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Chapter 24 Last Chapter Pinot Noir 2014

Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • V94
  • JS92
  • RP91
  • W&S91
13.4% ABV
  • RP94
  • D92
  • WS91
  • W&S94
  • WS93
  • W&S96
  • WS93
  • RP90
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13.4% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This blend was created as a study in harmony. This wine’s initial scents of ripe red berries and plums hint at the palate’s potential richness. And yet the wine isn’t so much rich as mouthfilling. A saturating and juicy 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.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
V 94
Vinous
Bright magenta. An intensely perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red berries, potpourri, vanilla and Asian spices, along with a smoky mineral overtone. Juicy and seamless on the palate, offering alluringly sweet raspberry liqueur, lavender pastille and spicecake flavors that deepen and spread out smoothly with aeration. Displays a suave blend of power and finesse and finishes with subtle tannic grip and superb, floral-tinged persistence.
JS 92
James Suckling
Delicate aromas of strawberry and citrus with hints of stone and spice. Medium body, firm and silky. Subtle and refined. I like the attractive leanness to the wine. Drink or hold.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2014 Last Chapter comes from Hyland, Shea, Stardance (great name - this is an isolated vineyard with particular indigenous yeasts) and Tresori vineyards matured in 60% new French oak for 12 months. The bouquet is very harmonious and complex, a melange of red and black fruit, quite floral with iris and violet aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, a fine line of acidity, elegant in the mouth, but perhaps just needing a little more weight to come through on the finish. Still, this is a very well-crafted, sensual Pinot Noir.
W&S 91
Wine & Spirits
What this wine lacks in complexity it more than makes up for in its purity, freshness and mouthwatering buoyancy. Scents of smoke and toast give way to a plush robe of black cherry flavor, juicy, persistent and satisfying.
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Chapter 24

Chapter 24

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Chapter 24, 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.

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.

YNG203258_2014 Item# 260907