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 fruit for this wine was farmed organically on our Estate, and was harvested at peak ripeness on September 23rd. The picked fruit was destemmed in 3-ton stainless steel fermenters and ambient fermentation was allowed to take place naturally with cap management by punch-downs. Once the fermentation process was finished, the wine was pressed off the skins at dryness and barreled down in 100% French oak barrels with 18% new oak and 64% neutral, and left to age for 16 months before bottling.
Watershed is big and bold, with notes of bright intense red fruit. This is followed by a long finish with hints of cinnamon and tobacco.
Serve with classic smoked turkey and a blackberry sauce or roasted quail.
94 points Wine Advocate, 92 points James Suckling, 92 points Wine Spectator, 92 points Decanter.
The Watershed Block Pinot Noir comes from fruit harvested off of a section of the vineyard planted by founders Bill and Susan Sokol Blosser in the early 70s. Although replanted in 2006/2009 on rootstock, cuttings from fruiting vines were taken from the original plantings and grafted onto rootstock for the replant.