Chapter 24 The Flood Pinot Noir 2014
The Flood is sourced from vineyard blocks that exhibit the unique blue-fruited characteristics of sedimentary flood based soils. The flavors are more demonstrative - dark and blue, rippling, pure, saturating.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2014 "The Flood" Fire+Flood comes from sedimentary soils, vines on low elevation. It sees 40% new French oak for 12 months. It has a rounded, winsome bouquet with dark cherries, boysenberry and blueberry fruit that is neatly subsumed into the oak. The palate is medium-bodied with a more structured and “grippy” opening than I was anticipating, yet there is also lip-smacking salinity and a detailed mineral-driven finish. Drink this over the next decade.
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.
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.