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Francis Tannahill The Hermit Pinot Noir 2011

Pinot Noir from Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • RP92
13.5% ABV
  • RP94
  • W&S92
  • WS92
  • WE92
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2011 Francis Tannahill Hermit Pinot Noir possesses a vibrant red burgundy color from rim to center. When first opened, bright primary aromatics of Bing cherries, cinnamon, cassis, spice, raspberries, wild strawberries, minerals and clean earth leap from the glass. Over time the wine opens and becomes deeper with aromas of fresh tobacco, sandalwood, red currants and blackberries. On the palate the attack is succulent with the classic structure of the 2011 vintage. Juicy red fruit flavors, spice and structure from a balance between acid and tannin are gracefully proportioned, subtle and truly elegant. The structure of the wine continues through the mid-palate and builds to a beautiful finish with flavors of deep red fruits and minerals that go on and on. Although the 2011 Hermit is slowly beginning to drink well now, it has the focus, balance and intensity to age and become more complex over the next 20 years.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
From their multi-clonal (multi-root stock) vineyard near Archery Summit's Red Hills Estate, Francis and Tannahill's 2011 Pinot Noir Hermit shares none of the firmness that led me to characterize its 2009 predecessor as austere (though somewhat impressive), and here there is a fascinating wealth of nuance which that wine did not evince (on its one youthful presentation to me, anyway). A greenhouse like amalgam of floral and leafing things – gradually resolving into lovely allusions to iris and violet – vies for aromatic attention with plum and cherry, that go on to inform a juicy, silken-textured, glycerol-rich palate. Hints of wild ginger and iris root along with black tea smokiness and fruit pit piquancy add intrigue as well as invigoration. "All through the Rex Hill portfolio," opines Tannahill, "as well as here, the wines are becoming unforced." I think I’m agreeing with that sentiment at least as regards this "Hermit," when I note that it seems somehow at home in its own skin, certainly with no impression of overt oakiness or over-extraction, but with purity as well as profound length, and the energy and brightness typical for its vintage in balanced harmony with richness and perfume.
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Francis Tannahill

Francis Tannahill

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Francis Tannahill, Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
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Francis Tannahill was founded in 2001 by Cheryl Francis and Sam Tannahill to make wines that balance power and concentration with integrity and elegance. Select growers, vineyards and blocks are chosen and carefully tended to purely express unique terroirs using old fashioned techniques and impeccable winemaking.

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 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.

YNG407323_2011 Item# 140715