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Brittan Gestalt Block Pinot Noir 2007

Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • WE91
13.8% ABV
  • WE93
  • RP93
  • JS90
  • WE94
  • WS93
  • RP91
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13.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Gestalt block is named for the term that refers a set of things that amount to more than the sum of its parts. The Gestalt Block Pinot Noir comes from the most exposed blocks in the vineyard, resulting in a blend that will always be representative of the vintage and the unique site where these vines are planted. In other words, this wine represents the "gestalt" of the 2007 vintage on this site. The 2007 Gestalt Block Pinot Noir is a complex, elegant wine with ripe red fruit flavors with spicy undertones, full mid-palate, good acidity and a long, pleasing finish.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
Tart, tangy, and herbal, this juicy wine mixes cranberry and strawberry fruit with tomato leaf, herb and peppery spice. If new oak barrels were used, they are not showing themselves at the moment. But the balance, length and detail are delightful.
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Brittan

Brittan

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Brittan, Willamette Valley, Oregon
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Robert Brittan searched for years to find the ideal site on which to grow Pinot Noir, and finally found it on this 128-acre hillside in Oregon, which he purchased in December 2004. The soils are a mixture of glacial deposits and volcanic material, with a predominant presence of broken basalt. The vines have east, south and west exposures to choose from on a cool, windy site on the edge of the Coastal Range. As a result, Brittan believes he has found a site where he can grow unique wines, wines that truly speak of this place. His selection of this particular site was the culmination of extensive research of potential vineyard sites. The deciding factors in selecting this site were the compelling mix of soils, solar orientation and micro-climates indicative of the world’s greatest Pinot Noir vineyards.

Willamette Valley

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One of Pinot Noir’s most successful New World outposts, the Willamette Valley is the largest and most important AVA in Oregon. With a temperate climate moderated by a Pacific Ocean influence, it is perfect for cool-climate viticulture—warm and dry summers allow for steady, even ripening, and frost is rarely a risk during spring and even winter. Mountain ranges bordering three sides of the valley, particularly the Chehalem Mountains, provide the option for higher-elevation, cooler vineyard sites. The three prominent soil types here create significant differences in wine styles between 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. The silty loess found in the Chehalem Mountains, somewhere in between the other two in texture, is fertile and well-draining but erodes easily, creating challenges for growers but necessitating careful vineyard management.

The celebrated Pinot Noir of the Willamette Valley typically offers supple red fruit, especially cranberry, without the powerful punch often packed by its California counterparts. Elegance is paramount here, and fruit flavors are balanced by forest floor, wild mushroom, and dried herbs—much more in line with Burgundian examples of the variety. Chardonnay too takes its inspiration from the French motherland, focusing on tart, crisp fruit and minerality, rarely relying upon heavy new oak. Pinot Gris here is fleshy and bright, and Riesling is dry, aromatic, and citrus-focused.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

PIN250623_2007 Item# 120102