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2023 Willamette Valley Pinot Gris

2023 Willamette Valley Pinot Gris
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What started as a dry winter turned into a deluge of rain in the springtime. We had the wettest and coldest April/May/June in recorded (130 years) history. Freezing temperatures on the morning of April 14th and 15th knocked back the fragile new growth, in fact, until crop estimates were done in late August, we thought our crop yields would be down across the board by 50-60%. The lesson learned is don’t second guess a grapevine. In over 51 years of growing grapes here in the Dundee Hills we have never seen a freezing event during the growing season, so we had no idea what was going to happen. The primary buds froze and died, but the secondary buds came on, produced fewer but larger clusters, and the vines made a miraculous comeback. The coldest and wettest spring turned into the 2nd warmest and driest summer on record, and then we got to October. Everything depended on good ripening conditions (dry and warm) in the month of October since bloom was much later. Fortunately we got the warmest October in Oregon history, we were able to let the grapes hang, and the rains stayed put until all our Estate fruit was in on Thursday, October 27th. The fruit got nice and ripe, and we are thrilled with the wine produced from this vintage!

The fruit for this wine was hand picked over a period of days between September 30th and October 21st. A portion of the Pinot Gris was picked with an acid focus and the other portion with a focus on higher brix and therefore more fruit weight. All the fruit was machine picked, being destemmed in the process, and went quickly to the press to avoid prolonged skin contact. The juice had long, cool fermentations in stainless steel tanks ranging from 15-20 days, using a diversity of ester focused yeasts. The resulting wines were all blended in a stainless steel tank with light lees where it was aged for about three months with lees stirring weekly for two months. As a result of the dual picking there is a weight and dimension in this wine. Additionally, lees stirring allowed the body and mid palette to build during the aging of the wine. The final product is a clean Pinot Gris with weight, dimension, minerality and aromatics of stone fruit with hints of citrus apple and pear in the palette.

Slight notes of honeysuckle, apple blossoms, nectarines, pear, and apricots. A very complex Pinot Gris that is dry, with high acidity, and a long finish. Spring and Summer we found your perfect pairing!

Pair our Pinot Gris with stone fruit salad, Chicken Tikki Masala (Medium Heat Preferred), or spinach quiche.

2021 (91) James Suckling (92) Wine & Spirits (92) Wine Enthusiast
2019 (91) James Suckling

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