Wow! This was mysterious, unique and really fun to drink over the course of a few hours. Concentrated and dense with an explosion of warm dark fruit (cherries jubilee, black raspberry, ripe wild blackberries) and Christmas spices! A captivating and dynamic wine of full-bodied power matched with sophisticated elegance that finishes with dried dirt, red flowers, wild mushrooms, crushed rocks, dried autumn leaves, sweet BBQ smoke, soy, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. The word “complex” does not do this wine justice!
A sub-AVA of the Willamette Valley, Yamhill-Carlton is known for ripeness, dark concentrated fruit and exotic perfumed wines with an abundance of spices. The region is home to #Shea Vineyard, lovingly referred to as an American “Grand Cru” vineyard. Planted on sedimentary soils with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the late 1980’s by Dick and Dierdre Shea, it’s size is about 140 acres which is roughly 20 acres larger than Clos Vougeot (a Grand Cru vineyard in Burgundy). The Shea’s started out exclusively as growers, but it wasn’t long before they were inspired to produce their own wines from their own fruit. About seven years later, in 1996, they released their first vintage under their own label, Shea Wine Cellars.
Today they sell about 75% of the fruit to over 20 clients! These producers typically bottle the wine as a vineyard designate, and it is often the top wine in their portfolio. Shea Wine Cellars keeps about 25% of the fruit for themselves and turn out a variety of estate bottlings including Chardonnay, single block Pinot Noirs, and the estate Pinot Noir (pictured above) which is a blend of the different blocks.
42,660 bottles of the 2009 Shea Wine Cellars Estate Pinot Noir were produced. Every clone of Pinot Noir they grow on the vineyard was used to make the wine. The fruit was harvested on September 24th and October 11th in 2009. The wine was aged in 47% new French oak barrels and then bottled on August 25th/26th in 2010. It was ranked Wine #7 on the Wine Spectator’s “Top 100 Wines of 2012” list.