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2009 William Hatcher Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

The fruit reveals the wine to the winemaker. Accordingly, the winemaker shepherds the wine rather than makes it. Notably, there is no word for "winemaker" in French, Italian or Spanish: one is a vigneron, viticoltore or vinicultor, the idea being that the wine is made in the vineyard.

In a given vintage, the optimal blend may comprise only half or so of the barrels I make. As with the preparation of a fine meal, it is a question of what precisely informs the whole. Too much of the finest ingredient may overwhelm the balance. Thus, REX HILL and A to Z are always blessed with some beautiful barrels.

The 2009 William Hatcher Pinot Noir greets the nose with notes of rose, strawberry, raspberry, red currant, and underlying hints of bergamot and sarsaparilla. The red cast yields to dark fruits on the palate: plum, loganberry, fig and black cherry with a redolence of coffee on a long finish.

With every wine I make, I strive for a rich and ample mid-palate which was achieved here. The tannins are soft and spreading but the primary structure of the wine as the vintage offered is acidity.

The 2009 vintage is more generous young than the tightly sprung 2008. Already drinking quite pleasantly, the 2009 William Hatcher will evolve elegantly over the next ten years.

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