The 2018 growing season began with a relatively mild winter that led to a strong bud break in April. This was followed by a warm and wet May which allowed for increased vegetative vigor in the vines. Flowering started soon after in early June, slightly ahead of its usual schedule. The 2018 summer was one of the hottest and driest on record for the Willamette Valley. Yet, even with this added heat, the vines continued to ripen beautifully and were able to retain their acidity. Despite the uncharacteristically warm growing season, phenological ripeness, brix and acidity all came into balance to create a very memorable harvest with elegant fruit and vibrant acidity.
GRAN MORAINE VINEYARD & ESTATE VINEYARD
The 2018 Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir was crafted from fruit grown on our Gran Moraine Vineyard, which was planted in 2005 and is one of the more westerly vineyards in the Yamhill-Carlton. A small amount of additional fruit was sourced from our Winery Estate vineyard, which was planted in 2007 and is just six miles northeast of the town of Carlton. Both sites are located in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA and contain some of the oldest marine sedimentary based soils in the greater Willamette Valley
The Yamhill-Carlton AVA climate combined with the sedimentary-based soils of our vineyards produce wines with nuanced fruit and earth characters, driven by ageable tannins that are structured yet elegant. The fruit is picked at a point thought to best express the profoundness of both the site and the vintage. At the winery, the fruit is held overnight in our forced air cold room to chill at 42 degrees F before being carefully hand-sorted and gravity fed into open top tanks.Approximately, 20% of the fruit is left intact for whole cluster fermentation. The remaining fruit is meticulously destemmed being sure to leave as many whole berries as possible. Depending on the block, and clone, the fruit is left for a cold maceration period of five to ten days. During fermentation, which usually lasts between two to four weeks, we use manual punch downs as our primary method of cap management. At the end of alcoholic fermentation, the ‘free run’ is then separated from the press fraction and then racked to 228L barriques—about 43% new French oak, and slowly undergoes natural malolactic fermentation.
HARVEST DATE: 9-13-18 to 10-2-18
AGING: 10 months in 43% new French oak
FERMENTATION: 20% whole cluster
TA: 0.54 g/100ml
AROMAS: Choke cherry, sassafras, lavender, milk chocolate, peppermint
FLAVORS: Pomegranate, shitake mushroom, black pepper, molasses, leather
TEXTURE: Wound like a spring with red to blue fruit notes on the mid palate, cleansing acidity and vibrant tannins on the finish.