Argyle Extended Tirage Brut 1995
The 1995 vintage in Oregon was a sparkling winemakers dream. Late ripening, of perfectly balanced sparkling wine grapes were unaffected by early rains. Everyone of the some 25 base wines we made in 1995 was a delight. The grapes for this wine were hand-picked into small baskets. They were then transported to the winery where they were chilled to 35 degrees F before being gently pressed. After several weeks of settling in tank, only the freshest "heart" juice was fermented using one of Argyle's proprietary yeast strains. A blend of 65% Chardonnay and 35% Pinot Noir and bottle aged on yeast for a decade, this ET retains the freshness of youth.
"An assemblage of 65% Chardonnay and 35% Pinot Noir, the 1995 Brut Extended Tirage is disgorged on demand. Its complex nose of minerals, toast, yeast, and dried honey is followed by a medium-bodied character of green apples, almonds, hazelnuts (or filberts as they're known in Oregon), and flowers. This outstanding sparkler has a wonderful balance, expressiveness and length."
"A lovely follow-up to the outstanding '94, this well-integrated, perfectly aged brut is still crisp and showing hints of fresh apple, along with beeswax, citrus and gooseberry. It shows off with a gorgeous mousse, and persistent fresh flavors that linger without cracking up."
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.
One of Pinot Noir’s most successful New World outposts, the Willamette Valley is the largest and most important AVA in Oregon. With a continental climate moderated by the influence of the Pacific Ocean, it is perfect for cool-climate viticulture and the production of elegant wines.
Mountain ranges bordering three sides of the valley, particularly the Chehalem Mountains, provide the option for higher-elevation vineyard sites.
The valley's three prominent soil types (volcanic, sedimentary and silty, loess) make it unique and create significant differences in wine styles among its vineyards and sub-AVAs. The iron-rich, basalt-based, Jory volcanic soils found commonly in the Dundee Hills are rich in clay and hold water well; the chalky, sedimentary soils of Ribbon Ridge, Yamhill-Carlton and McMinnville encourage complex root systems as vines struggle to search for water and minerals. In the most southern stretch of the Willamette, the Eola-Amity Hills sub-AVA soils are mixed, shallow and well-drained. The Hills' close proximity to the Van Duzer Corridor (which became its own appellation as of 2019) also creates grapes with great concentration and firm acidity, leading to wines that perfectly express both power and grace.
Though Pinot noir enjoys the limelight here, Pinot gris, Pinot blanc and Chardonnay also thrive in the Willamette. Increasing curiosity has risen recently in the potential of others like Grüner Veltliner, Chenin blanc and Gamay.
Representing the topmost expression of a Champagne house, a vintage Champagne is one made from the produce of a single, superior harvest year. Vintage Champagnes account for a mere 5% of total Champagne production and are produced about three times in a decade. Champagne is typically made as a blend of multiple years in order to preserve the house style; these will have non-vintage, or simply, NV on the label. The term, "vintage," as it applies to all wine, simply means a single harvest year.