Running up that hill – Cardiac Hill
We interrupt this armchair travel series on Rioja with a short trip to the Willamette Valley for two different Oregon Pinot Noirs, brought to you by Kramer Vineyards.
First up, the 2010 Cardiac Hill Pinot Noir, which is from the steepest part of the estate vineyards that Kramer sources fruit from. Planted in 1995, with rich red soils and ribbons of clay running through the slopes.
Hand harvested blocks due to the steep slopes were treated to a 25% new French oak treatment, and slept for 18 months, where it was then bottled unfined and unfiltered. The resulting wine is bright and slightly cloudy, with tangering, cranberry, wild strawberry and brilliant acid. I love the woodsy note on the nose, and the earthy violets in the glass that opens up to tart cherries and cinnamon spice on the finish. I loved having the comparison to the next wine, but the Cardiac Hill can go on for days, and belies the more traditionally bolder, bigger style of many 2010 wines from the region. $40
In contract, the 2010 Rebecca’s Reserve comes from just over the field from the Cardiac Hill, but was planted with a higher density. The grape clusters here are smaller, and tighter, creating wines with more depth and complexity.
Also harvested by hand, the fruit is given the same oak treatment as Cardiac Hill but had an extra month on oak before bottling. The result is bright red fruit on the nose, with strawberry, crushed raspberry, berry jam, and rich brown sugar. It is more lush and rounded, with a burst of lemon zest and blood orange on the finish. I love the baking spice on the palate along with vanilla and cola, with a long lingering finish. $35
Check out Kramer’s Wines for great examples of Pinot Noir from Oregon’s Yamhill-Carlton region. Small and mighty, winemaker Kimberly Kramer continue to impress with each passing vintage, be it still or sparkling.
These wines were provided by the winery for a live twitter tasting, always a raucous good time. Check out #drinkkramerwine and #tastekramerwine for off the cuff commentary!