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 hand harvested from the Orchard Block (on our Estate vineyard) on September 25th. The fruit was hand sorted to remove any flawed bunches and de-stemmed, half went directly into 3-ton stainless steel fermenters and the other half went in to oak upright fermenters. Fermentation took place over 10-14 days using 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 17% new oak.
Our 2021 Orchard Block Estate Pinot Noir has bright notes of red cherry, red currant,and a touch of nutmeg on the nose. On the palate, the fruit continues with red cherry, raspberry, and red currants followed by a subtle hint of clove. This is a delicate Pinot Noir with bright acidity with a medium finish.
Orchard Block Pinot Noir pairs with a classic roasted turkey, creamy cacio e pepe, and the Oregon favorite, wild mushroom risotto.
2018 - 93 points James Suckling, 92 points Wine Spectator