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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

All Vintages
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 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.

YNG407323_2011 Item# 140715