Yamhill-Carlton "Emery" 2011, Willakenzie Estate
For those unfamiliar with Oregon and the Willamette Valley, there are a small number of American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) within the Willamette Valley region and the 486 hectares of vines planted in Yamhill-Carlton make up such an AVA. This is similar to a village appellation in the larger Côte de Beaune appellation contrôlée. This 2011 pinot from the Willakenzie Estate which first planted its vines in 1992 and was recently sold to Jackson Family Wines has a mature-looking, fairly transparent plum purple colour. Floral nose of yarrow and roses. Raspberry. Fresh. Blueberry, cranberry and raspberry, slightly smoky and a touch of beetroot and licorice. Linear, fresh, lively, tangy. This pinot is expressive of the cooler Oregonian climate and could not be confused with a jammy Californian. Enjoyable and moving into interesting spicy territory. Lacks texture and depth (compared to a Gevrey!) yet the aromatic complexity is good, even very good. Scores 24/30 for a Willamette Valley.