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New World Pinot Noir Featuring Lenné Estate @lennewine


Minstrel and Muse #WineMuse Podcast 
New World Pinot Noir Show - Part 3

This month on our featured #WineMuse podcast show Linda Reznicek and yours truly, have focused on New World Pinot Noir. We have tackled the question of "What's so great about Pinot Noir?" As we wrap up Part 3 of our discussion on Pinot Noir, we had to include Oregon. We were fortunate to enjoy a tasting of three Oregon wines made by Stephen Lutz of  Lenné Estate as well as an engaging conversation with this talented winemaker and vineyard manager.

"Steve Lutz is a genius!"
Tina Morey, Certified Sommelier, Protocol Wine Studio.

This month we have focused on New World Pinot Noir. Specifically, Pinot Noir from Carneros in California, Oregon Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley and a Pinot Noir from Chile. This special podcast series is divided into three episodes. My posts with tasting notes are also in three parts.

We have explored the aesthetics of Pinot Noir and the cultivation and winemaking processes with Francois Lurton of Hacienda AraucanoMichael Richmond of Bouchaine Vineyards in California and Steve Lutz of Lenné Estate in Oregon. These three interviews are included as part of our continuing Winemaker Conversations Series.

Stephen Lutz of  Lenné Estate

We invited Steve to the show to talk about his wines and to discuss the topic of "What makes Oregon Pinot Noir so special?" He shared a tremendous amount of information about the terroir of his vineyards and his philosophy towards wine making. I was surprised to learn that Steve does not irrigate his vineyards. My intent is not to quote what Steve shared, I would rather you listen to his own spoken words, and recommend you listen to the interview.

*Listen to the podcast New World Pinot Noir Part 3, Featuring Stephen Lutz, Lenné Estate.

Glassware used in these wine tastings: Riedel Pinot Noir - link at bottom.

"It seems to me that Lenné is all about Terroir."
- William Pollard Jr.

Tasting Notes


Lenné 2008 Estate Pinot Noir Yamhill-Carlton
(re-release held for several years)

Constricted by tannin, aromas and flavor were hiding, Steve decided to hold 130 cases because the wine was too closed. It started to develop aromatically in 2014. So he has re-released this wine.

Color: Red plum.
Nose: Rich, deep, plum, cherry, raspberry, Sandlewood.
Palate: Round, bright raspberry, happy palate, red fruit, very fine tannin on the medium-light finish. Quite elegant drinking at opening. Great way to start the conversation.
After 10 minutes: The nose grew in intensity, a tactile carress of aromas, ripe raspberry, ripe strawberry set on earthy tar background, focused. Full in the mouth with red and dark fruit, fine earthy tannin, almost black cherry on the finish.
After 20 minutes: Pow! Delivered a rich Pinot Noir experience, earthy, dried herbal notes, dark fruit, lovely nose, candied quality, delicious on the palate, fluid through the bigger finish. Not overly dry, background acid did not intrude.
After 2 hours. Wow. Just wow.

Day two: Earthy, funky strawberry, cinnamon, face carressing aromatics. Extreme pleasure, beautiful ripe fruit, exotic, lush layers of flavor. Big finish. Stunning. Delicious pairing with Spinach Salad - raw spinach, Feta cheese, Kalamata olive, green olive, olive oil. Wonderful.

Thoughts: This wine will make you re-evaluate Pinot Noir. A big, sensual wine of depth. Showing very well. This wine should be on every Pinot Noir lovers list. Highly Recommended.

Unfined Unfiltered
Closure: Natural cork
ABV: 14%
SRP: $60


Lenné 2011 Pinot Noir Yamhill-Carlton (HOLDING)

As of our interview and this posting, this wine is not available on the Lenné wine shop. It is being held until 2015 when it is expected to deliver the aromas and flavors Steve requires.

