2018 Ken Wright Cellars, Tanager Vineyard Pinot Noir, $60
Winery Info: Ken Wright founded his eponymous winery in 1994 in Carlton, Oregon and since then 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.
Winemaker: Ken Wright
Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir
Vineyard: Tanager Vineyard, located about two miles north of Carlton. Planted in 2009 at around 300 feet elevation in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA on ancient marine sedimentary Willakenzie soil.
Flavor Profile: This Pinot is supple and expressive, with subtle floral aromas and flavors of red and blue fruit—think raspberry, blueberry, and currant. With hints of earth, warm spice, and dark chocolate.
Availability: 207 cases produced. The winery is sold out of this vintage, and the distributor just has a few cases left.
Drinking Window: Now, or over the next five years or so.
Food Pairing: You could pair this Pinot with Peking duck, bacon-stuffed mushrooms, or Portobello mushroom burgers.
2021 Cristom Vineyards, Pinot Noir Rosé, $28
Winery Info: Cristom was established in 1992 by Paul and Eileen Gerrie. They shared a deep respect for the land, the natural winemaking process, and Pinot Noir. Their winery is located 43 miles from the Pacific Ocean, with vines planted on volcanic soils in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA. Their estate vineyards are all farmed biodynamically and sustainably. Today the Gerries’ son Tom is the winegrower and second-generation owner of Cristom.
Winemaker: Steve Doerner has been Cristom’s head winemaker since its first vintage. He is assisted by Daniel Estrin.
Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir
Vineyard: From Paul Gerrie Vineyard (named for Cristom’s co-founder), planted in 2014 with a variety of soil types, including Jory, Nekia, and Witzel; and Larry Stone Vineyard (named for master sommelier and founder of Lingua Franca Winery, Larry Stone), established in 2013 next to Seven Springs Vineyard, with volcanic soils. Both are in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA.
Flavor Profile: This Rosé is very delicate and nuanced, with bright red fruit notes, subtle stony minerality, and balancing, food-friendly acidity.
Availability: 850 cases produced. This vintage is still in good supply.
Drinking Window: Enjoy anytime this summer or into the fall.
Food Pairing: Great on its own, or with salads, appetizers, or light seafood dishes.