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, 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.
The 2011 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is a blend of 777 (59%), pommard (25%), and 667 (15%) clones. Each clone contributes unique characteristics: 777 adds bright red raspberry and Bing cherry, pommard adds rose petal and structure , and 667 provides dark fruit flavors. The resulting wine has rich mid-palate volume, velvety tannins, and bright flavors of Bing cherry, cranberry and notes of vanilla that lead into a long, seamless finish.
The 667 and 777 clones were harvested on November 4th, and the pommard clone on November 11th. All of the fruit spent seven days in a cold-soak to extract color. Fermentation was completed in small, one-ton bins, and took seventeen days to complete. French oak barrels were used for aging, 25% of which were new, and the wine was bottled in December after spending 12 months in barrel. Only 90 cases were produced.
The 2011 Denison Cellars Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is unfined and unfiltered, and to prevent any incidence of cork taint, is bottled under a twist-off closure.
Harvest Date November 4th , 11th
Final pH 3.67
Brix 23.o° – 23.5°
Final TA 5.3 g/L
Production 90 cases