2012KWBryce2012 Ken Wright, Pinot Noir “Bryce Vineyard” Willamette Valley, Oregon.
The 2012 vintage in Oregon looks set to be a classic, and according to Ken Wright it is one of the top three vintages of his career in the Willamette Valley, and that is saying a lot from a man that has been some spectacular wines over the last quarter of a century up there. I tasted through most of his single vintage releases and can say these are a set of absolutely stunning wines, that showcase their individual terrors, the Willamette Valley and still remind me of classic Burgundy, these wines will certainly need some time to develop, they are still tight, ultra intense and slightly reduced, but they will be fantastic in a few years time, be patient. A new vineyard has made the lineup, the Bryce Vineyard from the Ribbon Ridge area, home to Penner-Ash, Brickhouse and Beaux Freres, is now in Ken Wright’s offerings, and it is a beauty with wonderful character, depth and poise showing dark fruits, mineral tones, earth and tension filled intensity. Of Ken’s 2012’s, the Bryce is right up there with the Carter, Shea and Nysa for the best of the set and should be a huge success if this year is anything to go by, it is dynamic, rich, vigorous and layered with black cherry, tangy plum, blackberry and cranberry fruits, bright acidity, firm, but silky tannins, subtle smoke, graphite and cedar along with hints of wild mushroom, strawberry and fennel. This wine feels brisk and austere at first, though air coaxes out a violets and dried rose petal perfume and glorious feminine charms, a bit of short term cellaring will pay off big time, there are great rewards to be found in this Pinot Noir, drink 2016-2023.
($48 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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