Friday, August 22, 2014

Shea Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2009

Shea Wine Cellars 'Estate' Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2009

Since 1996 Dick & Deirdre Shea have been producing a range of vineyard and block designated select Pinot Noir labels sourced from their large 200 acre Yamhill-Carlton estate in Oregon's Willamette Valley. Previously, they had already developed a reputation as growers of some of the finest Pinot Noir fruit in Oregon providing fruit to more than 20 producers including Penner-Ash, Ken Wright, and St. Innocent. Most of their clients bottle their Shea sourced wines under vineyard designated labels, more often than not, they are the best wine in their respective portfolios and the ones that sell out the most quickly. The Shea's keep about 25% of the fruit they produce for their own bottlings. Today their wines are made by the talented Drew Voit and the vineyards are managed by Javier Marin.

This 2009 Pinot Noir Estate label bottling is blend sourced from each of their vineyard blocks. It consists of fruit across their vast vineyards with their variety of topographies and exposures. It was awarded 94 points from Wine Spectator and a "Highly Recommended" designation.

Dark garnet colored and medium bodied, the complex black cherry and black raspberry fruits were a bit muted, overshadowed by notes of bacon, cedar, rose petal, smoke and spice box. Smooth and textured it finishes with supple lingering tannins.  I found it to be a bit tight and closed, perhaps going through a period needing some more age before it reveals its true character and potential. May need a couple more years.

Interestingly, I read this comment from a noted reviewer about the 2010 vintage. "It should be worth following for at least the better part of a decade and will probably open up and display greater complexity after another 2-3 years." That may represent the condition I'm citing for the 2009 as well.

RM 89 points.

This was a perfect pairing with home-made thin crust pizza with garden fresh veggies and herbs and grilled pork loin (shown below).