Argyle Nuthouse Pinot Noir 2003
from Willamette Valley, Oregon
Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2006!
The Nuthouse designation is used for our biggest, boldest and most aggressive style of Pinot Noir.
This Nuthouse blend is predominantly based on Pinot Noir fruit from low elevation blocks at our estate
Lone Star Vineyard in the Eola Hills.
How deep is the ocean? How long does the ‘E' note of a string double bass vibrate through one's
soul? These are just some of the thoughts one will contemplate while experiencing this 2002
Nuthouse Pinot Noir! Aromas of dark, wild berries and spices of licorice and cedar are locked deep
into the earthy mineral core of this wine. Only time and patience will unleash the concentation of this
wine. The mouth feel of this wine is massive and ‘super-juicy' centered. Layer upon layer of silky
comforter-like texture cushion the firm gripping tannins. This wine is so viscous that the finish seems
to sail on and on in one's taste bud memory.
The 2002 vintage was one of those nerve crunching, hang in at the plate until you work up to a full
count, then smack a sweet fast ball right out of the park! Translation: An unsettling growing season
with a smashing finish. A warm but unsettled Spring wrought large clusters but with the diversity of
berry size we like to see--what we call "peas and pumpkins." In late September and early October we
had a couple of rain scares dropping up to a ½ inch of rain each event. On October 5th the prediction
was two inches rain in a week's time! On October 6 the rain was dropped from the forecast and the
longest Indian Summer on record ensued. We were able to pick fruit at its peak of ripeness under
sunny skies and with limited chaos on the crush pad.
As always, our grapes were harvested into small baskets. After gently transporting them to the winery,
they were first chilled to 35F before de-stemming and gently crushing into small open-top
fermentation vats. Prior to alcoholic fermentation they underwent a 4 - 5 day cold maceration. After
fermentation they received a second short maceration before being pressed. The wine was then aged
for 14 months in small French oak barrels before being bottled unfined and unfiltered.
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