All of our Pinot Noir is handpicked into 25-pound totes, then hand sorted and de-stemmed at our four-level gravity flow winery. Fermentations are long and careful. By December, all of the wine was safely in barrel. We use approximately 20% new oak with our Pinot Noir, which allows the character of the wine and the vintage to show through. Our barrels are custom made for us in Burgundy, using oak from France's best forests.
2011 will be remembered as Oregon's latest growing season with a cool and wet September turning into a dry and moderately warm October. Harvest lasted into November, allowing for full maturity and excellent flavor development. Strict sorting was required, but by all accounts, 2011 has turned out to be an exciting year for Pinot Noir.
We had many questions before the harvest, but in barrel, these wines have been a pleasure. Delicious, well-structured, well-balanced. On the nose and on the palate, it is very much a classic expression of our Dundee Hills property, with a touch more black cherry and black fruits than usual. As with 2010, the acidity is bright, and overall, there is nice structure and very good length. I have a feeling this wine will age exceptionally well, easily more than 10 years.