Ken Wright Cellars Pinot Noir Savoya Vineyard, Yamhill-Carlton, 2013
Lovely wine for a Friday night at the house catching up on some notes and eating pasta. Maybe not the perfect restaurant pairing combo, but we were not complaining tonight with this.
I usually run through the Ken Wright Cellars selections a few times a year, and for the most part I have had issue with these wines as a whole. The problem I find with these wines are they are simply too big for my tastes. I like my Oregon Pinots to be classically elegant, bright and fresh, and I simply do not always find that in the Ken Wright selections.
This wine though is sufficiently soft and fruity to hit the mark, and perhaps I just wanted something really well made and full of flavor to end the week on. Don't get me wrong, this is no wimpy Pinot Noir. There is a full nose of vanilla and deep raspberry, but it is not weighty or sweet in its approach. The wine is actually quite inviting and pleasant to drink. It has a couple of vintages behind it so some softness comes from the youngish age, but this wine is simply straight up smooth, velvety fruit.
Maybe its AVA related? The Yamhill-Carlton AVA is a cooler spot with supple Pinots in my opinion, and I often gravitate to these in a general sense, so maybe no surprise I like it.
2+ out of 3 checks on the Somm-o-meter
Consumer Notes - lists for about $50 online for retail purchase. Not sure if you will find this at the moment, but looks like it is available.
Trade Community - Alan S. Goodman/Eder Bros. in CT - place this on your lists to counter the more elegant side of Willamette Pinot Noirs - should appeal to drinkers looking for that California experience, such as Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs, as it has that very big and polished style, yet still retains some balance that is rare in California wines.
So this first question to address might be, what is Chianti Rufina?
Chianti Rufina is a small sub-zone in the northeast part of the greater Chianti district, and is a area that has always been associated with Florence. I was fortunate enough to visit this area about 8 years ago courtesy of Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi and their Nipozzano estate. I remember two distinguishing things about the area - first, it was quite small, and second, was very hilly - being tucked into the foothills of the Apennines and all. The vineyards are basically tucked into the twisting hills outside the limits of Florence by about 30 minutes. The other thing about this area is that there is a fairly short list of wineries. Once you go beyond Selvapiana and Nipozzano, there are literally only a handful of other producers. Nonetheless, the region makes outstanding fan-favorite wines, that showcase beautiful fruit and great style.
Chianti Rufina is the quiet corner in the NE part of the greater Chianti "super-Zone"
A 25 year drinks industry expert, Brian has worked on just about every side of the beverage business, specializing in wine & spirits education, staff training, creative consulting, and of course service. He lives and works in Connecticut, where the number of working Somm's is limited, but he hopes through the effort of this site and its related events, that will change.