A to Z Wineworks Pinot Noir

Review by Eric Tansey, CSW                                                                                                                             A to Z Wineworks Pinot Noir is reddish brown in color, clear and translucent. Moderate aromas of cherry, wet leaves and dry black soil. Never judge a book by its cover and never judge a wine by its aromas, but just on smell alone this wine screams Oregon. Put this wine to your nose and you will find that cherry is there but you also have this earthy component to the aroma that you may find more difficult/fun to describe. On the front of the palate the wine shows cherry with a little raisin poking its head in on the mid palate. The finish is soft with a remarkable balance of earth, fruit, and acidity… and then a little smokiness left on the breath. This wine is such a good wine for food pairing but has enough GOOD fruit that it can easily be enjoyed on its own. Add this wine to your Thanksgiving dinner menu. Cheers!

Tansey’s Blind Rating – 91 Points 

Wine Spectator – 88 points 

Wine Enthusiast – 84 Points

**Has twice made the Wine Spectators top 100 wines list**

Dryness Level

Wine Selection – A to Z Wine Works Pinot Noir 

Producer/Wine makers – Deb Hatcher (Eyrie), Bill Hatcher (Domaine Drouhin Oregon), Sam Tannahill (Archery Summit) and Cheryl Francis (Chehalem), Michael Davies, winemaker.

Vintage – 2013

Varietal – Pinot Noir Style- Soft, medium-bodied red wine

Region – Oregon, USA

Alcohol – 13%

Recommended glassware – Riedel Burgundy Glass or Riedel Pinot Noir Glass

Food Paring – Stuffed flounder, chicken, turkey, pork tenderloin. 

Perfect wine education moment!

Here are two wines that are the same varietal, from the same country, but from two different regions and thus were created with very unique wine making styles. Try this at home with your favorite wine buddies. I am going to lay this out Big Bird to Cookie Monster style for ya. 1. Pour everybody two glasses of wine (half pours) at the same time. Each person should have two glasses of wine in front of them. Do not taste the wine yet.

  • A to Z Pinot Noir $18-20
  • Cherry Tart Pinot Noir $20

2. Look at the color of each wine. Which is more of a brownish red? Which is darker and has a deeper red color? A to Z is lighter and the Cherry Tart is much deeper red. 3. Now smell the wine. Which one has an aroma of vanilla? Cherry Tart has this aroma. This is caused by new American oak barrel aging.  4. Ask them to revisit the aroma of the A to Z. Does this wine have a more earthy aroma to it like wet leaves and soil along with cherry? 5. Taste the Cherry Tart. Really swish it around on your palate, similarly to the way you would rinse with Scope. 6. Taste the A to Z in the same manner. 7.  Discuss the difference in wine making styles.

  • A to Z is made with an emphasis on farming, with high focus on the way the fruit is cared for in the vineyard. When it is time for the grapes to be turned into wine, the winemaker is barely involved with manipulating the grapes and actually tries to make the juice taste like the fruit.
  • The makers of Cherry Tart took a more soft and layered approach. First you will see the darker color, you will taste the vanilla and Christmas-like spices in the wine. You will notice the wine is thicker. Think about the consistency of the wine. Cherry Tart is more like whole milk while A to Z is like 2%.

Explain that both wines are great wines, but made in two very different styles suggest. One may be better for food, while the other may be better for just sipping on the porch. Enjoy both wines and enjoy your company. Cheers! From the Winery – https://www.atozwineworks.com/story

Once Upon A Time Four Friends Met For A Drink

A to Z Wineworks was started in 2002 by four friends, Oregon wine industry veterans, Deb Hatcher (Eyrie), Bill Hatcher (Domaine Drouhin Oregon), Sam Tannahill (Archery Summit) and Cheryl Francis (Chehalem).  The two couples worked in the Hatcher’s kitchen to build the original blend honored by Food & Wine magazine as the Best American Pinot Noir under $20. Recognition for their A to Z wines with dependable quality and great value continued and production grew. In 2006, the group welcomed another Oregon wine veteran, Michael Davies, as winemaker, and partnered with Gregg Popovich (Coach of the San Antonio Spurs) to buy REX HILL Vineyards and Winery (established in 1982).  A to Z has worked with more than 100 vineyards across the state always offering assistance for sustainability certification that the group expects to be achieved within three years of partnering.  Today, A to Z has two viticulturists on staff and uses biodynamic principles to farm all owned or long-leased vineyards. Diverse sourcing across the state mitigates regional weather difficulties and adds complexity and depth to the one wine of each variety that is blended in any vintage. Additionally, A to Z has more collective Oregon winemaking experience than any other winery, experience that can make a difference in difficult vintages. A to Z remains true to the dual mission of offering Aristocratic Wines at Democratic Prices blending one cuvee each vintage of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris that deliver the Essence of Oregon.  A commitment to excellence is matched by a belief in fair value and sustainability in business as well as farming and a drive to offer the highest quality for the best value. A to Z Oregon Pinot Noir has twice been named to Wine Spectator’s Top 100 wines of the year; A to Z Oregon Pinot Gris is a perennial Best Buy; and A to Z Oregon Chardonnay is America’s Best Selling Oregon Chardonnay.