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Alejandro Bulgheroni Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

It is hard to imagine with the Lithology range receiving 298 points out of 300 for the three single-vineyard wines, that there could possibly be a wine above them. But there is, and it is our Estate wine. Blended several times very intently by masters of their craft Philippe Melka and Michel Rolland, this is the ultimate expression of our house’s work. Positive, full-bodied, and quite powerful, there’s the expected crème de cassis and blackberry from St. Helena Cabernets, with mineral, herb, subtle tobacco and vanilla, plum skins, and pie crust, purple flowers, forest-conifer notes, and very fine tannic structure. It is a magnificent, and magnificently elegant expression of this house, and when asked recently, Monsieur Rolland stated plainly to me, “oh yes indeed – this is the best one, the best yet…”


Review:

The flagship 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Alejandro Bulgheroni comes from a selection made by winemakers Philippe Melka and Michel Rolland, mostly from Rutherford and Oakville fruit. Aged 20 months in 78% new French oak, it has incredible aromatics of black and blue fruits, spring flowers, and graphite to go with a massive, full-bodied, concentrated style on the palate that somehow stays graceful, weightless, and elegant. This tour de force in Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is guaranteed to put a smile on your face over the coming 20-25+ years.

-Jeb Dunnuck 99 Points


 99 Points
Alejandro Bulgheroni Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

It is hard to imagine with the Lithology range receiving 298 points out of 300 for the three single-vineyard wines, that there could possibly be a wine above them. But there is, and it is our Estate wine. Blended several times very intently by masters of their craft Philippe Melka and Michel Rolland, this is the ultimate expression of our house’s work. Positive, full-bodied, and quite powerful, there’s the expected crème de cassis and blackberry from St. Helena Cabernets, with mineral, herb, subtle tobacco and vanilla, plum skins, and pie crust, purple flowers, forest-conifer notes, and very fine tannic structure. It is a magnificent, and magnificently elegant expression of this house, and when asked recently, Monsieur Rolland stated plainly to me, “oh yes indeed – this is the best one, the best yet…”


Review:

Pure perfection in Cabernet, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Alejandro Bulgheroni is all varietal and comes two-thirds from Oakville with the balance from sites in St. Helena and Rutherford. Aged 20 months in 70% new French oak and put together by Philippe Melka and Michel Rolland, it has an incredibly pure, full-bodied, massive yet weightless style that I suspect couldn’t be achieved anywhere outside of Napa Valley. Cassis, blackberries, leafy herbs, lead pencil shavings, and tobacco leaf are just some of the nuances here, and it’s full-bodied, deep, and concentrated on the palate while maintaining an ethereal, seamless, utterly perfect balance between its fruit, alcohol, tannins, and acidity. As good as it gets, it needs just 2-4 years in the cellar and will evolve gracefully for at least 20-25 years.

-Jeb Dunnuck 100 Points


 100 Points
Alejandro Bulgheroni Lithology Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

Alejandro Bulgheroni Lithology Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon  99% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Cabernet Franc.

Here the Cabernet comes to us typically flawless, and the wines are as such. There is blue fruit, blueberries, black plums, blackberries, and cassis to the aromas, as well as stones, mineral, chocolate, fresh tobacco, and subtle herbs. It is incredibly full-bodied, but at the same time effortlessly drinkable, with ultra-smooth tannins and a positive, long, upturned finish. 70-75% new French oak is the norm for us with Dr. Crane, and those flavors are absorbed to become a vanillin complexity, sweetness, and length. An unbelievable wine.


Review:

You don’t see many Cabernet Franc-dominated wines from this site, but the 2019 Cabernet Franc Lithology Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard is certainly impressive. Offering more herbal, chocolate, gravelly earth, and espresso aromas and flavors, it has full-bodied richness and, as expected, is a powerful, opulent expression of this noble variety. The blend is 83% Cabernet Franc and 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged 20 months in 80% new French oak. It will benefit from short-term bottle age and drink nicely for 20 years.

-Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points




 97 Points
Alejandro Bulgheroni Lithology Beckstoffer Las Piedras Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Alejandro Bulgheroni Lithology Beckstoffer Las Piedras Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon. 

From a St. Helena vineyard planted by early Napa settler Edward Bale more than 150 years ago, and later serving as the estate vineyard for the area’s first winery built by Henry Pellet in 1860, the Las Piedras site always gives us our prettiest wine. When placed next to Dr. Crane and To-Kalon wines, the Las Piedras show a certain elegance, with a very graceful entry and finely detailed complexity. We produce it with at least 75% new French oak, so there is a floral, spicy, and vanilla accent to the intense red and black fruits, cassis, and black cherry liqueur. What distinguishes this bottling is the beautifully fine tannins, delicate texture, and stunning purity. (Less than 100 cases made.)

