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Holocene Apocrypha Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Apocrypha Pinot Noir tends to showcase the blue and black end of the fruit spectrum, along with a brambly, floral, dried sage and thyme profile, higher acid than the Memorialis and more power.
We tend to enjoy this wine with lamb merguez sausage and saffron rice.
By now, everyone knows that the Willamette Valley is an amazing place to grow Pinot Noir. When Todd Alexander relocated from Napa Valley to partner up with Force Majeure Vineyards, he knew he also wanted to start a project where he could focus attention on a varietal and growing region that he loved. Part of the excitement of being in the Pacific Northwest is the ability to have access to so many amazing vineyards and so much diversity, along with the opportunity to push boundaries and try new things – something that is becoming increasingly difficult in other growing regions.
He partners up with a few very small, diverse and amazing vineyards in the Willamette Valley, sourcing fruit from these dry-farmed sites that emphasize low yields, sustainable practices and produce outstanding fruit.
The wines are crafted in the same way Todd has been making wine since he was carrying it out at Bryant Family Vineyard in the Napa Valley — utilizing very low-impact, non-industrial techniques, native yeasts, little extraction and little new oak, and never filtering or fining. This allows a real sense of place to show through in the wines that is often dimmed when too much manipulation is undertaken.
The first vintage was 2015, and was released in early 2017.
"I continue to love these Pinot Noirs under Todd Alexander’s Holocene label. While they’re not from Washington State, I was able to taste these during my visit with Force Majeure (which are also made by Todd) and I’m thrilled to be able to include them here." - Jeb Dunnuck (April 2020)
Holocene Memorialis Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Holocene Pinot Noir Memorialis is a blend of 777, Pommard and 115 clones from MonksGate vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, and it saw about 20% new French oak for 16 months prior to bottling. It is always the lighter and more feminine of the two Holocene wines, with red fruits, white flowers, dried herbs, mushroom and forest floor aromatics, bright acidity and a lithe texture, long finish.
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.
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.
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
Argot Bastard Tongue Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Sonoma Pinot Noir.
Inheriting an unbroken string of success, the “Bastard Tongue” arrives fully-formed and ready to impress. Always a blend from multiple Pinot Noir vineyards, this iteration of “BT” was selected from three distinct sites, each making their own unique contribution of Sonoma County terroir to the wine’s character.
Exploding forth on a tidal wave of high-toned, intense red and black fruits, this is a Pinot Noir that no stemware can contain. The palate’s profound depth is balanced by an inherent freshness, allowing the wine to crackle with brambly energy, while sustained by bass notes of underbrush, black tea, pie spice and baker’s chocolate. A formidable rendition of “Bastard Tongue”, and a deserving successor to its line.
Night harvested by hand throughout September, cluster and berry sorted by hand, de-stemmed, no crushing. 7-day cold soaks, followed by native fermentation in open-top bins. Average time on the skins, 14 days. Aging 20 months in French oak, 100% new. Never racked prior to bottling. Bottled unfined, unfiltered.
Very versatile for pairing. Goes well with grilled meat, vegetable, fish, poultry and cheese.
The 2021 Pinot Noir Bastard Tongue is pale to medium ruby-purple in color. It swans out of the glass with showy notes of kirsch, juicy raspberries, and fresh cranberries with hints of lavender, iris, iron ore, and mossy tree bark. The full-bodied palate is jam packed with bright, energetic black and red berry flavors, giving off a firework display of mineral and floral accents, supported by seamless freshness and a firm, fine-grained texture, finishing long, long, long. This is simply stunning.
-Wine Independent 97 Points
When we consider the potential of a piece of land to grow world-class wine, we immerse ourselves in the physical characteristics of soil type, depth, texture and drainage, slope aspect, sun exposure, et cetera—myriad complex details. On site potential alone, Jentoft likely sits at the top of our entire vineyard portfolio.
The site’s coastal marine soils are remarkably shallow with underlying sandstone bedrock poking through the topsoil. Lean, “boney” soils generally yield low-vigor vines and powerful wines, and that’s what we have here. The potential is incredible, and now that these vines are mature, we’re seeing the promise realized.
