The epitome of cool-climate viticulture, Oregon’s Willamette Valley is subject to variances of weather and best known for the equally finicky varietal: Pinot Noir. Home to two-thirds of the state’s wineries and vineyards, Willamette Valley ranges 100 miles north to south following the Willamette River and spans 60 miles at its widest point. The region is protected from Pacific storms on the west by the Coast Range, and the Cascade Mountains on the east separate Willamette’s maritime climate from the dry heat of eastern Oregon.
Our 2014 Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir exhibits the distinct qualities that make Willamette Valley Pinot Noir especially unique: beautiful savory earth qualities in tandem with vibrant red fruit notes. The wine opens up with an elegant bouquet of plum, iris, violets and earl gray tea, and pine. Cranberry and pomegranate fruit burst forth on the palate and persists through the finish. The structured yet elegant quality of the tannins suggest several years of aging.
588 cases produced.
In the northwest corner of Willamette Valley, low ridges create an AVA centered around the hamlets of Carlton and Yamhill in a distinct horseshoe shape. Home to some of the Oregon’s most regarded Pinot Noir vineyards, the Yamhill-Carlton District is known for its course-grained marine sedimentary soils that are among the oldest in Willamette Valley. The appellation is situated on hillsides between 200 and 1,000 feet in elevation, and the Yamhill Vista Vineyard is located at a sweet spot of 600 feet. This specific site is low enough to allow for ideal ripening and receives more sunshine than the rest of the region, which is often under a rain shadow established by the looming Coast Range to the west. The specific soil combined with the location encourages early ripening of Pinot Noir, which is particularly important in this region.
Willamette Valley is a growing region that tends to experience unpredictable heat spikes in the spring and summer and heavy rains during harvest. 2014 proved to have neither of these challenges, making it an ideal growing season. While the days did not get too hot, the nights on average were warmer than other vintages, allowing the fruit to ripen evenly and achieve maturity early enough to be picked before the rain came in late September.