Fermentation 70% Oak, 24% Concrete, 6% Puncheon


Review:

"The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Lithology Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard comes from a world-class site outside of St. Helena and is all Cabernet that spent 20 months in 80% new oak. It offers a touch more red fruit as well ample cassis, spring flowers, loamy earth, and spice-like aromas and flavors. It has a wonderful sense of minerality, ultra-fine tannins, a dense, layered texture, and incredibly purity of fruit. It’s another just about off the charts release from this estate."

 - Jeb Dunnuck 98 Points

 98 Points
Alejandro Bulgheroni Lithology Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

Alejandro Bulgheroni Lithology Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon. 

Alejandro Bulgheroni Estate Lithology is a series of single vineyard and AVA-designated wines made from select sites within Napa Valley. Lithology Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard is produced solely from fruit grown in the historic Beckstoffer to Kalon Vineyard planted in 1865 by W.H. Crabb and represents Oakville's famous bench land.


Review:

The 2019 Cabernet Franc Lithology Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard just shines for its bouquet, which is classic To Kalon with its floral, incense, spicy, red and black-fruited aromatics. These all flow to a medium to full-bodied, utterly seamless Cabernet Franc that’s balanced, has laser-like precision, and a great finish. This isn’t the biggest or richest wine in the lineup, but it’s Cabernet Franc in all its glory, with soaring aromatics and complexity, ample richness and texture, and a beautiful sense of finesse and elegance. It’s going to keep for 15-20 years with no issues.

-Jeb Dunnuck 98 Points

Composed of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc, the 2019 Lithology Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard is a barrel sample with a deep garnet-purple color. It needs a fair bit of coaxing to unlock scents of blackberry pie, warm blueberries and cassis plus suggestions of spice cake, underbrush, candied violets and chocolate box. The full-bodied palate brings forth loads of earthy layers to accent the rich, black fruits, framed by plush tannins and lovely freshness, finishing long and fragrant.

-Wine Advocate 97 to 99 points


The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Lithology Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard is one of the very finest wines I have tasted from Alejandro Bulgheroni's Napa Valley project. The 2019 To Kalon captures all the pedigree of this iconic Oakville vineyard, and yet also remains nuanced and wonderfully finessed for an intense wine. To Kalon Cabernets are rarely this elegant, but the Bulgheroni 2019 sure is.

-- Antonio Galloni 97 Points

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 97 Wine Advocate: 99 98 Points
Alejandro Bulgheroni Lithology Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

Alejandro Bulgheroni Lithology Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon. 

We only produced a scant 50 cases of this wine this year, far too small an amount considering how great it turned out.  There’s that typical saturated to the rim deep purple color, with intense cassis, herb, and milk chocolate, bricks and forest floor, black plum pudding aromas.  In the mouth, there’s a great balance, with notable oak and vanilla notes intertwined with dense black fruits.  It’s an opulent and plush style, yet finishes with sweet grippy tannins.



 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 96 95 Points
Anakota Helena Montana Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

The 2019 Helena Montana is characteristically powerful & complex on the nose, showing ripe red and black cherry, along with dried herbs de Provence, and subtle hints of toasted clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg spices. The palate is loaded with structure and complexity, showing concentrated fruit and non-fruit flavors, framing a powerful core of firm tannin and juicy acidity. The finish is very long, and balanced.


Review:

Incredibly spicy and aromatic with pumice and cloves. Pops out of the glass. Cedar, too. Full-bodied with soft, polished tannins adding tension and creaminess. Long and beautiful. All about class and breeding. Try after 2025.

-James Suckling 99 Points

 99 Points
Anakota Wines Helena Dakota Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

Anakota Wines Helena Dakota Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.

Helena Dakota is defined by its power, structure and sophistication. It is an intricate Cabernet Sauvignon that reflects both the terroir of the site and the influence of the surrounding Knights Valley AVA. It possesses layers of plums, anise, cassis, leather, bay leaf and cedar. Galvanized by a streak of minerals and bold tannins. Helena Dakota is a solidly-built wine that stands the test of time. 

