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 on September 15th,hand-sorted to remove any flawed bunches and 100% de-stemmed directly into several 3-ton stainless steel fermenters. Fermentation took place mostly with ambient fermentation and partially with commercial yeasts, along with regular punch downs for cap management. The wine was left for a long settling after it was drained and then pressed off the skins in order to have the wine as clean as possible going down to barrel. This wine was aged in 100% French oak barrels for 16 months, with 17% new oak and 75% neutral.
On the nose, the 2021 Twelve Row has red fruit framed by a hint of leather. The palate carries medium acidity with dark current and leathery tannins.
This wine will pair nicely with a grilled ribeye or braised lamb shank.
2018 - (92) James Suckling
2017 - (92) James Suckling