2021 was the 2nd warmest growing season we have ever seen since 2015. We also got to add a new term to the dictionary: "Heat Dome". Three straight days of triple digit temperatures in late June breaking heat records for the Willamette Valley. Bud break started like usual in the middle of April. We had the driest March through May that the Willamette Valley has seen through 128 years of record keeping! Bloom also appeared on time in early/mid June. While late June brought the “Heat Dome”, our grapes made it through thanks to bloom being finished at all our sites and there still being soil moisture, so they grew like crazy over those three days of hellish temperatures. While July and August turned out to be exceedingly hot and dry, September arrived with little rain which that allowed us to fully ripen the grapes. The hot and dry summer made for fruit that was extremely clean, resulting in excellent fermentations. All in all, mother nature gave us something to be grateful for on our 50th anniversary.
The grapes were carefully harvested from the Big Tree Block (on our Estate vineyard), with 60% harvested on first September 13th at 22 brix and the other 40% on the 21st at 23 brix. The fruit was hand sorted to remove any flawed bunches and de-stemmed directly into three ton stainless steel fermenters. Fermentation took place over 10-15 days using a combination of our native Sokol A yeast and ambient yeast, with punchdowns for cap management. After the long, cool fermentation, the wine was pressed off at dryness and then barrel aged for 16 months in 100% French oak barrels with 15% new oak.
Our 2021 Big Tree Block Pinot Noir has fresh pomegranate, dark cherry, and a slight floral presence on the nose. On the palate, pomegranate and dark cherry continue with rhubarb coming to the forefront followed by a lovely long finish.
This Pinot Noir pairs beautifully with classic dishes such as steak frites and grilled lamb chops with garlic and herbs.
2021 - 91 points Wine Enthusiast, 92 points Vinous
2018 - 94 points James Suckling, 93 points Wine & Spirits