2015 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Willamette Valley AVA, Oregon


The Vintage

The 2015 vintage was one of the warmest on record.  Following a relatively dry and warm winter, budbreak was nearly 4 weeks early. Conditions remained dry throughout the growing season, with occasional heat spikes into the mid-90s F. A late-July period of temperatures in excess of 100 degrees resulted in some sunburn damage, however, after this event temperatures moderated.  Nighttime lows cooled, and welcome precipitation toward the end of August slowed the ripening process to a more desirable level.  Overall, harvest yields were above average levels, and fruit quality was outstanding. The resulting wines display a wonderful richness, with delightful ripe flavors, rich texture and mouthfeel, and deep, dark color.

The Wine

Fruit for the 2015 Willamette Valley pinot noir was sourced from four different vineyards.  In addition to Kiff Vineyard and Johnson Ridge Vineyard, we sourced fruit from Noel Vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains and Cassin Vineyard in the Yamhill Carlton AVA. Each brings unique characteristics to the blend, as clones such as Wadenswil and 114 were introduced.  The resulting wine displays aromas of ripe Italian plums, cherry, and raspberry.  With a hint of spice and chocolate, it is mouth-filling, with velvety tannins.

Harvest dates ranged from September 18th in Johnson Ridge Vineyard to October 4th in Kiff Vineyard.  All of the fruit spent four days in a cold-soak to extract color. Fermentation was completed in small, one-ton bins, and took between 18 and 23 days to complete, including extended maceration to extract even more color. French oak barrels were used for aging, 23% of which were new, and the blend was created in March, after spending 12 months in barrel and 5 months in tank. Bottling was completed in April; 255 cases were produced.

The 2015 Denison Cellars Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is unfined, and to prevent any incidence of cork taint, is bottled under a twist-off closure.

Harvest Date September 18th, October 4th 
Final pH 3.75
Alcohol 14.2%

Brix 23.3° – 24.8°
Final TA 5.5 g/L
Production 255 cases

2015 Denison Cellars Willamette Valley Tech Sheet (PDF)