Willamette Valley AVA, Oregon
The 2011 vintage got off to a slow start, with budbreak occurring in cold, wet conditions in late April. The cool and rainy pattern persisted all the way into July, and as a result, fruit development was significantly delayed. Conditions improved in August, and September was much warmer than average, enabling the vines to catch up. While October started off cool and rainy, by mid-month mild and sunny conditions prevailed, allowing the fruit to reach full maturity. Heat accumulation for the growing year reached a cool 1,890 degree days, and fruit quality was excellent, with mature tannins and balanced acid levels. The resulting wines have bright, forward fruit and while they can be enjoyed upon release, they have the structure and balance to age gracefully.
Tête de Cuvée Pinot Noir is only produced when we are able to create a blend that transcends our single-vineyard wines. This was the case in 2011, when we combined the bright red fruit and initial intensity of Kiff Vineyard fruit with the dark, dense fruit and mid-palate volume of Johnson Ridge fruit. The resulting wine is balanced and complex, with bright flavors of red and black raspberries, black cherry, and a hint of minerality, which leads into rich mid-palate volume, velvety tannins, and a long, seamless finish.
The Johnson Ridge Vineyard fruit was harvested on October 28th, followed by Kiff Vineyard on November 4th. All of the fruit spent six to seven days in a cold-soak to extract color. Fermentation was completed in small, one-ton bins, and took up to 25 days to complete. French oak barrels were used for aging and the blend was created in October, after spending 11 months in barrel. Bottling was completed in December, and only 48 cases were produced.
The 2011 Denison Cellars Tête de Cuvée Pinot Noir is unfined and unfiltered, and to prevent any incidence of cork taint, is bottled under a twist-off closure.
Harvest Date October 28th , November 4th
Final pH 3.70
Brix 23.0° – 24.5°
Final TA 5.1 g/L
Production 48 cases