HELENA DAKOTA VINEYARD

This sloping, 12-acre vineyard runs southwest to northeast at roughly 750 feet above sea level. It features soft, reddish brown, gravelly, silt loam soils speckled with rocks. Prevailing westerly winds blow over a large pond and continue uphill parallel to the rows of vines. These cooling breezes slow the ripening process creating wines that are both powerful and balanced with red fruit flavors, notable minerality and graceful tannins. Pierre says the Cabernet from Helena Dakota remind him of Pauillac or Saint-Estèphe.

Fragrant, opulent, and complex, bursting with fresh blueberry and black currant, Crème de Violette, and subtle fresh bay leaf aromatics. The palate is luxurious and rich, perfectly balancing this wine’s firm structure.


Review:

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Helena Dakota Vineyard explodes with violets, aniseed and cast iron, with a deep core of crushed blueberries and black cherries, evolving continually with each approach to the glass. The palate is stunning with its intensity and lift, pure fruits, pixelated tannins and focused acidity that drives the very long finish. Its exceptional balance and super pure flavors, plus that characteristic streak of iron that appears across the Anakota portfolio, really take the 2019 Helena Dakota to the next level.

-Wine Advocate 99 Points


 99 Points
Ancien Chardonnay Carneros 2019

Ancien Chardonnay Carneros is made from 100 percent Chardonnay. 

Chardonnay Carneros owes its style, depth, and structure to intensely flavored, low yielding, heirloom clones growing in two Carneros vineyards: on the Napa side, the Toyon Farm and on the Sonoma side, the Sangiacomo Vella Ranch. Ancien Wines hand-selected the cuttings themselves, from older vineyards in the Carneros area. These cuttings are reputed to have origins tracing to Paul Masson who imported them from Burgundy in the early 1940’s, from Louis Latour's renowned Corton Charlemagne vineyard. These selections are often referred to as “Old Wente”or “Robert Young,”denoting the sourced mother blocks in the 1960s.

Notes of ripe apple and honeydew melon greet and are delicately perfumed by notes of freesia and citrus blossom. Brighter notes of lime and Meyer lemon match the refreshing acidity of this wine, balanced by a creamy palate and leading to a finish that will continue to lengthen in the coming months. A wonderfully textured and vibrant Chardonnay displaying the best of Carneros.

Chardonnay Carneros is guided toward a layered, complex, and expressive style that develops gracefully in the bottle and shows enticing minerality, vivacious fruit, length and structure. The watchword is balance. Grapes were pressed as whole clusters, settled and fermented entirely in French oak from four different coopers, chosen for their unique synergism and support of the fruit on the palate. One third of the barrels were new. A variety of yeasts were used, including native strains, and fermentation proceeded evenly and slowly, averaging a cool 55°F. The wine was aged on its yeast lees, which were stirred weekly through the spring.

Ancien Chardonnay Coombsville Haynes Old Block 2018

Ancien Chardonnay Coombsville Haynes Old Block is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.

Inspired by the classic and most revered Chardonnay vineyard in the world, Le Montrachet, Ancien winery utilizes the same classic techniques. It is fermented in tight-grained French Oak cask after a gentle squeeze as whole clusters. The wine is not moved through the fermentation and aging period, only pushed by inert gas in gentle fashion into the bottling tank. In vintages where the wine achieves good clarity through natural settling, the wine is not filtered – otherwise it undergoes a light polish to help reveal is core of fruit.


The effusive nose welcomes with layers of lemon meringue, ripe apple, citrus zest, honey and grape blossom. The palate is vibrant and fresh, and the richly textured mouth-feel is expansive. Baked apple tart and stone fruit emerge as this opulent wine reaches the depths of your palate, with further notes brioche. The finish is a focused amalgamation of minerality and ripe fruit. Give this cellar worthy Chardonnay time to open up and it will reveal increasingly lush and creamy layers as it evolves over minutes in the glass and the years in the bottle.


Ancien Pinot Noir Carmel Valley River Ranch 2021

Ancien Pinot Noir Carmel Valley River Ranch is made from 100% Pinot Noir.

River Ranch Vineyard from suitcase clone of famous vineyard, mother block to the Pisoni clone as well.


Spice, tea, and plum and blackberry aromas dance atop currants and boysenberry pie. The opulence continues with secondary notes of chocolate and black tea that lead to satisfying elegant finish revealing jasmine. The finish is mouthwatering and long with presenting umami, soy, and Asian spice. Planted to the same special cuttings as our block at the Toyon Farm in Carneros, they are a joy tasting side by side, illustrating the profound influence of terroir.

Pair with Asian, pork with hoisin sauce, savory foods.


