2017 Ken Wright Cellars, Canary Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir, $60
Winery Info: Ken Wright founded his eponymous winery in 1994 in Carlton, Oregon and since then has become one of the state’s most respected winemakers. He is passionate about showcasing the influence of the distinct sites he uses in each of his single-vineyard wines, firmly believing that Pinot Noir is one of the best grapes for conveying the character of the soil in which it is grown. In a feature article on Ken in 2014, The Wine Spectator called him the “Master of Pinot Noir in Oregon.”
Winemaker: Ken Wright
Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir, aged in new and neutral French oak for ten months.
Vineyard: Canary Hill Vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA, planted in 1983 on an east-facing slope with volcanic Nekia and Jory soil. Owned by Ken and Karen Wright.
Flavor profile: A deliciously rich and complex Pinot with well-integrated flavors of bright red and blue fruits, savory notes of herbs, and silky, balanced tannins. The finish is long and layered.
Production: 600 cases made. The distributor still has a moderate amount in stock.
Drinking window: Enjoy anytime through 2027.
Food Pairing: Our rep suggests pairing it with grilled Oregon lamb chops or sheet pan ratatouille.
2019 Ovum Wines, “Off the Grid” Riesling, $28
Winery Info: Ovum was established in 2011 by Ksenija and John House with the goal of “producing Oregon white wines that are honest reflections of time and place.” In a state where Pinot Noir is the star, they prefer to work with lesser known vineyards and varietals and they focus predominantly on Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and Muscat grapes. They practice low intervention in their winemaking in order to let the fruit, the site, and the vintage character shine through, keeping their hands as winemakers as invisible as possible. Skurnik Wines, distributor of Ovum nationally, writes, “Ovum’s work is among the most compelling white winemaking we have encountered in our search throughout the Pacific Northwest.” John and Ksenija were featured in the Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s 40 Under 40 Tastemakers for 2019.
Winemaker: John House and Ksenija Kostic House (she is also assistant winemaker at Argyle Winery)
Grapes: 100% Riesling, fermented with native yeasts in concrete egg and neutral wood.
Vineyard: Cedar Ranch Vineyard, located in southern Oregon’s Illinois Valley in the Cave Junction AVA, not far from the California border. The soil is alluvial clay over galet-like stones.
Flavor profile: This wine has classic Riesling character, with stony minerality and beautiful mouthwatering acidity. It is a dry Riesling, but extended lees contact adds texture, depth, and aromatic complexity to the fresh citrus notes.
Production: About 260 cases produced. This one is sold out at the winery, but the distributor still has a little bit left.
Drinking window: Riesling is one of the most ageable wines. The winery suggests enjoying this one anytime up to about a decade from vintage (2029).
Food Pairing: Riesling is always a perfect wine for Asian fare, especially dishes with a little spice.