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Ken Wright Pinot Noir
2010 Pinot Noir in Willamette Valley: a difficult vintage said some, a disaster said others - "variable" said the Wine Spectator. We tasted some extraordinary wines from Ken Wright.
June 6, 2012
As Ken Wright Jack-of-all-trades Asa Sarver told it, faint-hearted growers picked before the impending September rain. Their wines were thin and green. Ken and some others stuck it out, not harvesting until late October, well after the rain. and made wines that Pinot lovers at last weeks tasting fell over themselves to praise.
it was a sophisticated group of tasters who knew that Pinot Noir does not have to be dark, and that it is often much better with delicate flavors and alcohol levels closer to 13 than 15%.
Last weeks three 2010s were exactly that, to boot with ample evidence in the glass that they have long lives ahead of them. Even though we opened the bottles two hours before the tasting began. They were rather closed and hard at the beginning, but opened to , well structured, well balanced wines which showed complexity, and a resilient fruit as they breathed.
The 2010 McCrone was my and the groups favorite. In the best burgundian tradition it was earthy and delineated. two days later in the store, it was even better, promising a great future for cellaring. The 2010 Abbot Claim was also well structured, perhaps a shade lighter and purer, and with not so much earth. The 2010 Carter showed more forward with more initial fruit. It ws more forward with a readier strawberry fruit, but had somewhat less depth than the other two.
One taster described the 2009s as being wines for dinner. The 2009 Meredith Mitchell showed the fuller and rounded of the two 2009s. Some people thought it had a funky note. others didnt sense that. The 2009 McCrone was the lightest, and most New World of the lot.
The 2009 Chardonnay was, as advertised a nice balance between full slightly tropical fruit and a defining acid line. It was well liked, and is satisfyingly rich without being cloying or flabby.
I brought a 2002 Carter Pinot Noir from my cellar. It still has lots of fruit, but with the beginnings of the burnishing that bottle age brings. it was a lovely wine with future still ahead.
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