2015 The FORAGER Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon
- THE 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 2015 Pinot Noir comes from four clones grown in two locales in the Yamhill-Carlton sub-district of northern Willamette Valley. The soils in these sites, situated north of the Yamhill-Newburg Hwy, range from volcanic-based basalts to well-drained marine sedimentary soils. The first site, representing 55% of the vintage, is planted to clones 115 and 667 on a hilly south-east facing slope. The second site (45% of the vintage) offers clones clone 777 and Pommard. Both sites were hand-pruned and picked. These sites are low-yielding, meaning a harvest of 2 tons to the acre is something to celebrate.
Production Notes Hand-harvested between September 12 and 26, 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 cultured Burgundian yeast. Moderate fermentation temperatures (~87°F) and 1 pigeage (manual punch-downs) per day helped build structure, color and texture. They were put to barrel while still fermenting. ML took place in barrel followed by thirteen months maturation (no racking) which contributed nuanced spiciness and a velvety mouth-feel. New French oak was used for 35% of the blend. 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 THE FORAGER to illustrate how growing, gathering & judiciously blending small lots of delicious Pinot Noir can deliver tremendous flavor and interest.
Winemaker Notes In 2015 the Willamette Valley had a near perfect growing season. This was a very dry year, and very early as well. Thunder storms and hail visited the vineyards in August but September was sunny and cool, allowing harvest to proceed at a perfect pace with optimal ripeness. 2015 thus allowed us to tinker along the seams, to refine the minutiae, rather than make broad strokes to glean the best from not-so-great lots and cull out the ones that didn’t make the grade.