Brick House Cuvee du Tonnelier Pinot Noir 2017
Typically this cuvée offers cinnamon, allspice and earthy notes of forest floor and bramble. In some years the Cuvée du Tonnelier includes significant whole cluster fermented fruit, contributing powerful structure with supple fruit.
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Pretty rose petal, raspberry and orange peel aromas give way to an alluring and sleek texture that fans out on the long finish. Drink now through 2026.
The 2017 Pinot Noir Cuvée du Tonnelier comes from "the older, own-rooted Pommard clone vines planted in 1990, which I finished tearing out, sadly, this year," says Doug Tunnell. "But that is life." It was made with 25% whole clusters and was aged in about 30% new French oak. Pale ruby-purple in color, it's scented of warm cranberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries with nuances of tree bark, potpourri and tangerine peel. It’s light to medium-bodied and elegant with a gentle frame and long, refreshing finish.
Brick House Vineyards was established in 1990. The vineyards are surrounded by the fruit and hazelnut orchards above the Chehalem Valley, the rolling hills at Brick House compose just such a place. A New World site dedicated to Old World wisdom, and a way of growing grapes proven over a thousand years or more. At Brick House, "organically grown" is more than just a phrase on the labels of the wines. All of the fruit is estate grown. All of it is certified organic.
Ribbon Ridge is a regular span of uplifted, marine, sedimentary soils (called Willakenzie), whose highest ridge elevations twist like a ribbon. An early settler from Missouri named Colby Carter noticed this unique topography and gave the region its name in 1865—though but it wasn’t declared its own AVA until 140 years later, in 2005. The AVA is enclosed by mountains on all sides between Yamhill-Carlton and the Chehalem Mountains, and is actually part of the larger Chehalem Mountains AVA. Its soils have a finer texture than its neighbors with parent materials composed of sandstone, siltstone, and mudstone. Given its presence of natural aquifers in this five square mile area, most vineyards are actually easily dry farmed!
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.”