2017 was year two incorporating the beautiful and old own-rooted Pinot Gris from Yamhill Springs Vineyard into our Willamette Valley release. We learned in 2016 that this vineyard drives an intensely fruit-forward style. The slightly cooler, later 2017 vintage was perfectly paired with this site, and the result balances fruit and tension quite nicely.
We take our Rosé seriously! No saignée here! We dedicated 100% Pinot Noir vines from our flagship estate vineyard each year to this project. The Pinot Noir for our rosé is often amongst the first fruit in the winery each year – picked early to retain acidity and elegance, avoid higher sugar ripeness, and preserve the complexing and bright aromatics.
After selling through the 2015 vintage in less than 6 months, we are thrilled to have a follow-up vintage that is even stronger and more outgoing. There is also more of it – over 600 cases more! We had such an outstanding cellar of barrels to blend from – it was difficult to recall a time when so many reserve and single vineyard contenders made their way into our Willamette Valley. The result shows!
To say we re excited about this particular WV PN would be an understatement. The 2015 could easily be our strongest edition to date, showing as much depth and intensity as we could ask for. But, just wait, the 2016 is going to give it a run for its money!
McIvor Vineyard, one of the primary sources for both our Riesling and Gewürztraminer is a gem of a place. 25+ years old at this point, this little site is putting out some incredibly exciting wines. Look for some single vineyard bottlings down the road! Owner Carol McIvor can always be counted on for some Gewürztraminer jam at the end of harvest!
Dolcetto is a bit of a passion project for us. We dream of it being center stage at barbecues across America, doing what it does best, complimenting casual food in a casual setting, but until then, we will keep spreading the word!
The 2014 Reserve Chardonnay is just a 4 barrel composition from two stellar Chardonnay sites. The beauty of this wine lies in the unique characteristics of each vineyard and their ability to compliment one another. Bunker Hill has grown in prominence over the last few years and will no doubt continue to get attention.
We work a fairly typical 3-tier Pinot Noir program. Willamette Valley PN comprises our estate vineyards, Willamette Valley Reserve is a barrel selection from the strongest sites, the goal being our best expression of the Willamette Valley and vintage as a whole, and finally, the single vineyard designated wines are born from the best barrels of our best vineyard sites and blocks.
Following up the '12 single vineyard La Cantera won't be easy! The exciting part is how dramatically different the recently released '14 is showing from the departing '12. We are back with a more classic Laurelwood soil profile of blazing red fruit, sweet spice and white pepper. The tannins are finer and more integrated than we saw with the '12 at this stage in its life.
Not all stems are created equal! We have spent years honing our whole cluster techniques, and just like grapes, stems have their own levels of ripeness. We don't decide whole cluster percentages until the fruit arrives at the winery and we can best decide how to incorporate them, if at all. There are certainly vineyards that generally lend better than others to whole cluster, and CHV stems can make a beautiful contribution – although the percentages can vacillate dramatically from year to year.
The Murto Gris was a bit of an exercise in exploring a new direction for Pinot Gris and elevating it beyond the bright, quaffable examples we generally see as the norm. From a fantastic vineyard site is where this Gris began. It then spent a good clip in barrel, completed malolactic fermentation and came out the other end a uniquely rich and complex example with broad textures and only subtly softened acidity.
From a tiny block in arguably one of the best vineyards in the Dundee Hills comes some of the oldest Riesling out there! Capable of delivering great complexity, we have been know to push it very hard in the vineyard, letting it hang, shrivel, dehydrate and botrytize if conditions deem fit. The sad part is the 2014 is the second to last vintage, as the old vines were grafted over to Chardonnay after 2015.
2013 was a year that thew us endless curve balls. The rains set in a few weeks into harvest an remained unrelenting for what seemed like an eternity. Certainly a challenge for Pinot Noir, we were able to embrace the year with our Juliard Rielsing. We allowed a heavy amount of botrytis to set, picked and fermented based on the intensity to which it took hold. In essence a "clean", "medium" and "heavy" fermentation. The results were exciting to say the least, and the complexity is still unfolding.
We just opened a bottle the other day (7/27/2017) and we can easily say this wine is still hitting its stride. Elegant and dark, with whole cluster contribution that you wish you could replicate on every wine. Here we are, 5 years later, and the 2012 Z'IVO is really starting to get profound and exciting.
2012 was a perfect storm for single vineyard designated wines at WC. Almost every top site was deserving of a label in '12. The criteria is specific though – to wear a SV label the wine must not only be great, but it must express both the vintage and the vineyard. The 2012 Carlton Hill is classic, sexy, red fruited and deliciously satisfying.
The 2012 Wirtz was a really stands out as atypical for 2012. Beautifully elegant, the finest tannin structure and very gentle sweet fruit define the wine from this exceptionally old vineyard. It has been the single vineyard bottling from the 2012 family that has been the most subtle in its evolution and is just now getting to a point where its full potential is visible. This was also the last year we worked with Wirtz Vineyard – the incredible old-vine Gewürztraminer will be missed!