91 Points, Wine Enthusiast, June 2019

First Class Pinot Noir

2016 Willamette Valley, Oregon
$65.00 / 750ml

208 in stock

This deep ruby colored wine exhibits aromas of rich dark fruits like black cherry, raspberry, root beer and cola with complex underlying scents of currant, cassis, vanilla and cinnamon spice. This wine is full of layered fruit flavors of dark cherry, raspberry, cranberry, and blueberry with hints of vanilla and Crème brûlée. On the palate ripe tannins and balanced acidity create a rich velvety mouth feel.

Winemaking

Fermentation took place in both small 1.25-ton open fermenters and large stainless steel tanks. Fermentations in the open fermenters were “punched-down” by hand in the traditional manner to extract color and flavor from the skins, while a technique called “pneumatage” was utilized to extract color and flavor in the larger stainless steel tanks. This technique involves injecting large bubbles of air into the tank, which rise through the fermenting wine and gently break up the thick cap of skins that forms at the top of the fermenter. This technique allows excellent extraction of color and flavor from the skins while minimizing extraction of bitter seed tannins. The wine underwent the secondary malolactic fermentation while it was aging in French oak barrels, 15% of which were new, for 8 months. The wine was bottled in August of 2017.

Winegrowing

Winemakers like early vintages and 2016 was one of them. We like them because we can usually avoid precipitation and cooler temperatures, both of which are responsible for lackluster vintages – and a lot of my gray hair (my daughter is responsible for the rest). 2016 started early and was cooler than 2014 and 2015. Because our vines weren't growing in hot weather, they could slow down and absorb the oils and esters that make wine taste so good – and that is what happened. 2016 temperatures were a perfect copy of 2006 - warm enough to build black flavors (black cherry, cassis, blueberry, blackberry), but cool enough to drive red flavors (cherry, cranberry).

Technical

  • ABV14.1%

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