My Favorite Wine…
this week anyway
2014 Ken Wright Cellars Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, Oregon
For some reason, Pinot Noir is pretty polarizing. Some people just seem to be offended by the very idea of a Pinot Noir. Asking a big, bad, California Cab drinker if they are interested in Pinot Noir is like suggesting that they have little fingers…and we know what that means!
Anyway, Oregon Pinot Noir gets bit of a pass in the manly man’s guide to wines. Maybe because the idea of the Oregon Trail still seems…stud-ly? Maybe it’s just French Pinot Noir, also known as Burgundy, that is offensive to the fellas, because, you know…it’s French.
Ken Wright is a manly man’s idea of a winemaker. (Let me confess, that although I have had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Wright, I really have no idea what he’s actually like.) He grew up in Kentucky and then, a la Daniel Boone, heading west. He made his (winemaking) bones in California and then was an early pioneer in Oregon. Bought an abandoned train station for his tasting room. Makes wines that he likes, and doesn’t bow to convention. (By the way, all true).
His wines are actually quite good. NOT Burgundian, but they shouldn’t be because Burgundy and Willamette are pretty far from each other. His wines are quintessentially Oregonian. Or Willamettian. Whatever.
Rich, lush, with dark cherry, smokey tea and spruce notes. NOT a blockbuster (because its Pinot Noir), but packed with flavor and depth and character. This is a great Pinot Noir to drink now, like tonight, and anyone that tells you that it is advisable to hold it for 10 or 15 years has…really tiny fingers
(By the way…not the same Ken Wright as pictured on the baseball card)