Argyle Brut 2003
Vintage Sparkling Wine from Willamette Valley, Oregon
This is some robust, bold bubbly! The 2003 vintage of Argyle Brut could be described as a bit of Yin and a bit of Yang leading to a lot of Whoopee! The Yin came in the form of a September week of wet weather. Some berry splitting and a couple of potential mold issues would have multiplied our grief if another week of wet weather had ensued. Then Yang kicked in with a vengeance in the form of a very hot, dry east wind during the week of the 22nd of September. 95F on September 27th is unprecedented in our cool climate region! Our fears of splitting and mold were replaced by raisining and shriveling. The solution was to start up our irrigation system in the best vineyard blocks replacing evaporated berry and vine moisture, and allowing us to wait out the heat. Thus, fruit flavor and balance was maintained, producing wines of incredible power and ripeness!
The flavor is very robust of that plum and apple fruit settling on a multi-layer slab of slate-like minerality. The finish is rich, creamy and yeasty with ripe Pinot Noir fruit character driving the impression of this wine on down the long, highway of one's gullet.
Wine Spectator - "Toasty, peppery and distinctive for its range of spicy flavors, letting it all ride on a fine bead as the finish persists. Drink now. 2,921 cases made."
Twenty-five years ago, Argyle began making wine in Oregon's Willamette Valley. Since 1987, winemaker Rollin Soles and viticulturist Allen Holstein have teamed up to produce world-class method champenoise sparkling wines, barrel-fermented Chardonnay, and silky-textured Pinor Noir from low-yielding vines that are winery farmed on some of the best hillside slopes and elevations. Argyle wines have received a total of 11 Wine Spectator Top 100 designations - more than any other winery in Oregon. The Argyle wines represented on this list include sparkling wine, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, truly making Argyle one of the finest practitioners of the craft of elegant, long-lived winegrowing. View all Argyle Wines
About Willamette ValleyView a map of Willamette Valley wineries (will-AAM-it)
Named for the river that runs through the valley from Portland to Eugene, Willamette Valley is home to some of the best Pinot Noir vineyards in the Northwest. While along the same north/south line as Seattle, the Willamette Valley is protected from Pacific rains by the Coast Range on the western border and the Cascade Ranges to the east. Though sunshine is typically plentiful, rainfall can occasionally be tricky, and the wines here vary vintage to vintage. Within the Willamette Valley is a number of sub-regions, including McMinnville, Dundee and Yamhill.
Notable FactsThe valley is known for its Pinots – Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. With a climate similar to Burgundy – in rainfall, sunlight hours and other climate factors – Pinot Noir has flourished here. Pinot Noir in Oregon produces wines that are fruit forward, yet complex, some with good agebility.
Other than Pinot Noir, many wineries grow Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. Pinot Gris from Oregon is delightful in its texture and food friendliness. Chardonnay in the valley adapts well to the cool climate and produces lean, elegant wines.
About OregonOregon has long been an agricultural state, producing everything from hazelnuts to cattle. The Willamette Valley in particular is a fertile basin for all sorts of produce. Not quite pegged as a wine state, in 1965, a UC Davis graduate named David Lett decided that the Willamette's climate mirrored that of Burgundy in France. With that in mind, he decided to plant some Pinot Noir clones to see how they did. And a good gamble it was. The Willamette is now one of the only regions in the world to focus solely on Pinot Noir as its red variety. Also known for Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. The southern part of Oregon has been slower in delving into the world wine market, but has been making excellent strides with their Rhone style varietals, like Syrah and Grenache. There are also coastal regions producing promising wines.
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