Argyle Nuthouse Pinot Noir 2017
The 2017 growing season began with a relatively cool and wet spring in comparison to 2014-2016, leading to more normal timing of bud break at the end of April. May was fairly cool with a few blips of heat which lead to a moderately later bloom in mid to late June, depending on elevation. Both cluster size and quantity was larger than 2016 so heavy crop-thinning was in order to produce balanced wines. August was very warm but turned cool in September, which allowed the fruit to hang and gain aromatic complexity.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This has an attractive, fresh and silky feel with a very smooth, vibrant and lively set of red-fruit aromas on offer. The palate has a fresh and quite detailed core of red cherries with neatly groomed tannins. Drink or hold. Screw cap.
The Nuthouse cuvée is sourced entirely from the estate’s Lone Star Vineyard. This is a spicy wine with scents of pine needles wrapped into a fruit mix of rhubarb, cranberry and strawberry. Though perhaps not quite as ripe as would be optimal, the balance and complexity elevate this and suggest it will carry through medium term aging. Drink after 2022.
Sleek and elegantly built, with appealing cherry and savory spice flavors that glide on a long finish. Drink now through 2026.
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.
Running north to south, adjacent to the Willamette River, the Eola-Amity Hills AVA has shallow and well-drained soils created from ancient lava flows (called Jory), marine sediments, rocks and alluvial deposits. These soils force vine roots to dig deep, producing small grapes with great concentration.
Like in the McMinnville sub-AVA, cold Pacific air streams in via the Van Duzer Corridor and assists the maintenance of higher acidity in its grapes. This great concentration, combined with marked acidity, give the Eola-Amity Hills wines—namely Pinot noir—their distinct character. While the region covers 40,000 acres, no more than 1,400 acres are covered in vine.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”