Ponzi Vineyards

Pinot Noir Reserve 2019

Chehalem Mountains, Willamette Valley


Beginning with the 2017 vintage, Ponzi’s Pinot Noir Reserve comes exclusively from estate fruit, including from some of Oregon’s oldest vines. As one of the major wine publications once wrote, “All Oregon Pinot Noirs are measured against the Ponzi yardstick”. That has been true for over 50 years, while the Ponzi family has farmed 140 acres of certified sustainable vineyards all planted on Laurelwood soils. During their tenure, the Ponzis have observed the unique characteristics as their vines penetrated the earth and evolved. Bright red fruit character in their youth gave way to dark berry and brambly spice as the vines reached into the volcanic layers. The character of this soil has defined the Ponzis’ wines and served as a guide for generations of winemakers in the Willamette Valley. The Pinot Noir Reserve’s brooding dark fruit and exotic spice has rendered it 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. The 2017 boasts a new label design with a textured effect that resembles the layers of Laurelwood soils. 


Fruit for the Pinot Noir Reserve was sourced entirely from Ponzi Estate vineyards on Laurelwood soils. As a true Reserve, or barrel select, it is a blend of top barrels from Ponzi’s Aurora, Abetina, Madrona and Avellana Vineyards, all of which are LIVE Certified Sustainable. Each of the sites in this wine offers a different aspect, vine age, and root depth. Higher elevation sites and younger vineyards contribute bright red fruit and floral character while the lower elevation sites and older vineyards bring darker fruit and brambly spice character, all seamlessly knit together by fine, chalky tannin. This subregion of the Chehalem Mountains spreads across the northern slopes, largely protected from coastal rains, allowing the basalt soils to retain water in the spring and slowly, evenly drain throughout the growing season, bringing an inherent balance to the grape and a measured intensity to the wines.


Harvest: Sep-Oct 2019
Variety: 100% Pinot Noir
Fermentation: in small lots, with daily punch-downs, 40% whole cluster
Aging: 20 months, 40% new French oak, 5 months in bottle


This is the `Throwback Vintage‘, a reminder of more classic Oregon vintages and the reason Dick and Nancy Ponzi, came here over 50 years ago. A mild summer, with just a hint of humidity, changed into Fall with dry weather into September. The team began picking sparkling and Rosé fruit then the dance began between clear sunny skies and rainy days. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir slowly ripened and was harvested in waves between the rainy and sunny days, retaining beautiful acidity and freshness. The pace was reasonable with plenty of time to enjoy our crew from around the globe and appreciate the Fall. Harvest completed late October. These are elegant, low alcohol wines fully expressing what the Willamette Valley can achieve in a cooler vintage. It was a year where winemakers were required to draw on past harvests and put into practice lessons learned.

Tasting Notes

“This nose explodes with spiced chocolate, cayenne, sweet paprika and cracked black pepper mingled with anise, hazelnut and pomegranate syrup. The mouth
is broad and expansive with notes of clove, nutmeg, German chocolate cake and vanilla. The soft, plush tannins linger with a touch of cinnamon.” -Winemaker Luisa Ponzi

Food Pairing

With brooding dark fruit, floral and exotic spice character, Ponzi’s Reserve Pinot noir pairs well with rich and savory dishes, like seared pork belly with hoisin sauce, blackened salmon, or wild rice and roasted mushrooms.



Grape Varieties

Pinot Noir


Chehalem Mountains, Willamette Valley


LIVE Certified Sustainable



Suggested Retail Price



"Red cherry liqueur, crushed roses, oak spices"

Jeb Dunnuck - September 21, 2023

"Coming from deeper basalt soils, brilliant aromas emerge from the 2019 Pinot Noir Reserve, which offers up notes of red cherry liqueur, crushed roses, and well-balanced oak spices. Medium to full-bodied, it captures wonderful freshness, with ripe tannins, a focused, more linear mouthfeel, and a spicy, fresh finish. It’s a touch more austere compared to the other Pinots from Ponzi, but I enjoy its more angular feel already." - A.F. 9/23  


"Bramble and savory spices,"

Wine Spectator - November 3, 2023

"Grace meets structure with this Pinot, which offers blueberry and raspberry flavors that show accents of bramble and savory spices, building richness and tension toward refined tannins." - T.F. 11/23  


"Layered with dark spice"

James Suckling - December 6, 2023

"Blackberry, dried strawberry and spice. Some flint and asphalt and even graphite. Full-bodied and layered with dark fruit and a fine and firm tannin structure that goes very long." - J.S. 8/22  


Trade Materials

Other Wines by this Producer

Laurelwood Pinot Noir

Laurelwood District, Chehalem Mountains, Willamette Valley

For over 50 years, the Ponzi family has farmed 140 acres of certified sustainable vineyards all planted on Laurelwood soil. Situated along the Northern ridge of the Willamette Valley, these ancient soils are comprised of fractured basalt layered over with a fine, windblown sediment called loess. A decade-long effort by sisters Maria and Luisa, alongside their neighbors has resulted in the recognition of Oregon’s first soil-based AVA, the Laurelwood District. The 2019 vintage boasts the new label design, with a textured effect that resembles the layers of the Laurelwood soils.

Laurelwood Chardonnay

Laurelwood District, Willamette Valley, Oregon

The Ponzi family has dedicated over 30 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.

Tavola Pinot Noir

Willamette Valley

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.

Pinot Gris

Willamette Valley

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.