Little brother Allan purchased this across the border in Bellingham, WA where the owner of the winery and winemaker, John Wrigley, was doing a tasting.
I have a soft spot for McMinnville having visited several wineries there in August, 2013. There is some stunning countryside in that part of Oregon – rolling hills, hazelnut groves and Douglas Fir trees. The International Pinot Noir Celebration is held there (at Linfield College) every year as well.
This, of course, bodes well for the reputation of the average Pinot Noir coming from the region and the J Wrigley example doesn’t disappoint. This is delicious wine.
J Wrigley is a young winery established in 2006, vines planted in 2008 on 32 ha of land and with sedimentary and volcanic soils. Located just a few kilometres south of McMinnville, they planted Pommard and Dijon clones 115 and 777 on south and east facing slopes that start at 64 and extend to 225m (where the whites are planted). The vines are dry-farmed and they introduced their estate label in 2011.
The wine is day bright, medium ruby red with medium plus legs that seem high for a Pinot. The nose has medium plus intensity of minerality – like sharp, wet rocks – along with lots of red fruit – Byng cherry and raspberry, pomegranate, red currant and red plum – with strong garrigue, cedar frond and licorice fern.
The palate is dry with medium plus ripe and dusty tannins with light grip, medium plus acidity, medium plus alcohol and medium body. The medium plus intense flavours include more of the same ripe red fruit found on the nose with dried thyme, rosemary and lots of sage. The cedar is evident and speaks to the time this wine from Pommard clone vines spent in barrel. More anise and sword fern round it out. The finish is medium plus.
Well balanced and not alcoholic despite the medium plus 14% abv, this is tasty wine with a very modern profile. WSET ‘Very Good’ – drink now or keep for 3 years.