Advocate Praises Ponzi 2011s

Ponzi Vineyards receives high marks on the 2011 single vineyard and Reserve Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays, with particular acclaim for their white wine collection, from the latest The Wine Advocate report. Read the entire report and reviews below:

 

Oregon (Part One): Featuring the Extreme - and Improbably Successful - 2011 Vintage
October 31, 2013

2011 Ponzi Chardonnay Reserve 92 Mature
2011 Ponzi Pinot Noir Abetina 2 92 Early
2011 Ponzi Pinot Noir Vigneto I Alloro Vineyard 92 Early
2011 Ponzi Chardonnay Aurora 91 Mature
2011 Ponzi Pinot Noir 90 Mature
2011 Ponzi Pinot Noir Aurora Vineyard 90 Mature
2011 Ponzi Pinot Noir Reserve 90 Early
2011 Ponzi Chardonnay Avellana 89
2012 Ponzi Pinot Blanc 89
2012 Ponzi Pinot Gris 89 Mature
2011 Ponzi Pinot Noir Tavola 88

2011 Ponzi Pinot Noir Vigneto I Alloro Vineyard
A Pinot Noir Dry Red Table wine from Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA,


Review by David Schildknecht
eRobertParker.com # , #209 (Oct 2013)
Rating: 92
Drink 2013 - 2020
Cost: $75

The Roman numeral “I” is front-and-center on the label of Ponzi’s 2011 Pinot Noir Vigneto I Alloro Vineyard to indicate that this is the first of what they envision as a long-running series of wines showcasing single vineyards with which they have a special relationship as clients or collaborators. The name of the vineyard in question – which is just up the hill from Ponzi’s new facility – appears only on the back label. (Since Alloro was new to me, Luisa Ponzi kindly called their winemaker so that I could immediately subsequent to my session with her, taste Alloro’s own estate bottlings for inclusion in this report.) A Pinot of clarity, purity and polish, this Alloro bottling incorporates along with its ripe and juicy cassis and blueberry a meaty and saline savor that lends mouthwatering length as well as intrigue to the finish. I expect it to perform impressively through at least 2020.

I got to see the tasting room and visitors’ center side of the new Ponzi winery on my latest visit, and all I can say is that neither intelligence nor expense were spared in constructing that facility. In the evolution of Luisa Ponzi’s white winemaking (for more about which – along with many other details on this estate – consult my Issue 202 introduction) includes a wholesale movement toward steam-treated rather than toasted wood, as well as the introduction of 500 liter barrels. The idea, clearly, is to avoid too much overly woody flavor and where there is an obvious contribution from barrel – as with the Acacia now also being sparingly used here – then not one that would be associated with tannins or resins that could harden mouth-feel or arrest the flow of primary juiciness. Ponzi’s is nowadays among those Willamette white wine collections – modest in number but impressive in stature – that are leading the way into a world-class flourishing; and they are only going to get better as vines age; vine genetics are more discerningly selected; and methods are honed. With her 2011 Pinots, Ponzi confessed to having for the first time in her career experimented a bit with enzymatic as well as tannin additions, “because in a year like this when you’re faced with fruit that is compromised in a lot of cases and just barely reached ripeness, you kind of have to reach out for tools that might help.” The results testify to her success. Tel. (503) 628-1227

2011 Ponzi Chardonnay Reserve
A Chardonnay Dry White Table wine from Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA,

Review by David Schildknecht
eRobertParker.com # , #209 (Oct 2013)
Rating: 92
Drink 2013 - 2017
Cost: $30

Like their Pinot Blanc, bringing together fruit from their family’s Chehalem Mountains Aurora Vineyard with a bit from Thistle west of Dundee, the Ponzis’ 2011 Chardonnay Reserve (there was no corresponding 2010) displays ripe white peach, pear, pineapple and lime wreathed in honeysuckle, its palate at once creamy and brightly refreshing; but, what’s more, possessed of saline, crustacean, and chicken stock savor that honestly put me in mind of Chablis, and that make for a mouthwatering finish, effortlessly integrating the hints of vanilla and caramelized resin from barrel, as well as yet more alluring almond and peach kernel. This superb value is likely to be worth following through at least 2017 and I would not be at all surprised to witness it both gaining allure along the way and then surpassing that projection.

2011 Ponzi Chardonnay Avellana
A Chardonnay Dry White Table wine from Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA,

Review by David Schildknecht
eRobertParker.com # , #209 (Oct 2013)
Rating: 89
Drink -
Cost: $60

From a basalt-underlain vineyard around the Ponzi’s new winery, their 2011 Chardonnay Avellana represented some of the first grapes picked in this vintage. More prominently juicy and bright – emphasizing fresh apple and lime – than the corresponding reserve bottling; this also displays more overt oakiness by way of vanilla and caramelized resin. It certainly captures a cuddly creaminess as well, even while retaining ample sense of refreshment.

