Ponzi was instrumental in establishing Oregon's Willamette Valley as one of the premier viticultural zones in the world, and their latest releases are not to be missed. Now owned by the famed Champagne House of Bollinger, Luisa Ponzi has crafted two absolute stunners from the Laurelwood AVA, Oregon's newest appellation.
I know Ponzi is best-known for Pinot Noir, but please don't snooze on their Chardonnay. Luisa was the first American to receive a Certificate Brevet Professionelle d’Oenologie et Viticulture from Burgundy’s most prestigious winemaking school, and her winemaking style is informed by her training. This is beautifully balanced Chardonnay for those who love White Burgundy.
2019 Ponzi Laurelwood Chardonnay
95 points Wine Advocate, 93 points Wine Spectator, 93 points Wine Enthusiast
ORDER NOW in our online store.
A serious candidate for the top domestic Chardonnay under $50, I was awe-struck by this gorgeous, mineral-rich, floral, and complex Chardonnay. As the Wine Advocate accurately reported, it "has a satiny, expansive texture balanced by a spine of shimmery acidity, and it finishes long and expressive." Made with fruit from some of Ponzi's original 1970 plantings, this is a very sophisticated and Burgundy-like Chardonnay.
Wine Spectator called it a "crunchy and bright Chardonnay with sliced lemon and honeysuckle," and Wine Enthusiast said "its floral qualities are almost too numerous to fit into a tasting note." Words don't do this one justice folks. If you love multi-faceted, layered, and nuanced Chardonnay, you will be enamored with this one.
You will also be completely bewitched by Ponzi's 2021 Laurelwood Pinot Noir, a wine the Wine Advocate scored at 96 points! Dick and Nancy Ponzi helped establish their estate as "a reference point for American Pinot Noir,” so says Robert Parker of the Wine Advocate fame.
Mr. Parker went on to say that the estate produces some of "Oregon's most complex Pinot Noirs," and you won't get any arguments here. Luisa Ponzi has produced a dazzling '21 Willamette Pinot Noir, and I wish there was more to be had....
2021 Ponzi Laurelwood Pinot Noir
96 points Wine Advocate
ORDER NOW in our online store.
The cooler, more elevated vineyards of the Laurelwood AVA are perfect for Pinot Noir. This thin-skinned, delicate grape does best in cooler climates, where the grape gets the longer hangtime required to bring out its most complex and nuanced aromas and flavors. This is a tour-de-force in domestic Pinot Noir, and it will offer a decade of prime drinking.
A modern classic, Erin Brooks of the Wine Advocate summed this one up perfectly. "The 2021 Pinot Noir Laurelwood District has a pale ruby-purple color and slowly unfolding aromas of cranberries, tangerine peel, pipe tobacco and forest floor. The medium-bodied palate is powerful and generous with concentrated fruit, grainy tannins, plenty of refreshing acidity and a long, spicy finish." Sounds good doesn't it? Trust me, it is wonderful.
I'll wrap it up. Stunning Oregon Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from one of the state's most respected producers at best prices in the US. You know what to do next.