Wine background: The first vintage of this Pinot noir was in 1979. Our objective in producing this wine has always been a classic, intense and elegant wine that pairs well with the foods we like to eat. By blending the diverse flavors and textures of multiple vineyards, clones and elevations, we produce a richly supple and focused wine that typifies what Pinot noir can achieve each vintage in the northern Willamette Valley. With this wine, our 34th vintage, our experience shows - we’ve long been acknowledged as producing a reference standard for the “Oregon style.”
Growing season: The 2012 growing season got off to a slightly slower than average start, with bud break occurring on April 23rd, about a week later than normal for the Willamette Valley. Weather during bloom (the third week of June) was close to ideal, with minimal rainfall towards the end of flowering. Reduced berry set led to smaller clusters and lower yields than the prior vintage. A warmer and drier than average growing season resulted in extremely low disease pressure and provided ample sunshine for the grapes to develop beautifully complex flavor profiles. Veraison occurred around the end of August and the Willamette Valley experienced excellent ripening conditions until harvest. Picking for this wine took place between September 28 and October 18. The remarkable growing season of 2012 resulted in clean fruit with intense colors and concentrated flavors.
Winemaking: After hand-harvesting, the grapes were gently de-stemmed into open-top fermenters, followed by a four to six day cold soak for greater flavor and color extraction. The grapes were then inoculated with a commercial yeast and punched down two or three times per day during their 7 day fermentation. After pressing, the wine was transferred into traditional small French oak barrels (24% new) where it was aged for approximately 10 months. The wine was bottled from July 31 to August 22, 2013.