2017 The FORAGER Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon
- FORAGER Pinot Noir illustrates that careful, experienced selection, blending and maturation of Pinot Noir lots grown in the Willamette Valley can deliver delicious flavors and interest.
- Excellent low-yielding sites, classic low-impact Burgundian winemaking techniques and careful maturation in top new French oak capture the typicity of this area - and the purity of this noble red grape variety.
Varietal Pinot Noir
Appellation Willamette Valley
Vineyard Notes The complexity of our 2017 Pinot Noir comes from four clones grown in the central Willamette Valley, 10 miles south of Salem and two miles east of the Willamette River. The soils in these sites range from volcanic-based basalts to well-drained marine sedimentary soils. The first site, representing 95% of the vintage, is a mature site planted to clones 115 and 777 on a hilly west-to-southwest facing slope of a volcanic flow. The second site (5% of the vintage) offers clones clone 667 and Pommard. Both sites were hand-pruned, hand-thinned and hand-picked.
Production Notes Hand-harvested on October 16 and 17, these compact Pinot Noir bunches were hand-sorted, partially destemmed (45% went whole cluster), and cold soaked for 2 days in five-ton open-top fermenters. Fermentation began naturally and was completed with a neutral yeast so to better express the vineyards characteristics. Cool fermentation temperatures (~75°F) and 1 pigeage (manual punch-down) per day helped build structure, color and texture. They were on their skins for ten days and then put to barrel while still fermenting. ML took place in barrel followed by nine months maturation (no racking) which contributed nuanced spiciness and a velvety mouth-feel. French oak was used for 65% of the blend, and of it 35% was new. The balance of the lot was tank matured to enhance its varietal purity. Limited SO2 was used and the wine was left on its gross lees for the entire aging process but without any lees stirring. We call our wine FORAGER to illustrate how growing, gathering & judiciously blending small lots of delicious Pinot Noir can deliver tremendous flavor and interest.
Winemaker Notes In 2017 the Willamette Valley had a near perfect growing season. The winter and early spring were wet and cold and cool weather persisted into June, delaying flowering and set. But ultimately set was healthy and the summer weather patterns normal. The sites were thinned after veraison to promote quality and uniform ripening.