Argyle Nuthouse Pinot Noir 2002
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.
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.