Brittan Gestalt Block Pinot Noir 2016
Intense, rich balanced acidity. On the nose, red fruits and anise intertwine with savory notes of bay and tarragon. On the palate, rich red plum and marionberry characteristics are supported by great structure and brilliant acidity typical of the McMinnville AVA. The finish is remarkably long and builds, showcasing great aging potential.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2016 Pinot Noir Gestalt Block, aged 12 months in 30% new French oak, has a medium ruby-purple color and is slow to open on the nose. With time, it offers crushed stone, grapefruit peel, potpourri, blueberry and floral nuances over a core of red currant, cranberry and red cherries. The palate is medium-bodied and absolutely explodes with juicy, bitters-laced red fruits. It has a firm, very finely grained frame and mouthwatering acidity on the long, layered finish that begs you to take another sip. Yowza! This will benefit from another couple of years in bottle.
There's a salty note here, with pomegranate fruit, brambly berries and a streak of citrus. Aged a full year in 30% new French oak, it dries out a bit toward the finish, with tannins that taste of tea and leave a light impression of ash. As with all Brittan wines, it beautifully expresses the McMinnville terroir with a distinct minerality throughout.
This has a very attractive, minerally thread of dark stones and graphite-like aromas, through ripe dark cherries and chocolate. The palate has a bold, full style with rich, dark-cherry flavors, cast in sweeping waves of tannin.
Robert Brittan left Stags’ Leap Winery in Napa after 16 years as Winemaker and Estate Manager to fulfill his dream of making Pinot Noir and Syrah from unique sites in cooler climates. His winemaking career began in his dorm room at Oregon State University, where he was a physics and philosophy major.
Being both geeky and broke, he soon realized that alcohol was an attractant to co-eds, so he began his career in fermentation sciences in order to get a date. He ultimately completed his education at UC Davis and moved to Napa Valley, where he made wines for Far Niente, Saint Andrews and Stags’ Leap Winery.
With over 40 years of experience growing grapes and making wine, he brings a significant amount of viticultural and winemaking knowledge to Brittan Vineyards. He has always had a passion for Pinot Noir, and hopes that with the fruit from the Brittan estate vineyard in the foothills of the Coastal Range, he can bring a new voice to the McMinnville AVA, and help form the style and definition of Pinot Noir from this recently designated winegrowing region.
In addition to his own wines, Robert is also the winemaker for several other brands, to include: Blakeslee, deLancellotti, Fairsing, Noble Pig, Winderlea and Youngberg Hill. As a result, Robert is now making wines from all six of the sub-AVA’s of the Willamette Valley and has learned first hand that Pinot Noir lends itself to many wonderful interpretations, depending on the soils and microclimates where it is grown.
Home of some of the planet’s most amazingly elegant and expressive Pinot noir, the Willamette Valley is a pastoral, mixed landscape of green, bucolic rolling hills, dramatic forestlands and small, independent, friendly wine growers. As a leader in environmental stewardship, the valley has some of the nation’s most protective land use policies, with two-thirds of its vineyards farmed sustainably and over half, organically. While the valley claims a cool, continental climate, and is heavily influenced by the cold, moist winds of the Pacific Ocean, its warm and dry summers allow for the steady, even ripening of Pinot noir.
The potential of Willamette Valley Pinot noir continues to attract the investment of serious growers and winemakers both locally and from abroad, as naturally the finished wines bring accolades from professionals and enthusiasts. With a range of styles from delicate dried cherry, raspberry and hibiscus to stronger notes of truffle, mocha, plum and spice, a fine Willamette Valley Pinot noir is a perfect expression of both character and grace.