2019 FORAGER Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon
- FORAGER Pinot Noir illustrates that careful, experienced selection, blending and maturation of Pinot Noir lots grown in a variety of carefully-selected sites in the Willamette Valley can deliver delicious flavors and interest.
- Excellent low-yielding sites, classic low-impact Burgundian winemaking techniques and careful maturation in seasoned French oak barrels captures the typicity of this area - and the purity of this noble red grape variety.
The complexity of our 2019 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir comes from three clones grown in the southern part of the appellation. The Bellpine soils in this site encompass loose clay over brittle, well-drained sandstone. Hand-pruned, hand-thinned and clusters hand-sorted at harvest for optimum fermentations. Regional Composition: Willamette Valley Appellation Varietal Composition: 100% Pinot Noir Clones: 115, 777, Pommard Average Yield/Acre: 2.9 tons
All lots were hand-harvested on October 9, mostly destemmed and cold soaked for 3 days in open-top fermenters. Fermentation began naturally and was completed with a cultured yeast so to capture nuance of the site and clonal selections. Cool fermentation temperatures (~75-85°F) and 1-2 pigeages (manual punch-down) per day helped build structure, color and texture. They were on their skins for twelve days and then put to neutral barrels while still fermenting. ML took place in barrel followed by ten months maturation (no racking) which contributed nuanced spiciness and a velvety mouth-feel. Fully seasoned French oak was used for 35% of the blend and the balance of the lot was tank matured to focus 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. Maturation: Seasoned French Barrels for ten months
In 2019 the Willamette Valley had a near perfect growing season, except in September when periods of rain kept vineyard crews on their feet. Luckily these wet spells were interspersed with days of breezy sunshine. Along with some selective picking and hand-sorting the ferments turned out really well.