HARVEST DATE: 9/29/16 – 10/2/16
NEW OAK: 21%
10 months aging in oak
n: black cherry, spice, plum, sweet tobacco
m: full bodied, blackberry, vanilla spice, sarsaparilla. powerful yet elegant
Similar to the last two vintages, the 2016 growing season continued to push the envelope for defining the new normal in Oregon as one of the earliest on record. An unusually warm spring gave way to moderate summer conditions, which provided even growing conditions through véraison. Though it was an intense growing season due to the early start, the fruit produced throughout the state resulted in wonderful concentration and complexity with characteristic natural acidity.
Bud break kicked off the vintage two to four weeks earlier than normal. A short heat spell at bloom condensed the flowering period, resulting in a smaller fruit set for most producers. Summer provided average conditions with fewer heat spikes than the 2014 or 2015 vintages, which led to smaller berry size and ahigher concentration of flavors. Warmer than normal conditions in most areas in August shepherded along the early vintage and most vineyards started to harvest early ripening varieties during the last week of the month or early September.
The 2016 vintage saw practically immaculate fruit with few signs of disease, pest or bird effects. Vineyards and wineries in the Willamette Valley were largely finished with harvest by the end of September to early-October, while wineries in other regions carried on through mid-to-late October depending on the varieties planted. Because of the cooler temperatures in September and October, Growing Degree Days (GDD) accumulation in the western valleys ended up between the totals seen in 2013 and 2014.
The McMinnville AVA is contained within the Willamette Valley AVA, sitting in the Coast Range foothills just west of the city of McMinnville, approximately 40 miles (65 km) southwest of Portland. Geologically, the most distinctive feature in this area is the Nestucca Formation, a 2,000-foot (610 m) thick bedrock formation that extends west of the city of McMinnville to the slopes of the Coast Range. This formation is weathered sedimentary and volcanic soil sitting on top of marine bedrock, which affects the region’s ground water composition, forcing vines to struggle and produce complex fruit.
Compared to surrounding areas, McMinnville is, on average, cooler anddrier, consisting of higher elevation vineyards (up to 1,000 feet (305 m)) that are resistant to frost. Vineyards situated on the more southerly facing sites take advantage of the cooling winds from the Van Duzer Corridor, a break in the Coast Range that allows cool Pacific Ocean air to flow through, thus dropping evening temperatures in the region, which helps to keep grapes retain their acidity as they ripen.
Pinot noirs from McMinnville typically exhibit a strong backbone of tannin with darker fruit flavors that are rounded out by spice, mineral and earth notes. White wines from this region are bright and fruit-forward
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