I generally look to Pinot Noir as a grape variety of rustic elegance, and when a wine shows more black fruits, I sometimes wonder if the wine is too bold. Fortunately, the 2017 Wright Cellars Carter Vineyard has all of its parts in balance. This wine serves up formidable black fruit aromas and flavors. Its style and structure should pair it deliciously with grilled lamb chops.
Score: 92 points -- Wilfred Wong, wine.com, 2019
In 1986, with family, belongings and 10 barrels in tow, Ken moved to McMinnville and started Panther Creek Cellars. His concept of focusing on vineyard-designate bottling began during those years at Panther Creek and was cemented as a core philosophy in 1994 when Ken Wright Cellars was founded in historic downtown Carlton. Ken now makes a single vineyard bottling from 13 vineyard sites in the Northern Willamette Valley. Given his appreciation of sense of place, it was a given that Ken would contribute to the locations and industry near and dear to his heart. Instrumental in organizing the six new American Viticultural Area (AVA)’s in the Northern Willamette Valley that define in detail the distinct growing areas within the region, he wrote the proposition for the Yamhill-Carlton AVA and served as the association’s first President. Ken's accomplishments have been recognized over and over throughout the years. Including in 2005 when Ken was award the VINI Award at Classic Wine Auction for a lifetime of service to the wine industry and Oregon's community at large, in 2012 Ken and Karen were voted as the Oregon Wine People of the Year, 2013 as Salud's! Legacy Winemaker and in 2014 an American Winery of the Year Nominee. Ken Wright Cellars wine has received 111 scores of 90 and above in the Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast, and they continue to year after year. In 2014, Ken's 2012 Abbott Claim Vineyard Pinot Noir was ranked the number one wine on the world, per Wine Enthusiast. His most recent recognition was being featured as the first Oregon wine maker on the cover of the Wine Spectator, in the May 2015 issue, with a 9-page article on his lifetime achievements in the Oregon Pinot Noir industry and his local philanthropies.