Ken Wright Savoya Vineyard

Ken Wright Cellars Savoya Vineyard Pinot Noir

WHY WE LOVE IT

  • The Savoya vineyards were purchased by Ken and Karen Wright in 1998 and were the first vineyards owned outright by the power couple. Located on a southeast facing inclination with an elevation of 350 to 400 feet, the vineyard was planted in 1999 on 4.5 acres in Dijon clones 777 and 115, on phylloxera resistant rootstock.
  • The crop level of 2016 was quite low. We averaged just above two tons per acre. This is mostly due to the very small berry size of the vintage. Small berries give us greater intensity of color, aroma and texture. It is a magnificent vintage that combines density with balance and immediate appeal.
  • 2017 was a throwback to the classic vintages we have experienced over 30 plus years in the Willamette Valley. Bud break (first green tissue) happened at the time we normally expect. Bloom (flowering of each individual grape) was also when we normally expect this phenomenon, mid-June. This summer, we experienced one of the longest dry periods in our history through July and August. No precipitation for 56 days. When we first checked sugar levels they were abnormally high.With more whole berries, the resulting wines had beautiful high-toned aromatics. The whole berries also helped to slow down fermentation allowing for greater extraction of aroma and flavor.

Varietal Composition: 100% Pinot Noir

Elaboration: Each vineyard, further separated by clones, is hand sorted, fermented in small 1 1/4 ton open vat fermenters until dryness, then pressed and aged separately. The wine is aged in 100% French oak barrels for about 1 year. Each single vineyard designated Pinot Noir is made with the same approach so the consumer can truly taste the place in which it was grown.

Tasting Notes: Floral and spice focused. Fresh and bright red fruit- red plum and cranberry mingle with notes and cinnamon, tobacco and turned earth.

PRESS

2014 – 90 Wine Spectator

2015 – 90 Wine Spectator | 92 Wine Enthusiast

2016 – 90 Wine Spectator | 92 Wine Enthusiast

2018 – 90 Wine Spectator

PRODUCER BACKGROUND

The seed for a career in wine was planted squarely in Bourbon country of Lexington, Kentucky. While waiting tables to put himself through school, Ken was exposed to fine wines from regions around the world. The passion became avocation when Ken left the Bluegrass State to attend enology and viticulture classes at UC-Davis. Eight years were spent winemaking for Ventana Vineyards, Chalone and Talbott Vineyards in Monterey County of California’s central coast.

Friends from the Willamette Valley piqued Ken’s interest in the region when they would visit, and a trip to the Dundee Hills in 1976 convinced him that this was where the finest Pinot noir in North America was being grown. In 1986, with family, belongings and 10 barrels in tow, Ken moved to McMinnville and started Panther Creek Cellars.

His concept of focusing on vineyard-designate bottling began during those years at Panther Creek and was cemented as a core philosophy in 1994 when Ken Wright Cellars was founded in historic downtown Carlton. Ken now makes a single vineyard bottling from 13 vineyard sites in the Northern Willamette Valley. Given his appreciation of sense of place, it was a given that Ken would contribute to the locations and industry near and dear to his heart. Instrumental in organizing the six new American Viticultural Area (AVA)’s in the Northern Willamette Valley that define in detail the distinct growing areas within the region, he wrote the proposition for the Yamhill-Carlton AVA and served as the association’s first President.

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