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2012 Aberrant Cellars Virtus Pinot Noir Eola Amity Hills Willamette ValleyPinot Noir from United States


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" Within the Willamette valley there are 6 sub-appellations which were created starting in 2005. Each of these "sub-apps" are distinguished from one-another by differing climat...

  • 93 Neal Martin - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
  • 92 Josh Raynolds - Vinous Media
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"The 2012 Pinot Noir Virtus Ex comes from Eola-Amity Hills and tends to be the slowest to evolve and what Eric sees as the most Old World influence. The vines are located on volcanic soils and includes 15% whole-cluster fruit due to the relatively longer hang time. It sees 15 months in 42% new French oak. It came in at 3.3 pH and 14% alcohol so no acidification was necessary. The nose makes an immediate impression: redcurrant, wild strawberry and undergrowth, almost mulchy scents. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, plenty of refined red cherry and cranberry fruit interlaced with spice, leading to a finish that has plenty of finesse and Old World charm. This is a superb wine from winemaker Eric Eide. "Vigneron...Instigator." These two words lie beneath winemaker Eric Eide's name on his business card. "Instigator" - that's an interesting, quite evocative word when it comes to making wine. The philosophy here at Aberrant Cellars is to eschew the idea of "winemaking by numbers." Eric focuses on the quality of fruit, rigorous sorting by hand, pristine clusters and (I quote) before all that, six months of maniacal, quality-minded farming throughout the season. "The 2012 vintage was very successful," Eric said, when we met in McMinnsville. "In Ribbon Ridge, Yamhill and certain pockets of Chehalem Mountains, you had to be careful not to get overripe [fruit] although in Eola-Amity Hills this was not such an issue. It was one of those vintages were you had plenty of opportunities to work towards the style you wanted, as the weather cooperated. It was relatively easy from a weather standpoint, but the danger was that the wines could become blowsy and a little overdone if you didn't home in on what you wanted to do. So I backed off from pigeage. I guess you could describe it as a "lazy man's" vintage. You could just stand back. I did not acidify in 2012 - there was no need, while the whole cluster kept the wine in check and lends it mouthfeel. In fact I was considering de-acidifying at one point but fortunately the high malic levels came down after malolactic." Eric's attention to detail certainly paid off in what was a series of seriously high quality wines. He just seems to have had a handle on the growing season, deftly avoiding the pitfalls to make balanced, harmonious, personality-driven wines. In addition, his application of new oak has to be commended because I feel that Eric assiduously casts oak as a supporting actor and not the star of the show, as it is wont to do. In addition, the best wines from Aberrant Cellars have the substance to suggest they will repay five or six years in the cellar. This was a new name for me, but I look forward to tasting more from Eric in the future."

92 Josh Raynolds - Vinous Media

"Bright ruby-red. Sexy, spice-laced red and dark berry scents are complicated by notes of cola, mocha, potpourri and smoky minerals. Fleshy, focused and lively, offering appealingly sweet black raspberry and cherry pit flavors that tighten up and gain spiciness with air. Packs a serious punch of fruit but comes off as lithe, finishing with excellent thrust and silky, even tannins that add structure."

Product Description:

" Within the Willamette valley there are 6 sub-appellations which were created starting in 2005. Each of these "sub-apps" are distinguished from one-another by differing climatic conditions, soil types, and geographical/topographical influences. Attentive upbringing by the vigneron acknowledge these distinct characteristics and allow for their unique attributes to be reflected within those designated offerings. Virtus ex, then, was born to showcase the majestic qualities of power, elegance and a bridled-sauvage element, that display a nervous energy and are tightly wound in youth, though evolve gracefully with age...qualities inherent among the top wines produced within the Eola-Amity Hills AVA." Winery

Product Detail

Item # 97501
Country United States
Region Oregon
Sub-Region Willamette Valley

93 - Neal Martin - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

92 - Josh Raynolds - Vinous Media

Vintage 2012
Color Red
ABV 14.0%
Varietal(s) Pinot Noir
Size 750 mL
Closure Cork
Features Organic and Biodynamic
Taste ripe cherry, plum, strawberry, raspberry and mushroom
Nose barnyard, cherry, plum, game and tomato