Color: Strawberry Preserve.
Nose: Strawberry skin and flesh, dusting of soil, edge of orange marmalade.
Palate: Medium-light, fresh, strawberry-orange, dry mid-palate, super-fine tannin, tingle of acid mid-palate.
After 15 minutes: More body, nice weight and viscosity, broader on the tongue, more delicate aromas on nose and lighter flavors on the palate with apple tannin on the finish.
After 30 minutes: Cherry and spice on the nose and the palate. Hint of orange on the medium finish.
At one hour: Strawberry skin, cherry flesh, light spice, orange skin, lower depth, opening nose. Almost candied, cherry-orange, a little sweettart candy action, tongue activity, dry cheeks, more going on at this point. Not subtle, lively finish. Cheeky wine at this point.
After two hours: Oh mama. Fluid, red fruit layered, dancing in the mouth, hints of spice on the periphery, focused intensity on the finish. Craved Beef Carpacio and rare Kobe Beef.

Day two: Intense strawberry, dark earth background. Medium body, lightly tart, cherry with orange cream, gentle tannin, creamy, lightly sour finish.  Craved a grilled trout.

Thoughts: Pare wisely with this delicious wine. Still young with wonderful potential. Evolving. Cool vintage. Wait another year. Strongly Recommended.

Closure: Natural cork
ABV: 13.5%
SRP: $45


Lenné 2012 Pinot Noir Willamette Valley (READY)

The growing season was similar to 2008, but September changed it up.

Color: Red plum, clear.
Nose: Chalky cherry, strawberry background, graphite.
Palate: Nice weight, lovely texture, super fine tannin, nice dry bite mid-palate, creamy slide, dark cherry, slate, tingle on the finish.
After 15 minutes: Action was on the palate. Creamy, cherry cream, fine tannin, bright on the finish.
After 30 minutes: Strawberry action on the nose, walking through a strawberry patch at sunset, caramel and vanilla on the breeze. Strawberry, vanilla-cream, luscious mouth feel, wonderful tannin on the tongue, roof of mouth and lower gums, nice brightness on the finish. Poetry.
After an hour: Drink me.

Day two: Expressive. Strawberry-raspberry, boysenberry, perfume with cola/sasparilla on the nose. Tantalizing aromas, feminine. Palate creamy strawberry, textured, tart raspberry, edge of earthiness, fine tannin on the medium flavorful finish.

Day three: Wow. Creamy strawberry preserve. Delicious sipping wine. Lovely.

Thoughts: Drink or hold another year or more. A tempting tease, promising ever greater pleasure. Strongly Recommended.

Closure: Natural cork
ABV: 14.1%
SRP: $45

Lenné Estate
18760 NE Laughlin Road ~ Yamhill, OR 97148 ~ 503-956-2256
Tasting Room open Thursday - Sunday.

I invite you to listen to our interview with Stephen Lutz - he's a truly talented vineyard manger and an inspirational winemaker. I find his passion for wine expressive. It seems to me that Lenné is all about terroir. It's possible you have never experienced such concentrated expressions of Pinot Noir. Sincere thanks to Stephen Lutz of Lenné Estate.

About Lenné Estate

Lenné was born in 2000 when Steve and Karen Lutz bought a 21 acre site near the town of Yamhill, Oregon. They planted 15 acres of Pinot Noir on the site beginning in 2001. The vineyard is managed and farmed by Steve and the wine is made by Steve at Owen Roe with the help of their crew. Lenné takes its name from Karen’s late father Lenny, an Englishman and farmer whose spirit lives on at Lenné.

Lenné  Estate 20 acre vineyard is on sedimentary or Willakenzie soils called "Peavine" which is considered the poorest soil type in the WillametteValley. The Lenné vineyard shares a ridge with Willakenzie Estate, Deux Vert, Shea, Solena, Roots and Penner-Ash. The vineyard was planted between 2001-2004 at an elevation of 375-575 feet, with 2084 vines per acre. Clones Pommard, 115, 114, 777 and 667.

Steve shared that when he first tasted his bottled Lenné in 2004, he told his wife "Don't worry we are going to be okay." More than okay Stephen, well done, bravo!

*Note: I used the Riedel Vinum XL Pinot Noir Glass for the wine tastings featured in our New World Pinot Noir series. The shape of this glass enhanced the aromas and flavors of the Pinot Noir I was tasting. Pinot Noir is a delicate wine with delicate aromas and flavors. The Vinum XL glass enhances the sensory experience of Pinot Noir. Strongly Recommended.


Thank you for listening and reading about New World Pinot Noir!


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