2016 Pinot Blanc Willamette Valley
Very fresh, with a bright nose of tangerine and apricot that is complemented with hints of wet slate and lilac. Lingering yet crisp, the palate delights with honeydew melon, lemongrass, candied ginger, and a lengthy grip of white tea.
VINTAGE 2016 was a year of unusual weather that led to beautiful fruit at lower than average yields. In spring, an early heat spike meant a very condensed time frame for bloom. This gave us smaller than average berries and clusters and set us on the path for our third early harvest in a row. Thankfully, summer weather was cooler than average, which slowed down ripening and allowed flavor development to catch up to sugar accumulation. Due to our small initial crop estimates, we held off thinning until the last minute to delay ripening and add “hang-time”, an important factor in the development of complex flavors.
We were a little stunned when our first fruit hit the crush-pad in the last days of August, setting a record for our earliest harvest in 40 years. September and October brought relief from the heat with mild evenings and cool nights that allowed for slow, even ripening. We picked fruit that was absolutely pristine and perfectly ripe, at a gradual pace that allowed us to give our full attention to each block and work shorter hours than in a typical harvest season.
We are optimistic that 2016 will be an outstanding vintage, reminiscent of 2012 and 2014, with wines that show great balance and concentration.
The fruit for this Pinot Blanc is all hand-harvested from our own hillside vineyards, including our Five Mountain, Mount Richmond and Estate Vineyards.
The Willamette Valley has an ideal climate for Pinot Blanc, a delicate grape variety – enough sunlight and warmth for ripening, with cooler night temperatures that help retain varietal character. To preserve the freshness, our Pinot Blanc is whole-cluster pressed then fermented at very cool temperatures in small stainless steel tanks, all of which accentuates aromatics and enhances the richness and viscosity of the wine.
Viticultural & Enological Data
- Vine Age 5-22 Years
- Harvest Sugars 23
- pH 3.16
- Vatting Whole-cluster pressed and cold fermented in small stainless steel tanks.