Willamette Valley AVA, Oregon
What began as a normal vintage, (with budbreak occurring in the third week of April), 2012 turned out to be a magnificent growing year, with abundant sunshine, warm (but not too hot) temperatures, and below average precipitation. Heat accumulation for the growing year reached a warm 2,300 degree days, and there was no pressure from birds or disease; harvest fruit was picture- perfect, with very ripe skin tannins and balanced acid levels. The resulting wines are beautiful, with concentrated fruit, rich mouthfeel, velvety tannins, and dark color. 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 2012, when we combined the ripe red fruit and intensity of Kiff Vineyard fruit with the dark, dense flavors and mid-palate volume of Johnson Ridge fruit. The resulting wine is balanced and complex, with rich flavors of spiced plums, red and black berries, cherry, and a hints of menthol and forest floor, all of which leads into voluptuous mid-palate volume, velvety tannins, and a long, seamless finish.
The Kiff Vineyard fruit was harvested on October 7th and 12th, followed by Johnson Ridge Vineyard on October 18th. All of the fruit spent three days in a cold-soak to extract color, and 5% was whole-cluster fermented. Fermentation was completed in small, one-ton bins, and took up to 16 days to complete. French oak barrels were used for aging, 20% of which were new, and the blend was created in November, after spending 12 months in barrel. Bottling was completed in May; only 42 cases were produced.
The 2012 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 7th, 12th and 18th
Final pH 3.62
Brix 23.4° – 25.5°
Final TA 5.2 g/L
Production 42 cases