A slow, cool fermentation lasting about a month followed by a very extended period of lees contact has given this wine a firm, focused steely backbone and a creamy lushness.
2002 was another in a string of remarkably good Oregon vintages in the Northern Willamette Valley. After a brief, but heavy rain on September 16, harvesting began for us on the 21st, with our youngest Pinot Noir vines. We continued to bring in grapes for the next week under sunny and hot skies, with the first Pinot Gris coming in on September 25.
Then, in true Oregon fashion, the weather turned cool and wet again and we had to stop picking for a week. Harvest resumed on October 5 and proceeded under ideal conditions for the next two weeks, allowing us the luxury of bringing in the grapes at the peak of perfect ripeness and balance.
All the grapes for our 2002 Pinot Gris came from our own vineyards and neighboring vineyards in the Red Hills of Dundee. They were not de-stemmed, but pressed as whole clusters and given a slow, cool stainless steel tank fermentation lasting about a month. This was followed by an extended period of lees contact prior to blending and bottling in March of 2003. The result is a wine with a firm, focused steely backbone and a creamy lushness.
Now at almost exactly one year post-bottling, while still exhibiting predominantly the primary fresh fruit characters of apple, pear and citrus it is just beginning to show the complex secondary earth, mineral and spice flavors and aromas that will continue to develop over the next few years. The mid-palate is fleshing out and the finish is beginning to lengthen. Our Pinot Gris has exceptional long-term aging potential, and should, if properly cellared, continue to evolve and develop beautifully over the next five to ten years.