2013 Pinot Noir | 538 Wine Notes

Dick and Nancy Ponzi moved their young family to the Willamette Valley in the late 1960s with a spirit of adventure and a passion for making world class Pinot noir. After many research trips to Burgundy and an extensive search for the ideal location, they purchased 20 acres on a small farm just southwest of Portland, Oregon. It was a daring risk — at the time, the Pacific Northwest was not thought to be a place to grow Pinot noir, but Dick and Nancy realized the Northern Willamette Valley's climate was ideal for cool climate varieties. Pinot noir cuttings were planted, and in 1970 Ponzi Vineyards was founded.

2013 Pinot Noir

If there was going to be another winemaker in the family, it was going to be Luisa. Even as a child, Luisa's interests in the sciences, and her father's work in the vineyard and cellar set her on a path toward one day joining the family business. After graduating from Portland State University with a Bachelor of Science, Luisa went abroad, apprenticing with several well-known Burgundian and Italian producers. She was the first American woman to receive her certificate in enology and viticulture in Beaune, France. There she gained insight and understanding of the treasured Burgundian winemaking practices. 

Upon returning to the family vineyard in 1993, Luisa proudly took the reins from her father, crafting her first vintage of Ponzi wine. Combining her formal studies with the experience she gained working with her father, Luisa brought fresh perspective to winemaking at Ponzi. Acting on her observation that wine quality is enhanced by a variety of influences, Luisa experiments with grapes from various elevations, soil types, clones, spacing and trellis systems. All these variables give her a beautiful palette of flavors, structures, aromas and textures to create the final blends. 

The 2013 Pinot Noir has compelling aromatics vault it into rarefied company, a riot of black cherry, pepper, graphite and cigar box. The fruit is immaculate and aging for almost a year in one-third new French oak polishes it perfectly. The finish has grip, length and power.

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