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Ayres Vineyard Pioneer Pinot noir 2012


Winery:
Ayres Vineyard


$38.75 Regular

$34.88
in any 12 bottle order or Build a Case

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Review:

Tasting through the 2012 Ayres line-up, Pioneer was our clear favorite. A serious Pinot but not lacking in joyful exuberance (thanks to the forwardness of the vintage), its blackberry and blueberry fruit core is decorated by a mushroom and rosemary-like savoriness. Actually, tasting it with Brad got us (or me, at least) talking about how we describe certain x-factors in Pinot noir. One of the elements I find most attractive in Oregon Pinot in a resinous quality akin to a combination of rosemary branch and sweet pine resin. There's more to it than that. The problem comes in translating that smell and taste into something that actually sounds appealing to others! I've had some failures along the way and will keep working on the perfect descriptors.

I asked Brad about the Pioneer's origins in name and vine. Here are his thoughts: "Pioneer has always been the Dijon 667 clone. On my property, 667 has always been darker and bigger than any clone on the estate. There's always blackberry and earth, and I think of it as blackberry cobbler meets mushroom strudel. The berries are smaller, meaning more skin than juice.

Here's how the name came about: my father-in-law Don McClure's great grandfather left Indiana in 1853 on the Oregon Trail, part of a 1500-wagon trail. They made it to Bend, but were lost and out of food in late October.  Andrew Samuel McClure, being single, was "volunteered" with three others to go find help.  Somehow they made it over the Cascade Mountains and were found passed out in a farmer's field. The were revived and the farmer helped get provisions up to the wagon trail. Everyone made it over before the winter snows. We named it in their honor, for their determination."

Ayres is located in the small, coveted Ribbon Ridge AVA, a stone's throw from Brick House. Winemaker Brad McElroy cut his teeth in the cellar of Domaine Drouhin Oregon and it shows in his style of letting the fruit speak for itself.

2009 Vintage tasting notes:

Layers of blackberry, marionberry, and boysenberry share space with wild mushrooms in a brambly sort of way. You will discover cinnamon, dried cocoa powder, and a bit of cherrywood smoke on the nose.

As always, the biggest and boldest Ayres Pinot Noir made from a single estate clone, 667. Named in honor of a family pioneer who endured the Oregon Trail, this is a wine that could stand up to such a journey.

2007 Vintage Tasting Notes

True to its name, this Pioneer is ground breaking, boldly leading us to a rich mouthful of spiced blackberry, blueberry and dark currant and reaching for handfuls of violets and licorice along the way. A magical Pinot that displays dark, sappy, powerful fruit while retaining that vibrant essence of Pinot noir we all love. - Marcus

Smoky, earthy, blackberry, big! Pioneer is still the powerhouse of the vineyard and in the bottle, made exclusively of clone 667 from the first vines planted. Blackberry cobbler meets mushroom strudel at a rustic wood table situated deep in the forest. Because of the cooler growing conditions in 2007, Pioneer achieved an elegant quality which truly compliments this tour-de-force Pinot! - the winery

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