It was a dark and stormy night...and that was just the first day of 2017! Yes, 2017 started out like a number of Oregon vintages have started out: cold, wet and rainy. In fact, to start out 2017 we had snow. Snow shut down the winery for a number of days in January and this cold weather foretold the following cool spring. Bud break was late in relation to the past 5 years (late April instead of early April), but more normal when you look at our 40+ growing seasons. The cool, wet weather was not to last, and the heat volcano erupted in mid-June to the tune of 95°F! Thanks to the wonderful deluge of wet weather in the winter and spring of 2017, our vines were able to handle the scorching hot summer. Our underground barrel cellar reached temps we have never seen before (in the 70s) and the expanding wine pushed some bungs out. The cool spring helped push out harvest, but the hot summer helped make sure the grapes were ready to go with little delay. We picked over a six week time period, which is a week or so longer than normal due to the rain events. The crop was huge — one of the largest we have seen since 2014. The fruit was ripe and very clean, boding well for quality.
The grapes were carefully hand harvested on two different days a week and half apart at the end of September into October. They were then sorted by hand on the crush pad to remove any flawed bunches and 100% de-stemmed directly into several 3-ton stainless steel fermenters. 70% of the ferments were un inoculated and fermented with ambient yeast. The remaining portion was inoculated with a slow and cool fermenting yeast. Cap management was done via gentle punch downs up to 2 times per day. The wine from this block was drained and pressed off the skins immediately following primary fermentation with 15-18 days of skin contact time. This wine was aged in 100% French oak barrels for 17 months with minimal SO2 levels. There were 16 barrels hand selected for this final 2017 Orchard blend. 25% of the blend consists of wine aged in new oak barrels. 30% of the blend includes wine sourced from a young section of this
block just starting to come into its own.
Our 2017 Orchard Block Pinot Noir has notes of rose petal and berry blossom on the nose with a sweet dark cherry and blood orange rind on the palate.
This wine pairs well with Oregon black truffles, watermelon radishes, either raw or roasted, and kiwi fruit.
Is there a perfect looking vineyard site that produces a vine that looks like it is in perfect balance? If so, the 7 acres that make up the Orchard Block would be in the running for perfect looking vineyard. Balance is this sites middle name, and it’s that balance that is the thread that runs through this wine each and every year. Tannins too big? Nope, just right. Too fruity? Nope, just right. Goldilocks would love this wine!