Ponzi Vineyards

Pinot Noir Reserve 2015

Willamette Valley


The Pinot Noir Reserve comes from primarily estate fruit, including from some of Oregon’s oldest vines.  In some years the Ponzis will choose to add complementary parcels from longtime grower partners. The constant is that the heart of the wines is from old vines grown on Laurelwood soils in the Chehalem Mountains AVA. Ponzi’s Pinot Noir Reserve is  one of the ultimate examples of artisanal, site-expressive Pinot Noir in the United States today, year after year epitomizing a character of restrained power.


Fruit for the Reserve was sourced from Ponzi Vineyards’ Aurora, Abetina, and Avellana Vineyards on Laurelwood soils in the Chehalem Mountains AVA. All Ponzi vineyards have been LIVE Certified Sustainable, the highest international standard of sustainable viticulture. Additional lots were from Zenith and Bieze Vineyards in the Eola-Amity AVA. Laurelwood soil is a mixture of Basalt and Loess particular to the Northern Willamette Valley.


All of the fruit was hand sorted and destemmed. Fermented in small lots with 5 days of cold soak to increase aroma and color, the peak temperatures reached 90 degrees. The fermenters were aerated or manually punched down twice a day (for 12-20 days) before undergoing a 7 day post-fermentation maceration to increase structure and length. This wine was aged in French oak barrels (30% new), for 20 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.

Tasting Notes

Aromas of cinnamon bark, mulled spices, chai tea, and juniper berry leap from the glass intermingled with notes of maple syrup, nutmeg, and baked apple. The generous mouth has notes of black licorice, vanilla powder, and a salinity that balances juicy fresh fruit with dusty, light tannins.



Grape Varieties

Pinot Noir


Willamette Valley

Suggested Retail Price



"Sweet and broad on the palate, offering densely packed cherry liqueur, spicecake and cola flavors "

Vinous Media - "Lurid ruby-red. A highly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe blackberry, cherry and candied flowers, and exotic incense and potpourri nuances add complexity. Sweet and broad on the palate, offering densely packed cherry liqueur, spicecake and cola flavors that slowly firm up on the back half. Finishes on a youthfully tannic note, with resonating cherry and spice notes, hints of mocha and vanilla and impressive persistence."

"pure crushed blueberry and blackberry fruit"

Wine Advocate (93+) - "The 2015 Pinot Noir Reserve is pale to medium ruby-purple in color with a lovely nose of lilac perfume over fresh, pure crushed blueberry and blackberry fruit with layers of pink peppercorn, warm earth and autumn leaves. Light to medium-bodied and silky textured with loads of spice-laced blue and black fruit in the mouth, it has wonderful grainy tannins and juicy, mouthwatering acidity, finishing very long and spicy with licorice notes."

"Precise dark raspberry"

Wine Spectator - “Refined and graceful, with precise dark raspberry, licorice and clove flavors that take on richness and weight toward polished tannins. Drink now through 2023.” ‒ 91 Points Wine Spectator

More on Ponzi Vineyards Pinot Noir Reserve 2015

Top Wines of 2018

November 2, 2018 - The Pinot Guy, Michael Alberty, contributed his best bottles of the year to Sunset magazines annual roundup, including the 2015 Ponzi Reserve Pinot Noir. “If I could only take one grape…

Trade Materials

Other Wines by this Producer

Classico Pinot Noir

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The "classic" representation of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, this wine encapsulates the experience, innovation, top vineyard sources, and expertise of the pioneering Ponzi family. Among the first to make Pinot Noir in Oregon and the United States and, since the start, among the very best. 

Tavola Pinot Noir

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Tavola is Ponzi's delicious early release Pinot Noir, a fruit-forward wine with soft tannins, made primarily from younger, lower elevations vines. Meant for early consumption, it is an unbeatable value for quality Pinot Noir. 

Chardonnay Reserve

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The Ponzi family has dedicated over 25 years to innovation in farming and winemaking to develop Oregon Chardonnay's place in the world. Luisa Ponzi's formative experiences working in Burgundy in the early 1990s guide her vision of producing complex and ageworthy Chardonnay.

Pinot Gris

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One of the original and most recognized Oregon and U.S. Pinot Gris producers, Ponzi was a major influence in establishing Pinot Gris as the first quality white grape variety in Oregon. Ponzi's Pinot Gris is an irresistably aromatic and expressive wine, and serves as a first encounter for many wine drinkers with Oregon wines and the Ponzi estate.

Abetina II Pinot Noir

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For decades, Ponzi Abetina Vineyard, which sits on a spectacular east-facing slope born in 1975 as a clonal experiment for Oregon State University, has produced an impressive Pinot noir with unique and complex flavors. So enthralled by the success at Abetina, in 2005 an exact duplicate was planted at Ponzi’s stunning Aurora Vineyard. The experimental collection of more than 20 Pinot noir clones was planted to the same soil, elevation and aspect, as Abetina. With the added element of youth, the Abetina 2 block at Aurora Vineyard gives this cuvée unparalleled vibrancy and depth.

Avellana Chardonnay

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Oregon Chardonnays present an unparalleled combination of bright acidity, texture and freshness of fruit on the mid-palate. Winemaker Luisa Ponzi’s goal is to allow the wines to express these characteristics each vintage through single vineyard expressions. Planted in 2006, Avellana yields a richer, weightier style of Chardonnay as compared to the Aurora single vineyard wine.

Pinot Blanc

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Pinot blanc was planted at Aurora Vineyard in the early 1990s, taking advantage of an ideal portion of the 80-acre site. This versatile white wine is a wonderful alternative to Pinot gris. Beautiful floral aromas of jasmine and magnolia mingle with notes of lychee, lemongrass, beeswax and green tea mochi with a touch of cardamom. The textured mouth is reminiscent of shortbread and the freshness of rainwater and wet slate with bright, juicy acidity that encourages another sip.

Madrona Pinot Noir

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With its first bottling in 2016, Ponzi Vineyard's remarkable Pinot noir from Madrona Vineyard showcases the consistently stunning fruit from these 30-year-old vine. It reveals a true sense of place in the bottle. The vineyard was named for the madrone trees which surround the 10-acre site and is own rooted Pommard clone. This stunning expression of the Willamette Valley is handcrafted with tremendous attention to detail.

Aurora Chardonnay

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Oregon Chardonnays present an unparalleled combination of bright acidity, texture and freshness of fruit on the mid-palate. Winemaker Luisa Ponzi’s goal is to allow the wines to express these characteristics each vintage through single vineyard expressions. Aurora yields an elegant wine with bright acidity and fruit.