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2017 Winemaker's Reserve Pinot Noir

2017 Winemaker's Reserve Pinot Noir
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2016 Winemaker’s Reserve Pinot Noir

pH (at harvest): 3.42 – 3.75
TA (at harvest): 3.9 – 4.9 (g/L)
Brix (at harvest): 22.4 – 25.1
Alcohol: 14.3%
Harvest Dates: 8/31/16 – 9/16/16
Clones: 115, 114, 667, 777, Pommard
139 cases produced

Technical Notes:    

     The 2016 harvest may be one of the most unique in our history.  Our likeliest* earliest harvest  – and the only time we’ve ever picked in August** - began on August 31st under very hot conditions.  This early start presented us with a lovely spectrum of fruit – sugars and acidity like a cool year at the beginning, transitioning to a warm year style as very warm days at harvest powered the fruit from cool to warm.  This gave us wonderful acidity and lower alcohols like a cool year to pair up with the powerful fruit notes of a warmer vintage.  Such a combination is unlikely to be seen very often.

     This unique harvest was made possible by a very early and warm spring which triggered a bloom start in late May – a solid week earlier than the very warm 2015, two weeks earlier than average and a full month before the latest ever 2011.  That early heat then gave way to a very modest summer – June and July were relatively cool compared to 2014 & 2015.  Summer would – finally – come roaring back with triple digits in the latter part of August.  That early bloom and cool early summer set the table for fruit that had full flavor & color development by the end of August – but retained (for a bit), sugars and acidities of a cooler vintage. 

     The fruit was picked over a period of 17 days in late August to mid September.  Early picks had shocking & refreshing (compared to 2014/2015) overnight pH’s.  Over half the ferments started naturally after moderate cold soaks.  Fermentations occurred in 1 to 1.5 ton lot sizes over a period of 10-14 days.  The wine was barrel aged for a period of 14 months in French Oak, 50% of it new.  The final blend is a combination of five different Pinot Noir clones, all sourced from Dion Vineyard.  The vines of these blocks were between 15 to 40 years in age.


*1992 might have been earlier.  Our record keeping is a bit spotty from back then and the vineyard was very different configuration.  We had only 22 or so acres in production, the Old Vines block was…17 years old and I was a 2nd Class Midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy.  

** Mostly so we could say we picked in August.  We probably could have waited a day, but where is the fun in that?

Tasting Notes:

A spicy nose starts out this wine, with a solid black cherry and red plum core.  The initial taste is of ripe bing cherries, an accent of Granny Smith apples, and a finish with deep black cherries, juicy red figs and a good spice of clove at the end.  We really like the tannic structure of this wine, balanced with acidity and red fruits.

6 barrels, 50% new oak

Release Date:  Nov 2018

Wine Specs
Pinot Noir
Chehalem Mountains AVA
Alcohol %