2021 was the 2nd warmest growing season we have ever seen since 2015. We also got to add anew 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/April/May that the Valley has seen through 128 years of record keeping! Bloom, or flowering, 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. July and August turned out to be exceedingly hot and dry, thankfully September started off mild with a couple of rain events that allowed us to fully ripen the grapes. We started bringing in our Estate Pinot Noir on Sunday, September 12th. The hot and dry summer made for fruit that was extremely clean, making for excellent fermentations. All in all, mother nature gave us something to be grateful for on our 50th anniversary.
The fruit was hand harvested from our Red House Block on October 4th, the last fruit to come in from the Estate and the ripest we have ever gotten our Estate Riesling. It was hand sorted to removed any flawed clusters before being pressed, whole cluster to limit the amount of skin contact. The juice was divided with42% in a stainless steel tank, 30% fermented in the concrete egg and28% in neutral oak puncheons.They were all inoculated with an aromatic, Rielsing-focused yeast.After fermentation the three lots were blended into a stainless steel tank and left to age for 5 months with weekly lees-stiring until the desired mouth-feel and aromas were attained.Our goal with this wine was to create a dry, well-balanced Riesling with a round mouthfeel and bright acid. The use of different fermentation vessels integrated layers of minerality, grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, and apricot to add nuance and beauty to this wine.
On the nose, this wine is complex with asian pear, papaya and slate with hints of honey. On thepalate, the honey and slate carry through, and are joined by lime zest and candied mango.
This wine will pair beautifully with a crispy Chicken schnitzel or fresh sushi and sashimi.
Riesling was one of the original varietals planted on the Estate in 1971, along withPinotNoir and Chardonnay. When phylloxera struck and we began the process of replanting vineyards we decided to move the Riesling vines from their original site in both theTwelve Row and Old Vineyard Blocks to a more suitable site. At the foot of our winemaker’s house sits scenic and aptly named Red House Block. We planted this block in 2006. There are two old world Riesling varietals planted here. One is a Geisenheim clone (Geisenheim 110) from the Rheingau region of Germany, considered Riesling’s historical and traditional home.The second clone (Neustadt 90) planted comes from the Pfalz region of Germany. These two clones allow us to make a non-typical, fruit forward, and relatively dry wine.