hillsides between 200 and 700 feet in elevation, in well-drained soil. The Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is a blend of Ken Wright’s traditional vineyards. 2019 is a defining vintage. Though we had several weather systems come in early September, we now have incredibly beautiful wine in our house. Patience was key as true ripeness only happens with mother nature’s blessing. Our 24 sorters removed everything harmful. Yes, we lost a significant volume of fruit but with the effort of our sorting line we were able to ‘perfect’ the fruit we received. In this competitive world quality is requisite. The 2019 wine is ridiculously dark in color and concentrated in flavor and aroma. The wine shows great purity. This is a great vintage for us that reminds me of 1991. That vintage, without question, was the best of the 90’s. Great balance, perfume and longevity. 2019 will be one of Oregon’s signature vintages.