2014 Ken Wright, Latchkey Vineyard Pinot Noir $63
Winery info: Ken Wright founded his eponymous winery in 1994 in Carlton, Oregon and over the years has become one of Oregon’s most respected winemakers. He is passionate about showcasing the influence of the distinct sites he uses in each of his single-vineyard wines, and he believes that Pinot Noir is one of the best grapes to convey the character of the soil in which it is grown. Needless to say, he is very selective about the vineyards he chooses and how they are managed
Winemaker: Ken Wright
Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir
Vineyard source: Latchkey, a seven-acre vineyard about six miles east of Carlton in the Dundee Hills. It was first planted in 2008 and sits at about 500 feet in elevation with a southwest exposure. The rich, volcanic Jory soil tends to produce fruit with exceptional depth and complexity.
Flavor profile: Smooth and textured, with focused fruit flavors and bright acidity.
Production/Availability: Ken made about 500 cases of this wine and the distributor still has a fair amount of this vintage in stock, so it should be available for a while.
Drinkability: This is still quite young, and Ken’s wines are built to age. Although it is lovely now, a few years of cellaring will further develop the complex flavors of this wine.
Food Pairing: Salmon (broiled or grilled), lamb, roast duck, or braised chicken.
2012 Haden Fig, Juliette Chardonnay $25
Winery info: Erin Nuccio has been full-time winemaker at Evesham Wood since 2010 when founders Russ and Mary Raney retired and left their winery in his capable hands, confidant that they shared the same passion and winemaking philosophy. He also makes wines under his own Haden Fig label, where he is committed to crafting exceptionally complex and balanced wines from non-irrigated Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, and Rosé. Haden Fig, he says, is a “place for me to express myself.”
Winemaker: Erin Nuccio
Grapes: 100% Chardonnay, fermented spontaneously in barrel and aged 18 months on lees. Named for his daughter.
Vineyard sources: The fruit is from vineyards in Eola-Amity Hills, with its mix of volcanic basalt and shallow marine sedimentary soil.
Flavor profile: This is a wonderfully complex Chardonnay, with notes of hazelnuts and citrus and a beautifully creamy texture that goes on forever.
Production/Availability: About three and a half barrels. It should be in good supply for a while longer.
Drinkability: This wine is drinking great now.
Food Pairing: Pan seared scallops or other seafood, or herbed or ginger chicken.