Laurelwood Pinot Noir 2018
Laurelwood District, Chehalem Mountains, Willamette Valley
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. Taking on the mantle of pioneer spirit and innovation from their parents, sisters Maria and Luisa launched a decade-long pursuit, alongside neighboring growers, which has resulted in the recognition of Oregon’s first soil-based AVA, the Laurelwood District. Situated along the Northern ridge of the Willamette Valley, a long contiguous stretch of ancient fractured basalts are layered over with a fine, windblown sediment called loess. During their tenure on this unique land, the Ponzis have observed the unique characteristics as their vines penetrated the earth and evolved. Bright red fruit character in their youth gives way to dark berry and brambly spice as the vines reach 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.
A true expression of America’s newest AVA, the Laurelwood Pinot Noir is a blend of Ponzi’s Aurora, Avellana and Madrona Vineyards along with Gemini, Alloro, Paloma and Sufi Vineyards, all of which are situated in the Laurelwood District AVA and 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 2018
Variety: 100% Pinot Noir
Fermentation: In small lots, with daily punch-downs
Aging: 14 months, 20% new French oak, 10 months in bottle
The weather conditions throughout the growing season remained so ideal that the fruit came into the winery in pristine condition, perfectly and slowly ripened to intense flavor and maturity, all the winemaker needed to do was step aside and allow gorgeous wines to happen. The season began with each milestone hit at the expected time (bud break mid-April, flowering mid-June and fruit set in mid-July). The warm and dry summer had us all believing we were in for another early vintage and ripening due to heat stress, but early September rains allowed the vines a drink and cooler nights slowed down ripening to allow the fruit to be picked when perfectly ready. The white wines are aromatic and fresh with great fruit intensity and the reds are deeply colored with beautiful tannin structure, spicy dark fruits flavors and inherent balance.
“This generous nose is full of cassis, violets, anise and ripe blueberry aromas. Savory notes of rosemary, fir forest and prominent white pepper spice are interlaced throughout. The plush palate holds red and blue fruit, cocoa nibs, molasses and tobacco, honey and salted caramel. The velvety mouth leads to long, fine grained tannins.”
“With bright red fruit, silky texture, and fine tannins, Ponzi’s Laurelwood Pinot Noir is a perfect pairing with seared duck breast and cranberry coulis, creamy risotto with porcini mushrooms, or a beet and lentil salad with tarragon vinaigrette.” – Winemaker Luisa Ponzi
Laurelwood District, Chehalem Mountains, Willamette Valley
LIVE Certified Sustainable
Suggested Retail Price
More on Ponzi Vineyards Laurelwood Pinot Noir 2018
June 25, 2020 - Wine Spectator reports that Oregon has gained two new wine appellations: Laurelwood District and Tualatin Hills. Both AVAs are located in the northwest corner of the Willamette Valley, with Laurelwood…
June 12, 2020 - Forbes Magazine reports on Oregon's newest AVAs, Tualtin Hills and The Laurelwood District, which both contain the highest concentrations of Laurelwood soils in Oregon. This soil, which is essentially windblown…
July 17, 2020 - Forbes Magazine highlights Ponzi Vineyards as one of the top Pinot Noir producers of Oregon's Willamette Valley. Contributor Michelle Williams spent the past year researching the valley's top producers to…
June 16, 2020 - Anna Maria Ponzi, second generation vintner for Ponzi Vineyards, chatted with blogger Wine with Wanda about Ponzi's 50th anniversary in her latest Instagram Live Session. The two cover a lot:…
Added May 6, 2022 - [embed]https://vimeo.com/695051714[/embed] Winemaker Luisa Ponzi gives a two-minute overview of the new Laurelwood Pinot Noir explains what makes this newly-approved AVA so unique.
Other Wines by this Producer
Chehalem Mountains, Willamette Valley
Ponzi Vineyards Pinot Noir Reserve is the epitome of restrained power. It hails from estate grown fruit on Laurelwood soils in the Chehalem Mountains, including from some of Oregon’s oldest vines. This remarkably complex wine is handcrafted with tremendous attention to detail.
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 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.
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.