Ponzi Vineyards

Pinot Noir Reserve 2016

Willamette Valley

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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.

Vineyard

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.

Winemaking

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.

Vintage

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.

Tasting Notes

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

Color

Red

Grape Varieties

Pinot Noir

Appellation

Willamette Valley

Alcohol

14.4%

Suggested Retail Price

$69.00

Reviews

"Smooth and silky"

Wine Enthusiast - "Smooth and silky, this lovely reserve is loaded with ripe plum and cherry fruit. Barrel aging (20 months in 30% new French oak) brings cellar, nutmeg and chocolate notes. There's a pinch of pepper also, as it winds gracefully through a long finisher."

Trade Materials

Other Wines by this Producer

Classico Pinot Noir

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The "classic" representation of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, this wine encapsulates the experience, innovation, top vineyard sources, and expertise of the pioneering Ponzi family. Among the first to make Pinot Noir in Oregon and the United States and, since the start, among the very best. 

Tavola Pinot Noir

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Tavola is Ponzi's delicious early release Pinot Noir, a fruit-forward wine with soft tannins, made primarily from younger, lower elevations vines. Meant for early consumption, it is an unbeatable value for quality Pinot Noir. 

Chardonnay Reserve

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The Ponzi family has dedicated over 25 years to innovation in farming and winemaking to develop Oregon Chardonnay's place in the world. Luisa Ponzi's formative experiences working in Burgundy in the early 1990s guide her vision of producing complex and ageworthy Chardonnay.

Pinot Gris

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One of the original and most recognized Oregon and U.S. Pinot Gris producers, Ponzi was a major influence in establishing Pinot Gris as the first quality white grape variety in Oregon. Ponzi's Pinot Gris is an irresistably aromatic and expressive wine, and serves as a first encounter for many wine drinkers with Oregon wines and the Ponzi estate.

Abetina II Pinot Noir

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For decades, Ponzi Abetina Vineyard, which sits on a spectacular east-facing slope born in 1975 as a clonal experiment for Oregon State University, has produced an impressive Pinot noir with unique and complex flavors. So enthralled by the success at Abetina, in 2005 an exact duplicate was planted at Ponzi’s stunning Aurora Vineyard. The experimental collection of more than 20 Pinot noir clones was planted to the same soil, elevation and aspect, as Abetina. With the added element of youth, the Abetina 2 block at Aurora Vineyard gives this cuvée unparalleled vibrancy and depth.

Avellana Chardonnay

Willamette Valley

Oregon Chardonnays present an unparalleled combination of bright acidity, texture and freshness of fruit on the mid-palate. Winemaker Luisa Ponzi’s goal is to allow the wines to express these characteristics each vintage through single vineyard expressions. Planted in 2006, Avellana yields a richer, weightier style of Chardonnay as compared to the Aurora single vineyard wine.

Pinot Blanc

Willamette Valley

Pinot blanc was planted at Aurora Vineyard in the early 1990s, taking advantage of an ideal portion of the 80-acre site. This versatile white wine is a wonderful alternative to Pinot gris. Beautiful floral aromas of jasmine and magnolia mingle with notes of lychee, lemongrass, beeswax and green tea mochi with a touch of cardamom. The textured mouth is reminiscent of shortbread and the freshness of rainwater and wet slate with bright, juicy acidity that encourages another sip.

Madrona Pinot Noir

Willamette Valley

With its first bottling in 2016, Ponzi Vineyard's remarkable Pinot noir from Madrona Vineyard showcases the consistently stunning fruit from these 30-year-old vine. It reveals a true sense of place in the bottle. The vineyard was named for the madrone trees which surround the 10-acre site and is own rooted Pommard clone. This stunning expression of the Willamette Valley is handcrafted with tremendous attention to detail.

Aurora Chardonnay

Willamette Valley

Oregon Chardonnays present an unparalleled combination of bright acidity, texture and freshness of fruit on the mid-palate. Winemaker Luisa Ponzi’s goal is to allow the wines to express these characteristics each vintage through single vineyard expressions. Aurora yields an elegant wine with bright acidity and fruit.