2021 Chehalem Estate Pinot Noir
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TASTING NOTES FROM WINEMAKER, KATIE SANTORA
Right away, I am enticed by the aromatics climbing out of the glass with notes of red currant, cherry cordial and fresh plum skin. Our Chehalem Estate Vineyard is so quiet and mystical, and the wine it produces is intriguing with bold and energetic flavors. It is delightfully fruit forward with a brambly backbone to hold up the refined and elegant length on the palate.
The 2021 growing season was warmer than average in the Willamette Valley, producing beautifully ripe fruit with vibrant flavors. A dry spring led to lingering rain showers during bloom, which reduced the yield in some blocks. Then, an abnormal heatwave spread across the valley, with temperatures reaching as high as 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Fortunately, the fruit prospered as high temperatures occurred between bloom and veraison when berries were hard and less sensitive to damage. Temperatures tapered off prior to harvest, with warm days and cool nights, which allowed the fruit to ripen at an even and slower pace. Quick yet seemingly smooth, harvest started on August 21 with little to no breaks until we finished on September 26. The resulting wines are balanced with focused flavors, stunning fruit, gorgeous vibrancy, and incredible aging potential.