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Chapter 24 Last Chapter Pinot Noir 2012

Pinot Noir from Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • W&S96
  • WS93
  • RP90
13.1% ABV
  • RP94
  • D92
  • WS91
  • V94
  • JS92
  • RP91
  • W&S91
  • W&S94
  • WS93
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3.9 8 Ratings
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3.9 8 Ratings
13.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Last Chapter Pinot Noir is produced from grapes grown in both volcanic soil (Fire) and sedimentary soil (Flood). Coming from four vineyards (Shea, Hyland, Tresori, DDL) the combination carries both bright and tart "red" notes from the fire set against deeper more soulful "blue" notes from the flood.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 96
Wine & Spirits
"The Last Chapter" is the tête de cuvée from Chapter 24, a project between Mark Tarlov and Louis Michel Liger-Belair, with Mikey Etzel making the wine. From multiple vineyard sources representing both volcanic and sedimentary soils, this wine’s initial scents of ripe black cherry and plum hint at the palate’s potential richness. And yet the wine isn’t so much rich as mouthfilling. A saturating and delicious presence that mimics richness, this bursts with exuberant fruit on the finish, then quietly recedes. This wine feels in every sense complete — calm and placid, with a succulence gently occupying every corner of the mouth.
WS 93
Wine Spectator
This ripe red dances deftly over refined tannins to deliver currant and blackberry fruit in spades, glinting with hot stone and meat notes as the finish lingers. Drink now through 2022. 824 cases made.
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Last Chapter comes from two sedimentary and two volcanic sites that are selected by Louis-Michel Liger-Belair conducting a blind tasting of different parcels. Matured in 75% new oak, the wood is neatly carried by the well-defined dark cherry, briary and sous-bois bouquet that feels very natural. The palate is medium-bodied and here, unlike the aromatics, the wood comes through quite strongly and layers mocha notes across the black plum and raspberry fruit, slightly obfuscating the nuances underneath. This is a delicious Pinot Noir, but I actually have a preference for the "The Fire" '12 in this vintage.
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Chapter 24

Chapter 24

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Chapter 24, Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
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Utilizing the proprietary infusion technique of consulting Burgundian winemaker Louis-Michel Liger-Belair, Chapter 24’s winemaking is more akin to steeping rather than an aggressive extraction process. This does not mean they have reinvented the wheel or discovered some form of secret winemaking technique that hasn’t already been used in Oregon. What they have done, however, is brought together a number of variables which, on their own, don’t contribute great changes, but as a whole, markedly change the direction of a wine’s final destination to more closely resemble the structure of beloved Pinot Noirs. That is, Pinot Noir elegantly crafted for immediate enjoyment, without negating its ability to age impeccably.

Chapter 24 Vineyards was named after the last chapter of Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey. This particular chapter was added long after Homer died. The Greeks continued the tale to satisfy themselves despite the author thinking he was finished after Chapter 23. The mark of a great ending is not what it says about the past, but rather what it promises for the future, and Chapter 23 clearly raised more questions than it answered. In this same spirit, the story of Chapter 24’s wines continues well past the cellar door. Winemaking is just the beginning of the story. The wine may be finished but it is not the end.

Dundee Hills

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Home of the first Pinot noir vineyard of the Willamette Valley, planted by David Lett of Eyrie Vineyard in 1966, today the Dundee Hills AVA remains the most densely planted AVA in the valley (and state). To its north sits the Chehalem Valley and to its south, runs the Willamette River. Within the region’s 12,500 acres, about 1,700 are planted to vine on predominantly basalt-based, volcanic, Jory soil.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

In the Glass

Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Villages or Cru level wines.

YNG645329_2012 Item# 136122