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! Budbreak 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 “HeatDome”, 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 fruit was hand harvested from Kalita Vineyard on September 24th and brought back to our Estate winery where 80% was destemmed and the rest left whole-cluster. Over a 12-day period the wine went through an ambient fermentation in three ton stainless steel tanks with punch-downs for cap management on the destemmed fruit and pump overs on the whole cluster. The wine was aged for 16 months in French oak barrels with 20% new oak. We selected the final barrels from a few different blocks that we thought stood out and really punctuated the style of wine Kalita is known for. For this cuvée we selected barrels in August of 2022, blended them all together in tank then returned the blend back to barrel to age another five months as the blend.
On the nose pronounced notes of black cherry cola, blackberries, and rose petal. The palate is perfectly smooth with a well-balanced fruit to tannin structure. There is a medium + finish that gives a hint of chocolate and spice.
Pair with dishes such as roasted duck with plum sauce, mushroom risotto, or with a cheese board with brie and gouda.
Kalita Estate Vineyard is located in the heart of the Yamhill-Carlton AVA in the Willamette Valley. This stunning, bowl-shaped vineyard was planted in 2000 by Arthur and Sherry Kalita; it is currently LIVE certified and we are transitioning the vineyard to organic certification.