2016 Elouan Pinot Noir:
Elouan is the result of Californian winemakers venturing up to Oregon, one of the world’s renowned Pinot Noir regions, with a goal to produce Pinot Noir with depth of flavor, vibrancy and suppleness. For this wine we brought together fruit from three regions along Oregon’s coast; Umpqua, Willamette and Rogue Valleys, which harmonize beautifully when blended as one. The diversity of these cool climate areas combined with an elongated growing season creates wine with intense structure, while maintaining a vibrant acidity that differentiates it from any California Pinot Noir.
REGIONS OF ORIGIN
FOR ELOUAN PINOT NOIR WE BROUGHT TOGETHER FRUIT FROM THREE PREMIERE GROWING REGIONS ALONG OREGON’S COAST; UMPQUA, WILLAMETTE AND ROGUE VALLEYS.
WILLAMETTE VALLEY: The coolest of the regions, at times it can be difficult to fully ripen the grapes. It is a worthy contributor to any Pinot Noir blend, offering up fresh cranberry and rose petal notes with an intense acidity.
UMPQUA VALLEY: The most consistent region for Pinot Noir in Oregon, and the predominate force in the wine, Umpqua is the perfect stylistic middle ground. This region produces a vibrant acidity, soft structure and flavors of cherry, rhubarb and fresh tilled earth.
ROGUE VALLEY: Offering deep plum notes, and creating richness and depth in the mouth feel, this AVA results in a ripe powerhouse style for Oregon. The Rogue provides a robust element to the blend with abundant, yet supple tannins, and a sweet red fruit core.
Pinot Noir is at its most pure and nuanced when grown in a temperate, cool climate. The delicate attributes of the grape and its tendency for early maturation means that Pinot Noir requires lower temperatures and ample sunlight to achieve optimum ripeness. The coastal hills of Oregon are an ideal location to grow this resonant style of Pinot Noir. The name Elouan means “good light”, which is reflective of the typically cool summers, yet abundant sunshine found in this northern hemisphere winegrowing region. The unique climate, diversity of soil types and the gentle sunlight influence on both canopy and fruit, form the foundation of this wine’s northern character.
As was the case last year, this year’s growing conditions resembled a classic California vintage more than a typical year in Oregon. In the Rogue Valley, the state’s southernmost viticultural region, winter rains were 40 to 50% above normal, then warm weather assured early, rapid and uniform vine growth. Moving north to Umpqua Valley, we also saw plentiful winter rain with a pleasant growing season and steady crop maturation, with fruit reading a lofty 24 to 25º Brix at harvest. In Willamette Valley, the northernmost grape-growing region of Oregon, high temperatures reigned throughout spring and summer.
Rich, dark and intense fruit flavors take top billing in this 2016 Elouan Pinot Noir, a wine that beautifully reflects the warm and dry growing season. Dark ruby in color, the wine powers up with aromatics of plum pie, mixed-berry jam and smoky, game-bird characteristics that set the stage for flavors of cherry, blackberry, boysenberry and smoked bacon. The balance is excellent, with solid structure, superb depth and concentration, rich tannins, and a nice smoky, earthy finish.