Review:

"Sourced from a vineyard of imported Burgundian cuttings planted back in 1982, this is a complex Pinot Noir, offering concentrated aromas of blueberry, palo santo and warm vanilla on the nose. The palate is joyous in cherry and baking-spice flavors, then picks up an herbaceous eucalyptus leaf kick before dropping into a spicy, Sichuan peppercorn-laced finish. - M.K."
- Wine Enthusiast (February/March 2024), 95 points + Editor's Choice

 Wine Enthusiast: 95
Ancien Pinot Noir Carneros 2019

Ancien Pinot Noir Carneros is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir. 

Pinot Noir Carneros comes entirely from the Toyon Vineyard, located in the Napa side of Carneros. This vineyard was originally planted for Ancien Wines in 1998 with cuttings tracing back to the Swan estate in Sonoma County and Dijon 115 - followed by cuttings from Ed Penhoet’s vineyard in Carmel Valley. Ed’s selection from River Selection is a story into itself, and is sometimes referred as “Pisoni Clone” since Gary Pisoni took cuttings from the vineyard in the early ‘80s.

Baking spice sings in an endless symphony with wild berry notes, complemented by characteristic Carneros notes of cola. Juicy cherry notes grace the palate and combine seamlessly with anise and hibiscus, ending on a savory note. The palate is round and full of textural, mouth-coating tannins balanced by a bright acidity. Broad chewy tannins, earthy spices and minerality complement the fruit and exotic floral notes of this wine. The palate of this delicious wine will continue to develop in opulence over years of aging, revealing even darker layers and an increasingly smooth texture.

  

 



Ancien Pinot Noir Fiddlestix 2020

Ancien Pinot Noir Fiddlestix is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.

The Fiddlestix Vineyard is located in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA, which straddle the Santa Ynez River as it makes its way to the Pacific Ocean. As an East-West oriented valley, opening its mouth to the cool Pacific breezes, the consistent and cooling marine influence is significant. The vineyard is managed and owned in partnership by Kathy Joseph, who has planted an array of clones and rootstocks on several, varied soils to create a staggering level of diversity from this single vineyard. The remarkably consistent weather, characterized by lower highs and higher lows than our North Coast vineyards, conspires with silica-laden, marine sedimentary soils to make wines of power and exceptional structure.


Fiddlestix always presents a bold Pinot Noir with notes of fruit and exotic spice. As the vines have aged, we noticed more and more underlying depth (they now are approaching their 25th vintage). The nose greets with notes of cassis, Indian spice, and hints of incense. Fresh dark fruits lead the palate, and the focus settles on ripe flavors of blackberry and currants spiced with peppercorn/allspice. Velvety and softly chewy tannins emphasize structure, while ever-present acidity balances and brightens. The spicy aromatics and flavors continue through the long finish.



Ancien Pinot Noir Russian River Jouissance 2021

Ancien Pinot Noir Russian River Jouissance is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir. 


Jouissance is sourced from the single vineyard established and farmed by Mark Lingenfelder at his home estate.  Mark’s decades of experience as a vineyard manager and consulting viticulturalist have provided him the depth of experience to reach the pinnacle at his own property.  Having worked with storied wineries over the years, we are grateful our paths have crossed enabling us to work with him for our Russian River designate.  He tends the vines himself while relying on neighbor Lee Martinelli to provide additional help at the peak times.  We work with a mix of Pommard and Dijon 667 vines from his oldest and youngest blocks – aged wisdom combines with youthful vigor!

The 2021 growing season was a welcome success after a more varied and challenging 2020.  The vines came on with aplomb, demonstrating the rich fruit concentration we expect – even if the crop was meager.  The ongoing drought in California served to further accentuate the character and concentration of the fruit.  While warmer conditions have prevailed in other areas, the coastal areas of California continue to benefit from the maritime influence and moderating influence that it brings.

We fermented in our one ton, open-top tanks after filling by gravity.  A warm fermentation with a combination of native and isolated Burgundian yeasts produced excellent and focused flavor extraction, complemented with traditional punch-downs by hand. The wine was aged entirely in Francois Freres cooperage, 40% new, and racked once, gently, prior to bottling.  Grapes, must, and wines were moved using gravity through to the barrel and using inert gas through racking and bottling.   151 cases produced.

Bright fruit notes dominate the aromas with bright cherry, plum, and boysenberry underlaid by allspice and clove.  On the palate the wine is liquid velvet, it’s silkiness segueing into a burst of fruit and spice that rides high on the palate while gradually opening to deeper berry, tea, and baking spices.  It is a refreshing and lively Pinot Noir in its youth that will continue to fill out in depth and complexity over the next 2-5 years.




