This year's Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Trophy for USA Pinot Noir over £15 went to WillaKenzie, Emery Pinot Noir, Oregon 2011 (13.5%)

Tasted against:

  • No other Golds in this category

Profile:

Owner of WillaKenzie, Bernard Lacroute was born in Burgundy into a family whose only connection with wine was the simple enjoyment of it.

Having graduated in France with degrees inelectrical engineering and physics, Lacroute took up a scholarship with NASA and did further work in the US before returning to France for his military service. He returned tothe US to work in computing before deciding to start his own winery, settling on Oregon because ‘it’s the best place in the New World to make a Pinot Noir which is stylistically close to Burgundy’. He says his goal is not to copy a specific Burgundian Pinot Noir but instead to pay homage to that European style while at the same time expressing his own Oregon terroir.

He bought land in 1991 and the first vintage came four years later, but the Emery vineyard that produced this Trophy-winner was only planted in 1998. Lacroute says the wine honours and allegedly reflects the personality of his grandfather, Emery, a Burgundian from birth to death: masculine, strongand powerful. (Although clearly someone who also had a sweet tooth as his daily breakfast was bread and sugar cubes soaked in red wine.)

The wine was aged for 14 months in French oak (40% new), and the final production was 790 cases.

Written by Decanter