Hundred Suns Shea Vineyards Pinot Noir 2017
100% whole cluster carbonic fermentation sealed in tank for 20 days, which adds an aromatic spectrum of exuberant crushed red fruit. completely destemmed, which carries a classic, red raspberry with mouth-watering acidity and a long finish. 40% whole cluster, the textural element with less obvious fruit and a hint of earthiness from the stems. Stacking all three lots together in the final blend made for a perfect triangle with each fermentation as an anchor point to uphold the form.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
There’s a very attractive, boysenberry core with raspberry essence also on the nose. The palate has a crisp, finely cut feel with energetic, upbeat appeal. An elegant iteration of this revered vineyard. Drink now.
Pale ruby, the 2017 Pinot Noir Shea Vineyard takes its time to open to blood orange, red berries, garrigue, blackberries and floral perfume. Light-bodied, the palate is concentrated with a soft, juicy frame and long, amaro-laced finish. Hundred Suns has done a great job capturing the ethereal, delicate expression of the 2017 vintage in Oregon.
When we met over 14 years ago, we agreed on a fundamental idea: we wanted to build a life together that felt like an adventure. We left California for Oregon’s Willamette Valley, where Grant first worked as assistant winemaker at Hamacher wines and then spent the bulk of 10 years as assistant winemaker and then winemaker at Beaux Freres. Those ten years were rich. Renée continued teaching high school while Grant gained intimate understanding and appreciation of the soils, climates, and personalities (both land and people) of the valley. We started a family. We made good friends, drank beautiful wines, and dreamed of a life that would bring us more together than apart. In 2015, we sold our house in Portland, scraped together every penny we had, and moved to a fixer-upper in the the valley so that we could build Hundred Suns. Eventually, Grant moved on from being winemaker at Beaux Freres to overseeing the vineyards and making the wines for Flaneur Wines, and Renée swapped the classroom for the cellar and running of the day-to-day business. From winemaking, to label design, website building, and even wax dipping bottles by hand, every aspect of this process has our fingerprints on it because it is just the two of us. In 2018 we bought a 4.5 acre property in the Eola-Amity hills where an old vineyard is now our children’s backyard. Farming this site will bring us even closer to the wines that we have the pleasure of making and managing together. So far it has been a beautiful adventure indeed, and we’re just getting started.
Yamhill-Carlton, characterized by pastoral, rolling hills composed of shallow, quick-draining, ancient marine soil, is ideal for Pinot noir and other cool-climate-loving varieties. It is in the rain shadow of the Coast Range to its west, whose highest point climbs to an altitude of 3,500 feet. Yamhill-Carlton is actually surrounded by mountains on three sides: Chehalem Mountains to the north, the Dundee Hills to the east and the western Coast Range to its west, which, when it lets Pacific air through, serves to cool the region.
Vineyards grow on the ridges surrounding the two small communities of Yamhill and Carlton and cover about 1,200 acres of this 60,000 acre region, which roughly makes a horse-shoe shape on a map.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”