Appasionata Andante Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2017

Appasionata Andante Pinot Noir Willamette Valley is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir. 

Inspired by the three movements of Beethoven’s ground-breaking “Appassionata” Piano Sonata, there are three Appassionata Pinot Noirs, released at different tempos.


The second movement, Andante (gently, unhurried), is held longer in our cellar after bottling and released five years after the vintage. Made with the same patience and restraint, this bottling is selected to emphasize elegance and refinement, a style reflected in Beethoven’s own performancedirection for this movement: “Piano e Dolce” (softly and sweetly). The 2017 Andante exhibits great aromatic and textural finesse, with delicately pretty fruit and a silky, harmonious texture. The hint of extract sweetness that emerges on the finish is exactly what we are looking for as a Pinot Noir matures.

Review:

A wonderful wine six years on. Andante means ‘gently, unhurried.’ Savoury herbs and redolent violet aromas leap from the glass, chased by fresh fruit and spice. The palate is so well structured and built for another decade but generously gives red and blue fruits and savoury spice to those with less patience. Finesse drives the red fruit to the fore, fleshy raspberry, sweet cranberries and sweet blue fruit. Ample minerality and spice deliver the finish.
-Decanter 95 Points




 Wine Enthusiast: 94 95 Points
Appassionata Chardonnay 2019

J. Christopher Appassionata Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay. 

Appassionata Chardonnay is the expressive summit of this classic Burgundian variety in the Willamette Valley. Fermented and matured in large (500-liter) oak casks, it rests on the full lees for two years before bottling. It then rests in our cellar for another year before its release, three years after vintage. The wine’s elegant texture, fine structure and extended maturation time ensure a long life for this vibrant Chardonnay.

Whole-cluster pressing; native yeast fermentation in 500-liter French oak barrels; natural malolactic fermentation; 21 months maturation on the lees.

Review:

Anyone questioning Chardonnay’s potential in the Willamette Valley should try this rich and sophisticated wine. A silky texture, is met with mouthfilling flavors of orange sorbet, pineapple and challah bread, as well as a hint of mint. The aromas of lemon curd and petrichor are equally delightful.

Wine Enthusiast 94 Points

 Wine Enthusiast: 94
Appassionata Fortissimo Pinot Noir 2012

J. Christopher Appassionata Fortissimo Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.

Inspired by the three movements of Beethoven’s “Appassionata” Piano Sonata, there are three Appassionata Pinot Noirs, released at different tempos.

The finale of the Appassionata Pinot Sonata is Fortissimo (dynamically forceful). Selected for ultimate expressivity and longevity, it is not released until 10 years after the vintage. This is the epitome of expressive excellence that we are seeking in Willamette Valley Pinot Noir – a wine that combines brooding intensity with lilting grace and can stand alongside the classic wines of the world. The 2012 Fortissimo is muscular and full-bodied, with a deep color and seamless structure. In this phase of maturation, tertiary aromas begin to show a profound complexity and subtle earthiness that only develops with bottle age and cannot be accelerated

Review:

Loosen Bros. and J. Christopher Wines just released the Fortissimo and it is showing great acidity and fine-grained tannins. Its aromas and flavors of sweet red cherries, roasted pork shoulder and orange-pekoe tea are alive and kicking. Enjoy 2023–2032.

-Wine Enthusiast 95 Points

 Wine Enthusiast: 95
Appassionata Riesling GG 2017


Inspired by the historical winemaking techniques of Erni Loosen’s great-grandfather, the Appassionata Riesling GG is made in the same way as the Dr. Loosen Grosses Gewächs (“Great Growth”) Rieslings he produces in Germany. The GG designation indicates a dry-style wine from a vineyard of special distinction — in this case, the old-vine Medici vineyard, planted in 1976. We farm this exceptional site, which is just a few miles east on the Chehalem Mountain ridge. 

The fruit for this wine was harvested from old Rieslng vines (planted in 1976) in the Medici Vineyard, which is also in the Chehalem Mountains AVA, just a few miles from the winery. We lease this vineyard and have been farming it organically since 2015. The wine was fermented in a 3,000-liter German oak cask, and rests on the full lees for 12 months before bottling. The extended lees contact allows the wine to clarify and find its own harmonious balance naturally.

Production notes:

Whole-cluster pressing; natural fermentation in a neutral 3,000-liter oak cask; matured on the full lees for 12 months; no bâtonnage.


