Ah yes, the pre-harvest thoughts post. Where I both pontificate and prognosticate on the upcoming harvest – showing our deep understanding of the vineyard and the weather cycles we are sailing through to a supremely successful harvest.
So….the big story is that this harvest is early. Really early. It doesn’t really match any harvest we’ve seen in the last decade – back to the 90’s for something like this. An early & warm spring gave us an early bloom – and a warm (but not blazing hot) summer pushed it even further ahead. And so here we are, nearly a month ahead of when we picked in 2011.
But, nothing is easy for an Oregon harvest and an early onset of fall rain is complicating this one. As can be seen from the picture, we received our first fruit today – some Pinot Noir from the 115 block that has – for the decade or so it’s been bearing fruit – been the leadoff block for our pick. This year is no different. I suspect some day, as it ages, it may gracefully yield it’s place to some of the white blocks (probably Pinot Gris). On the other hand, I’m used to it being first, so that’s okay for me this year.
So far, the fruit is coming along nicely and riding out the rain as needed. The sugars have shown up, but the acidities are holding up quite well (almost too well…). The flavors are rounding out….but given our continued rainy forecast, we’ll likely pick the blocks as soon as they are ready.
So, if I have to predict what this vintage may be like….maybe, 2007? A warm year (yes, 2007 was warm) that got a rainy harvest. High acidities, bit lower on color. Some unsure reviews at first…followed by wide recognition of a great, age worthy (and now very hard to find) vintage. Yeah, I’m okay with having something like that. History may not repeat itself-but it does seem to rhyme, and 2007 would be just fine as a comparison.
Or, it could be completely different. I’ll let you know in 6 (Pinot Gris) to 18 (Reserve Pinots) months…
We’ve got quite a few weeks of harvest to go, rainy-early starts not-withstanding and we’re going to do our best to update you throughout. We can be wine geeky from time to time…..okay, all the time. We hope you enjoy it – and the wines soon to come!