A Burgundy is a Burgundy, unless it’s not a Burgundy. This is a Pinot Noir from Oregon’s Willamette Valley, and one of the finest expressions of the ethereal and elusive wine that’s made outside of the Côte d’Or. Light bodied, silky, sensual, graceful and lengthy, the 2012 KEN WRIGHT CELLARS Canary Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir is teeming with enticing aromas and rich flavors—young red cherry, blackberry, lavender and rose petals all on the nose like wandering through a grove, and prominent notes of plum, cranberry, pomegranate, Earl Grey tea and new oak through the mid-palate, where the wine gains power of expression as it opens up in the glass. The lengthy finish has strong acidity, sappiness and grip—which, rather than closing the curtain to the story, only entices one to take another sip to discover yet more unravelling depth to the narrative. At only 12.5% alcohol level, the texture of the red wine draws comparisons to a Morey-Saint-Denis or Nuits-Saint-Georges from Burgundy, but there’s no mistaking this is squarely a product of Oregon terroir, and from vines that are 30 years old. It can be enjoyed young for its vibrant sensuality and power, or it can be aged for 20 years, no doubt taking on a more complex but quieter personality as it grows older and wiser. The Canary Hill Pinot is like the rare movie star (Sophia Loren, Ingrid Bergman, Barbara Stanwyck, Lauren Bacall) who stays sexy from youthful debut to graceful swansong. An ageless beauty. –J.M.
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