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Wine Advocate Score: 96 Open Wine Advocate Score: rating modal
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The 2021's out of Oregon's Willamette Valley are turning out to be the best vintage in a decade! Low yields resulted in concentrated flavors, and moderate heat from July through September brought even ripening to the small, loose clusters, so the Pinot Noirs have intense color and flavors bursting out of the glass. And now Ponzi, one of the original names in Willamette Valley wine, has just released their 96-point Pinot Noir!

For more than three decades, Ponzi has been one of the most consistent producers of quality Pinot Noir in Oregon. They are wonderful stewards of the land, as they employ sustainable farming practices, and all 130 acres of vineyards are LIVE Certified Sustainable, the worlds highest standard for sustainable viticulture and enology. This third-party certification recognizes compliance with certain practices, such as pesticide reduction, soil health, workers' rights, habitat restoration, and dry farming when possible.

This is one of the more recent bottlings from Ponzi, and it focuses on fruit from the newly-formed Laurelwood sub-appellation of the Willamette Valley. The name comes from the Laurelwood soil, composed of a basalt base with ice age wind blown sedimentary soils on top. This is the highest elevation in the Willamette Valley (1,633 feet), and the Ponzi family has been farming this area for 50 years. This region produces Pinot Noirs with powerful flavors of blue and black fruit, spice, rustic tannins, yet refreshing acidity.

We have touted the Ponzi wines for several decades, but this wine is our favorite from them in recent memory! Fermented with 35% whole-cluster, and aged for 14 months in French oak (37% new), the perfumed nose on this Pinot Noir shows beautiful spice notes of black pepper, nutmeg and mesquite with floral aromas of lavender and dried rose petal. Ripe blueberry, raspberry and blackberry bramble mingle throughout. The mouth mimics the nose with spice notes, maple, black cherry reduction and dried sage. Chocolate nibs, malted and cinnamon frame the sweet mid palate, fresh with juicy acidity and finishing with lovely long, dusty tannins.

ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS - "The 2021 Pinot Noir Laurelwood District has a pale ruby-purple color and slowly unfolding aromas of cranberries, tangerine peel, pipe tobacco and forest floor. The medium-bodied palate is powerful and generous with concentrated fruit, grainy tannins, plenty of refreshing acidity and a long, spicy finish."
Overall Rating

5 out of 5 Based on 1 Review

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  • 5

    1st Sep 2023

    Kitzman Roger

    One of the top 5 PN's I have ever had

    Shared with my neighbor, thought it was terrific