Our first vintage of Ryan Pinot Noir was 2002 and it featured Dutton-Widdoes Vineyard at its core. This vineyard is one of the earliest plantings in Green Valley – 1984. At that time the vineyards were wide spaced, planted without irrigation and grown on a trellis that shaded the fruit. Now, all these years later we have hardy, experienced vines that have pretty much seen everything, and in these days of climatic extremes, these deep-rooted vines can tolerate drought and heat without issue. The fruit is uniquely characterful – wild berries, rich umami/truffle notes, underbrushy/woodsy complexity. When we layer in some bright coastal Jentoft fruit, the blend comes alive and infuses every corner of your palate. I’ve always loved that first 2002 Ryan bottling and this new vintage takes me back to our earlier DuMOL days. A wine for reflection.
The aromatics highlight the essence of our coastal Green Valley environment: wild berries, thyme, spearmint, truffle and freshly tilled soil. The wine is poised, vibrant and dynamic with a dark fruit pastille core then cherry, licorice, and briary notes. Concentrated and deep but always bright and quite tight knit with drawn out length and fresh focusing acidity on a spicy finish. Drink between late-2023 and 2032.
The 2021 Pinot Noir Ryan has a medium ruby color and autumnal scents of truffle and forest floor, cinnamon and Earl Grey tea leaves complementing a core of wild berry fruit. (In 2021, the wine comes from the Dutton-Jentoft and Widdoes vineyards rather than 100% from Jentoft as in previous vintages.) The medium-bodied palate is supple and detailed with a concentrated core of mineral-driven fruit. It has a silky texture, energetic acidity and a long, layered finish. This is so delicious and very easy to drink!
-Wine Advocate 97 Points
Paul Hobbs Russian River Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Sourced predominately from the estates that are defined by their proximity to the coast and Russian River climate, the wine displays vivid crimson and aromas of violet, Morello cherry, and black tea. Velvet tannins on the palate ride along a juicy backbone of flavors such as cranberry, Blood orange, and Damson plum. The finish is long, powered behind a crisp acidity and appealing red clay-like minerality.
DuMOL Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Our 2016 Napa Valley Cabernet is a classically built wine typical of this wonderful Napa vintage: deep fruit, enveloping texture, mineral freshness and long supple structure. It’s a harmonious interweaving of four distinct vineyards that intricately balances power and finesse.
With its exceptional farming and rocky volcanic soil, Meteor Vineyard is one of the finest sites in Coombsville. Its fruit dominates the blend and ensures both intensity and delicacy, with soaring aromatics followed by succulent dark fruit.
True Dog Knoll serves as a new focal point in this vintage, its world-renowned west Oakville deep gravel soils bringing deep texture and mineral focus.
Layering in a small amount of Petit Verdot from our Roach Estate in St. Helena provides an element of blue fruit and refinement that balances beautifully with the darker brooding power of Ballard Vineyard’s mountaintop muscle and structure.
With its harmonious layers and textures, this wine reminds me of the 2012 Napa Valley vintage. Dark, inky and opaque, it presents aromas of plum, violets and graphite. Beautiful fruit cascades almost immediately to more savory flavors: crushed rock dustiness, cocoa and cedar. A good, firm mineral spine runs through to the long, bittersweet finish. Ever-evolving in the glass, this wine is poised now and will age beautifully over the next 10+ years.
A ripe, friendly style, with a creamy-textured core of cassis and cherry preserve flavors underscored by anise and apple wood notes that stay nicely
melded with the fruit on the finish. There’s a lingering cast iron note keeping this grounded.
-Wine Spectator 93 Points
Far Niente Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6.5% Merlot, 2.5% Malbec, 2.5% Petit Verdot, 0.5% Cabernet Franc.
Beautiful aromas of dark plum, red cherry, licorice and warm baking spices open onto a plush and silky palate layered with plum, spiced cherry and cassis. A classic Napa Valley Cabernet, fine-grained tannins and lively acidity support the wine throughout, while the finish is refined and polished.
Very precisely polished and focused wine with aromas of black cherries, blue berries and violets followed by green bell pepper, black ink and gravel. Underlying umami notes, too. Full-bodied, firm yet finely grained juicy tannins with bright acidity that balances out the palate. Beautifully integrated toasty notes and baking spices on the mid-palate and in the finish. Flourishing and artful wine that will age gracefully.
-James Suckling 96 Points