Our Wines

2015 Pinot noir Temperance Hill Vineyard

An exposed, high altitude vineyard, Temperance Hill is the coolest of our seven sites. Therefore it ripens the latest making these Pinot noir grapes some of the last fruit brought in at harvest. The de-stemmed grapes were fermented in small stainless steel fermenters with no SO2, allowing the fermentation to proceed naturally. After gentle pressing and settling, the wine aged in French oak barrels, 21% of which were new, for 16 months before bottling by gravity without fining.

Crop Level: 2.5 tons/acre
Harvest: 9/27 - 10/8
Bottled: January 2016

Vineyard Details

Situated at 860' atop the Eola Hills, this is our coolest and therefore latest ripening vineyard. Managed by Dai Crisp, one of Oregon's great grapegrowers, it is farmed organically. We have two older blocks: one high on an east facing ridge ("East", six acres), the other slightly lower and facing south ("Pumphouse", 1.5 acres). Another block, called the "R" block lies on a long, gently south facing field between the two ridges of the vineyard (4.5 acres). It was planted between 2006 and 2009 with the Pommard clones of Pinot noir on phylloxera resistant rootstock and at a higher density.

Vintage Description

The summer of 2015 started off with intense heat that faded off into a very warm and sunny season. Harvest began early with us first picking fruit on September 2 in cooler conditions. Yields were about 15% higher than normal and fruit was as perfect as I have seen. We continued to harvest throughout September and finished by the end of the month. The balance of flavor, tannin, acid, and sugar were as perfect as I have seen in 29 years. I am excited to see how the wines develop.

Tasting Notes

The nose of the 2015 Temperance is elegantly lifted with violets, nutmeg, allspice, raspberry and black tea notes. Densely compact on the palate, this wine shows forest and earth flavors of raspberry, cedar, sweet cranberry and red cherry. The finish exhibits a lovely freshness of red fruit, fine elegant tannins and soft acidity. This especially nuanced and complex wine will evolve significantly over the next 1-2 years and will reward aging through 2030.