Pinot Noir Reserve 2016
The Pinot Noir Reserve comes from primarily estate fruit, including from some of Oregon’s oldest vines. In some years the Ponzis will choose to add complementary parcels from longtime grower partners. The constant is that the heart of the wines is from old vines grown on Laurelwood soils in the Chehalem Mountains AVA. Ponzi’s Pinot Noir Reserve is one of the ultimate examples of artisanal, site-expressive Pinot Noir in the United States today, year after year epitomizing a character of restrained power.
Fruit for the 2016 Reserve was sourced entirely from Laurelwood soils in the Chehalem Mountains AVA. Selected barrels from Ponzi’s Aurora, Abetina and Avellana Vineyards comprise the majority of the blend with a few barrels from Linda Vista Vineyard.
All of the fruit was hand sorted and destemmed. Fermented in small lots with 5 days of cold soak to increase aroma and color, the peak temperatures reached 90 degrees. The fermenters were aerated or manually punched down twice a day (for 12-20 days) before undergoing a 7 day post-fermentation maceration to increase structure and length. This wine was aged in French oak barrels (30% new), for 20 months. It was racked and bottled by gravity without filtration or fining and was aged in bottle for 5 months before its release.
For the last three years we have been defining the new normal with early vintages in the Willamette Valley. 2016 jumped out of the gate with bud break a full 3 weeks earlier than what we are accustomed to. Flowering was condensed by a heat spell and an early summer gave us beautiful warm temperatures until August when it heated up. Harvest arrived later that month and was in full swing by early September. All fruit was in the door by the first part of October. Fruit quality was immaculate with absolutely no disease pressure. Fruit set was small due to the short flowering time. Berry size was also small resulting in lower yields and gorgeously intense fruit. I would liken 2016 to the 2006 vintage where we saw lush, beautiful wines with unexpected elegance and acidity, but in achingly short supply. Truly, a stellar vintage for Oregon.
Initial aromatics of salted caramel and dark chocolate lead to deep and diverse notes of paprika, fig, graphite, oyster shell, cedar, clove and nutmeg laced with beautiful floral wafts of violet and dried rose petal. The palate is seamless with flavors of bittersweet chocolate, ancho and candied citrus. The finish is long with chalky tannins.
-WINEMAKER LUISA PONZI
Suggested Retail Price
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Willamette Valley, Oregon
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