WV - Front2016 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Willamette Valley AVA, Oregon


The Vintage

After an abnormally warm and wet winter, the 2016 growing season got off to a very early start, with bud-break occurring 3 weeks earlier than normal, on April 1st.  The growing season, while slightly warmer and drier than historical averages, was significantly cooler than the 2014 and 2015 vintages. August was hot, but early September showers cooled things off, slowing the pace of ripening to an ideal level.  The fruit used in this wine was picked on September 12th, 17th, and 19th.

The Wine

Fruit for the 2016 Willamette Valley pinot noir was sourced from three different vineyards, located in the Eola-Amity Hills and Yamhill-Carlton AVAs.  From Kiff Vineyard, in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, we used clones 667, 777 and Pommard; from Johnson Ridge Vineyard, in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA, clones 777 and Pommard; from Cassin Vineyard, also in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, the Wadenswil clone.  Each vineyard and clone contributes a unique characteristic to the blend, adding to the overall depth and complexity of the wine.  The resulting wine is dark ruby in color and displays deep aromas of ripe mixed berries and black cherry. With hints of mineral and spice, the ripe, velvety tannins provide structure for rich, mouth-filling volume. Flavors of dark red and blue fruit persist into a long, lingering finish.

Harvest dates ranged from September 12th in Johnson Ridge Vineyard to September 19th 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, 13% of which were new, and the blend was created in January of 2018, after spending 12 months in barrel and 2 months in tank. Bottling was completed in April of 2018; 380 cases were produced.

The 2016 Denison Cellars Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is unfined and unfiltered. To prevent any incidence of cork taint, it is bottled under a twist-off closure.

Harvest Date Sept 12th    – 19th 
Final pH 3.72
Alcohol 14.2%

Brix 23.9° – 24.5°
Final TA 5.34 g/L
Production 380 cases

2016 Denison Cellars Willamette Valley Tech Sheet (PDF)