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 for excellent fermentations. All in all, mother nature gave us something to be grateful for on our 50th anniversary.
The grapes were carefully harvested from our Estate vineyards, hand sorted to remove any flawed bunches and de-stemmed directly into 3-ton stainless steel and 2.5 ton wooden upright fermenters. After 7 days of cold soaking, fermentation took place over 13-15 days using ambient yeast, and cap management was punchdowns. 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 20% new oak. 35% used oak, and 45% neutral oak.
On the nose, the 2021 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir shows notes of black cherry and raspberry accompanied by leather. On the palate, the fruit remains the same but is joined by black pepper and clove.
This wine pairs beautifully with seared salmon, mushroom risotto, as well as grilled lamb with herbs.
2021 - (92) Jeb Dunnuck
2020 - (90) Wine Enthusiast, (90) Wine Spectator
2019 - (93) James Suckling, (91) Wine Spectator, (92) Vinous