Argyle Extended Tirage Brut 1999
Vintage Sparkling Wine from Willamette Valley, Oregon
#18 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2009
Welcome back to the New Millennium! Here's your chance to get it right (or better) a second time! I bet we all remember what we were up to in 1999. This is a late harvested beauty of a sparkling wine. The aromas are complex, yet fresh and leap out of the flute. Look for fresh and baked pear, juicy red apple, and hints of bright citrus fruit like Meyer lemon and grapefruit. Ten years of aging has imparted aromas of freshly roasted hazelnut, citrus peel, lovely vanilla blossom and honey spice. Rounding out these scents are touches of yeasty goodness from Pain de campagne and fresh-baked biscuit. The flavor is especially rich and creamy with lemon/grapefruit citrus, Anjou pear and Cameo apple fruit. Melon and vanilla spice lay upon a stony mineral structure. The finish is fresh baguette and caramelized sugar creaminess that is long, vibrant, and shows the added persistence that late harvested (October/November) Chardonnay and Pinot Noir can bring.
Wine Spectator - " Elegant, with very fine bubbles and complex spice, coffee, pear and toast aromas and flavors that are poised against lacy acidity and refined structure, letting the flavors sail on and on with finesse. Drink now."
The Wine Advocate - "OK, a slight exaggeration, but the 1999 Brut Extended Tirage is even better. Light gold-colored, this lively, vibrant effort has tons of flavor and exceptional length. Drink it over the next 3 years. "
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 are are 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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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.