Review:

If you prefer a thinking person's wine you'll run out of superlatives to describe this Riesling from Dr Loosen's Oregon project with J Christopher Wines. From a personal favourite, the old vines of the Medici Vineyard, the winemaking shows serious patience and determination. Fermented in a 3,000-liter, neutral oak German Fuder cask. It rests on the full lees for two years and is then held in bottle for three to five years before release. Aged, savoury and delicious. Aromas are savoury and saline. Lanolin, dandelion, seafoam, and beeswax with hints of fresh herbs and dried lemon peel. The palate is brilliant, savoury and bright and complex. Energetic flavours of wet slate, savoury bee pollen, white tea and lanolin notes. The finish offers crushed stone vibrancy.

-Decanter 93 Points

 93 Points
Appassionata Riesling GG 2018


Inspired by the historical winemaking techniques of Erni Loosen’s great-grandfather, the Appassionata Riesling GG is made in the same way as the Dr. Loosen Grosses Gewächs (“Great Growth”) Rieslings he produces in Germany. The GG designation indicates a dry-style wine from a vineyard of special distinction — in this case, the old-vine Medici vineyard, planted in 1976. We farm this exceptional site, which is just a few miles east on the Chehalem Mountain ridge. 

The fruit for this wine was harvested from old Rieslng vines (planted in 1976) in the Medici Vineyard, which is also in the Chehalem Mountains AVA, just a few miles from the winery. We lease this vineyard and have been farming it organically since 2015. The wine was fermented in a 3,000-liter German oak cask, and rests on the full lees for 12 months before bottling. The extended lees contact allows the wine to clarify and find its own harmonious balance naturally.

Production notes:

Whole-cluster pressing; natural fermentation in a neutral 3,000-liter oak cask; matured on the full lees for 12 months; no bâtonnage.



Archery Summit Estate Pinot Noir Dundee Hills 2020

Archery Summit Estate Pinot Noir Dundee Hills is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir. 

A medley of graphite, spice and crushed red strawberries waft from the glass. Further digging reveals even more to the nose of this Pinot Noir, in the flickering form of oak spice and caramelized fruits. On the palate, there’s opulent fruit and signature Dundee Hills spices like allspice, cardamom and sandalwood. The palate is loaded, with fresh strawberry jam and an underlying earthiness taking the lead. Structurally, there are soft oak tannins that give way to an exquisitely long and balanced finish.

Archery Summit Pinot Noir Dundee Hills 2021

Archery Summit Estate Pinot Noir Dundee Hills is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir. 

To unpack this Pinot Noir is to dig through layer upon intriguing layer of the storied Dundee Hills appellation. 2021 finished with a bang and is already considered the vintage of the century for many Willamette Valley wineries, and for good reason. But it didn’t necessarily start that way. Heat spikes and limited water were themes early on, to the tune of 116° F in some parts of the valley. 


The 2021 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir touts all the hallmarks of Archery Summit's storied appellation. It begins with brambleberry, ripe rainier cherry, blackberry blossoms, cocoa powder, and spice on the nose. The palate is just as lively, with fresh, juicy red fruit backed by graceful tannins and acid. Finishing with spiced oak and a mouth-coating minerality, this wine is a case study in the magic of the Dundee Hills.


Yet, thanks to water reserves in the soil itself and some timely viticultural movements, the vineyards persevered through the heat and water limitations. The dryer season accelerated picking times, making the fruit ripen a bit earlier than normal. September rewarded us with cool nights and the lower-than average yields set us up to make wines with abundant character, intensity and balance. The winery is so grateful for the moisture-abundant, microbially-rich and chemical-free soils that lovingly nudged the vines towards the finish line. 


Review:

No one is naïve about the difficulties and challenges of growing Pinot Noir away from its home in Burgundy (even there, of course, it isn’t easy). Pinot has taken to Oregon’s Willamette Valley with remarkable success, though, and especially to the red-soiled Dundee Hills. This 2021 wine is a fine example of the charm, balance and satisfaction that fine Dundee Hills Pinot can provide. Translucent scarlet in colour, with magnetically attractive raspberry scents, once on the palate the wine is soft-contoured yet energetic, with arresting intensity of fruit. Here the raspberry shades into something more curranty and tenacious, and there are refreshing bitter notes in the finish, too, with a hint of earthiness perhaps derived from the clays of volcanic origin in which the vines grow. The warm edge of cool climate? Perhaps – and it makes for beautiful drinking.

-Decanter 97 Points

 97 Points
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