2012 Three Vineyard Pinot Noir
The Three Vineyard Pinot Noir is always Chehalem’s initial view of, and an accurate summary for any given vintage of Pinot Noir coming out of our cellars. If this Pinot is saying anything, it is that the 2012 Pinot Noirs are going to be big, bold, balanced, and beautiful! The color is that of deep garnet, with richness on the nose and palate showing dark fruit, black currants and blackberries, earthy pepper and clove-spice, slight pine-tar, and tea leaves. The palate is as rich as the nose, textured and layered, with some firm and rich mid-palate tannins that evolve to show a lengthy finish and focused, balanced acid. The wine opens more near the end, exuding lavender, rye bread, and coffee.
This was a uniformly excellent vintage in the Willamette Valley, more so than the past few years where some winemakers read it well and others may not have. The weather was storybook, almost entirely positive, with the Grinch of hail in one or two localized sites proving we’re as vulnerable as Burgundy. The heat accumulations are the 5th highest in the last 16 years, putting ripeness in the league with 2004 and 1998. The perfectly warm and completely dry growing and ripening seasons kept disease away and pushed full ripeness without sacrificing acid structure. Check back later to see if it is even more than a great year.
91 Points - Wine Spectator
90 Points - Wine & Spirits