Aromas of cinnamon bark, cardamom, cranberry and tobacco notes lead to a mouth of bright cherry, silky mid-palate and good length. Notes of licorice and plum linger. Early April budbreak was followed by a month of cool weather stalling growth throughout a wet spring and the wettest June on record resulting in small yields. The summer continued to be the coolest in 17 years and as we approached the fall the anxiety was palpable in the Willamette Valley. As the birds arrived in Hitchcock numbers we were well into the late part of October when Mother Nature blessed us with two straight weeks of dry, clear, warm days nudging the fruit into perfect ripeness.
All of the fruit was hand sorted and destemmed. Fermented in small lots with five days of cold soak to increase aroma and color, the peak temperatures reached 90°F. The fermenters were aerated or manually punched down twice a day (for 12-20 days) before lightly pressing at dryness. This wine was aged in French oak barrels (30% new) for 11 months. It was racked and bottled by gravity without filtration or fining and was aged in bottle for five months before its release. Alcohol is 13.6%. Finished pH is 3.7.