2017 was a challenging vintage. It was a year of extremes with record high temperatures in summer and record high humidity. The winter was long, and the vines were challenged. We picked a little early for freshness. Harvest was quick, and everything was done in two weeks. Despite these conditions I think the 2017 may be the best wine I’ve made to date. With guidance from Louis-Michel Liger-Belair, the blend this year includes a total of five vineyards. The blend is 30% each of Croft and Witness Tree vineyards. Croft is an organic and salmon-safe vineyard located in the coastal foot hills with Bell Pine mixed with Jory soils which this year brought plenty of explosive fruit and lavender aromatics to the blend. Witness Tree is in the Eola-Amity AVA and has complex soils ranging from basalt to alluvial to sedimentary. The fruit from this vineyard brings a sexy sweetness and silky texture. 20% is from the Tresori Vineyard. The Tresori Vineyard is located on the slopes of Chehalem Ridge (Chehalem Mountains AVA) in primarily volcanic, Jory, Nekkia and Willakenzie soils. It’s a blend of clones (113, 114, 115, 667 and 777) which showcases the complexity of the vineyard. The Tresori fruit brings richness to the midpalate and lovely length on the finish. This year it is only 10% Stardance Vineyard which is Biodynamically farmed with Pommard clone planted on its own root stock in 2001. It’s a risky proposition but the fruit is incredible. Peavine soil incorporates loess volcanic soils moving towards Jory complex soils. It’s within the Coastal Range/Yamhill AVA and is the latest to be picked of all the estate farmed vineyards. Stardance brings the structure this year with fine yet silky tannins. The last piece of the puzzle comes from the Kalita Vineyard which is new to me, planted to Pommard, 117, 115 and 777 clones. It comes from the Yamhill-Carlton AVA on classic Willakenzie soil. I loved the balancing acidity and vivid plethora of flavors on the finish. The wine is aged entirely in 225 liter French oak barrels of which 25% is new.
2017 Fil Pinot Noir is both explosive and elegant. The aromas soar from the glass with perfectly ripe and fresh crushed wild cherry and berry fruit laced with a touch of earth and vanilla. There are notes of lavender and potpourri. The texture is utterly silky and sexy, everything I love about Pinot Noir! Not only does the fruit flavor expand on your palate, it stains it. I find the wine to have the balance of freshness of the 2016 along with the intensity and ripeness of 2015. I could not be more pleased with the blend. This wine is generous and cab be drunk immediately but with time will only gain in complexity.
Only 100 cases produced.
Roberto Viernes, Master Sommelier