2011 Ponzi Chardonnay Aurora
A Chardonnay Dry White Table wine from Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA,

Review by David Schildknecht
eRobertParker.com # , #209 (Oct 2013)
Rating: 91
Drink 2013 - 2016
Cost: $60

As these vines age and penetrate the rock, things could get much more interesting. Ponzi 2011 Chardonnay Aurora – not due to be released before late this year – displays alluring floral perfume (as in 2010); a deft alliance of enveloping creaminess and juicy vivacity; as well as mouthwatering salinity. Nutty and citrus zest nuances enhance the sense of stimulation to the palate as well as the salivary glands in this wine’s long finish. Look for it to evolve fascinatingly for at least the next 2-3years, and quite possibly (hopefully) well beyond.

2011 Ponzi Pinot Noir Tavola
A Pinot Noir Dry Red Table wine from Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA,

Review by David Schildknecht
eRobertParker.com # , #209 (Oct 2013)
Rating: 88
Drink 2013 - 2016
Cost: $19-$30

“I’m looking for more ripeness and softer tannins,” says Luisa Ponzi of her 2011 Pinot Noir Tavola, and this year we got that in our lower-elevation sites, avoiding some of the bitterness that some of the older (vine) sites got. I pressed more gently and fermented at lower temperature. This was also the first year in which I tried using some enzymes,” namely on this wine. Juicy boysenberry and black raspberry are indeed sweetly ripe and their feel on the palate soft. Hints of leather and game add well-integrated intrigue, and this disappoints only very slightly for not being longer in finish. Still, it will reward at table over the next couple of years.

2011 Ponzi Pinot Noir
A Pinot Noir Dry Red Table wine from Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA,

Review by David Schildknecht
eRobertParker.com # , #209 (Oct 2013)
Rating: 90
Drink 2013 - 2017
Cost: $20-$35

In Ponzi’s Willamette-wide cuvee of 2011 Pinot Noir, pecan-like, bittersweet nuttiness accents juicy cherry on a surprisingly soft and expansive mid-palate given the vintage. There is however a fine sense of refreshing juiciness joined by deeply savory, saliva-liberating salinity in this wines delightful and persistent finish. Look for it to satisfy through at least 2017.

2011 Ponzi Pinot Noir Reserve
A Pinot Noir Dry Red Table wine from Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA,

Review by David Schildknecht
eRobertParker.com # , #209 (Oct 2013)
Rating: 90
Drink 2013 - 2018
Cost: $60

Originating primarily with loess-based estate sites in the Chehalem A.V.A., in particular (as is often the case) the multi-clonal, old vines Abetina planted in 1975 as a test site, Ponzi’s 2011 Pinot Noir Reserve also includes a bit of Gran Moraine from Yamhill-Carlton. It spent a surprising 20 months in barrel, but was none the worse for wear either from that experience nor from its having therefore been bottled only shortly before I tasted it in July. (It did however benefit from aeration.) Tamarind, sassafras, licorice and caramelized resin from barrel inflect dark berries on the nose as well as a palate that is richer than in the corresponding “regular” bottling, although it lacks that wine’s winsome saline savor. Instead, here is one of those instances in 2011 where we have a strikingly appealing sort of cyanic glow to the finish. I would tentatively plan to enjoy this through 2018

2011 Ponzi Pinot Noir Abetina 2
A Pinot Noir Dry Red Table wine from Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA,

Review by David Schildknecht
eRobertParker.com # , #209 (Oct 2013)
Rating: 92
Drink 2013 - 2020
Cost: $100

The Ponzi 2011 Pinot Noir Abetina 2 issues from a multi-clonal plot that Luisa Ponzi planted close to a decade ago on root stock in order to almost exactly replicate the ungrafted mix of 22 clones and selections planted next door as a test site by her father in 1975 – i.e. “Abetina 1.” (Those old vines, incidentally, were the last picked at Ponzi in 2011, and Luisa Ponzi was not completely convinced of the results; so they were blended-out into – and became the largest component of – this vintage’s “Reserve” bottling.) Vintage-typical ginger, licorice, sassafras and iris mingle with dark berry fruits on the nose; then emerge on a refreshingly bright and invigoratingly piquant palate. Polished and rich by vintage standards, this incorporates not just the saliva-liberating salinity possessed by this year’s bottling from Alloro Vineyard but also smoky, bittersweetly alluring nut oils. I suspect it will perform beautifully through at least 2020.

2011 Ponzi Pinot Noir Aurora Vineyard
A Pinot Noir Dry Red Table wine from Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA,

Review by David Schildknecht
eRobertParker.com # , #209 (Oct 2013)
Rating: 90
Drink 2013 - 2016
Cost: $100

From a vineyard dominated by Dijon Clone 777, the Ponzi 2011 Pinot Noir Aurora projects generously ripe and juicy boysenberry and blueberry on a polished palate, leading to a lusciously sustained finish. Hints of tamarind and licorice add to its appeal. But it lacks the savory or mineral dimensions that informed the best of the present Pinot collection. And it shows a bit of overt finishing woodiness from its 50% new oak, whereas this was integrated to the point of disappearance in the corresponding Abetina 2 and Alloro bottlings. I suspect this will be best enjoyed sooner than either of those, quite possibly by 2016.
 

The Wine Advocate October 2013 Scores PDF The Wine Advocate October 2013 Report PDF

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