Classico Pinot Noir 2015
As one of the major wine publications once wrote, “All Oregon Pinot Noirs are measured against the Ponzi yardstick”. That has been true for nearly 5 decades, and Classico specifically represents the “classic” quality and style of Oregon and American Pinot Noir, benchmarks very much defined by the Ponzis. As a wine, Classico is meant to encapsulate the Willamette Valley at its best. Around 7-8 of the Ponzi’s vineyard parcels are complemented by a select few top neighboring sites to introduce additional soil types and exposures. All vineyards are at elevation and typically planted with older vines, and all either LIVE or organically certified.
Ponzi Vineyards is strictly committed to respecting the integrity of each vineyard, enhancing and maintaining their individual characteristics. The artistry and signature of Classico is in the blending of distinct cuvées from these vineyards. All Ponzi-owned vineyards are site-selected, hand-planted and managed by the family and their vineyard manager. The Northern Willamette Valley provides a moderate climate, soils and sites ideal for the culture of noble cool climate wine varietals. The different sites express distinctive territory and micro-climates. These differences, combined with knowledgeable varietal and clonal selections, are the determinants of the overall expression of varietal flavors, character and ultimate wine structure.
All of the fruit was hand sorted and destemmed. Fermented in small lots with five days of cold soak to increase aroma and color, the peak temperatures reached 90°F. The fermenters were aerated or manually punched down twice a day (for 12-20 days) before lightly pressing at dryness. This wine was aged in French oak barrels (35% new) for 11 months. It was racked and bottled by gravity without filtration or fining and was aged in bottle for 5 months before its release.
2015 will be remembered in Oregon by its cooperative nature. Our earliest vintage since 1992,was marked by a warm and mild winter, early bud break at the end of March and exceptional conditions throughout bloom, flower and fruit set. The summer was dry and warm encouraging early picks of white varietals and rosé sites to retain fresh acidity. The temperature dropped and September was one of the coolest on record allowing the pristine fruit to be picked at perfect ripeness with slightly higher yields than normal. The harvest wrapped up at the beginning of October allowing vineyard workers and winemakers the unusual opportunity to enjoy the remainder of the fall season! This vintage will show these beautiful conditions by the intensity of fruit flavor, but the balance and acidity will keep the wines nuanced and elegant. A truly gorgeous year for the Willamette Valley.
“Aromas of ripe raspberry and black cherry are accentuated by crushed Mediterranean herbs of lavender, sage, rosemary and black tea. On the palate, dusty tannins are woven into hints of roasted coffee. Mouthwatering acidity is balanced by almond sweetness.”
-Luisa Ponzi, Winemaker
Coq au vin. This Burgundian dish is almost synonymous with Pinot Noir! Chicken is simmered with mushrooms, red wine, lardons (bits of pork fat), onion and garlic. The acidity of the wine cuts through the fat of the dish and creates a nice texture in the mouth. A Pinot with a bit of earthiness will complement the flavors of the mushrooms, onion, and garlic and will not, of course, compete with the red wine in the sauce.
Suggested Retail Price
Wine Advocate -
"Pale to medium ruby-purple in color, the 2015 Pinot Noir Classico has an open nose of dried cranberries and black cherries with cardamom, floral perfume and spicy touches. Light to medium-bodied, it offers warm red and black fruits and spicy layers, with dusty, grainy tannins and mouthwatering acidity, finishing very long and spicy."
Wine Enthusiast (Editors' Choice) - "This relatively new mid-level Pinot Noir is a mix of estate and purchased grapes aged for almost a year in one third new oak barrels. It’s firm, compact and juicy, with red fruit set in an aromatic frame of crushed raspberry, lavender and thyme notes."
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