VINTAGE FACTS 2019:
A relatively mild, early winter in 2018 was followed by a cold and wet second half of winter in 2019 and then a wet but warm spring. The growing season saw a few mild frosts during late April, but started off warmer than average, moderating through mid-vintage with fewer-than-average heat spikes. The vintage will be remembered for the early rains in September and rapid cool down into October which challenged harvesting decisions. Degree-day totals for 2019 ended up similar to 2012 and 2018, marked by the lowest heat accumulation experienced in September and October since 2007. Phenological timing and interval lengths were similar to observations in 2018 averaging April 16th for bud break, June 8th for bloom, August 14th for véraison and September 27th for harvest. The cool vintage came largely from substantially lower maximum temperatures while minimum temperatures were near-average to slightly above-average.
Estate Vineyard: Planted in 1983 by Founder Jim Bernau on a south facing volcanic flow, the vineyard has 67 acres of vines at 500 to 750 feet in elevation. The first Dijon clones were planted in 1993. The Nekia and Jory soils are well drained to a depth of one and a half to six feet.
Tualatin Estate Vineyard: Established in 1973, Laurelwood soil covers most of the vineyard − formed over thousands of years on layers of wind-blown glacial silt called loess. High concentrations of rusted iron balls called pisolites riddle the top layer and are caused by the weathering of minerals in the soil. This unique soil profile contributes to the Pinot Noir’s complex nature and rose petal aromas.
Elton: In 2006, Wine & Spirits listed it as one of the five key vineyards in the new Eola-Amity Hills American Viticultural Area. In 2007, Elton Vineyard was named one of Oregon’s top ten vineyards by Wine Press Northwest. Planted in 1983, the vineyard now includes 60 acres on east-southeast slopes of the Eola Hills. The elevation rises from 250-500 feet, and the soil is Jory and Nekia.
The stylistic vision is pure Pinot Noir fruit with a juicy mouthfeel, balanced oak and soft, sweet, ripe tannins. The methodology includes attention to detail from vineyard to bottle. Picked at peak ripeness, the fruit was gently destemmed, with approximately 90% of the berries remaining intact for intraberry fermentation, which adds lively fruit forward characteristics. Prior to fermentation, the must underwent a seven day pre-fermentation cold soak which provides complexity, color and mouthfeel. On the seventh day, the must was inoculated with commercial yeast. After 8-12 days of fermentation in small fermenters, punched down by hand, the must was pressed out and allowed to settle in the tank overnight. The new wine was barreled with light, fluffy lees where it underwent malolactic fermentation.
- Barrel Regimen: 10 months in barrel, 19% new French oak, 81% neutral
- Alcohol: 13.6%
- Titratable Acidity: 6.48 g/L
- pH: 3.2