Keep it natural, baby.
From the winemaker:
2017 did not disappoint when it came to Pacific Northwest weather drama! It is certainly clear that our region, and the world around us, are changing due to manmade global climate change, which will inevitably affect the way we farm and even what we farm in the Willamette Valley for decades to come. As with the hot years, the cold years, the dry years and the rainy years, it feels as if we’ve seen it all around here...well most of it anyways. After a relatively easy 2016 growing season and vintage that pretty much rode right along the region’s historical averages, 2017 returned to the more variable season us wine growers in Oregon are well accustomed to.
While keeping us on our toes at times, especially the wild fires, we persevered right on into late September for what turned out to be a truly graceful, yet powerful vintage for Pinot Noir in the Willamette Valley.
First planted in 1980 on what is believed to be the remnants of an active volcano, this impeccably farmed Certified Organic vineyard is situated between 660 and 860 feet in elevation on Nekia, Jory and Rittner soils. The elevation, half moon bowl aspect which traps in daylight warmth, coupled with very cool evenings, all comes together to create the legendary acidity Temperance Hill wines have, all the while still demonstrating deep intensity and complete phenolic ripeness. Temperance Hill is farmed by Dai Crisp, one of the best viticulturists in Oregon, or in the U.S. for that matter, with care, vast knowledge and dedication - we are amazed by him. In other words, this is a seriously spectacular vineyard that we are honored to be making wine from.
Our .85 acre block at Temperance is the called the “Upper Bench”, which was planted in 2002 and is located near the crest of the original planting of Pinot Noir and Gewürztraminer (replaced after the 2017 season with Chardonnay and more Pinot Noir). Our block features our favorite clonal combo of the elegant and red fruit oriented Dijon 777 anchored with the earthy and rustic Pommard clones.
We aged the blend for 12 months in a combination of a one new barrel and three neutral barrels and then for over one year in bottle to help settle and harmonize the wine. While this is our most intense, powerful, and austere Pinot Noir, the 2017 features more restraint than the past few vintages and is an incredibly sexy, delicious, and immediate bottle of wine.
The initial aromatics are pure Temperance Pinot Noir, which is one of the maybe dozen Oregon sites with remarkably distinctive and intoxicating aromatics that feature deep black cherries, exotic spices and savory fresh dried tobacco leaves. This vintage of the “Trois” wine has more energy than 2016, but is still quite powerful, a refreshing combination for the finest Pinot Noirs. This garnet/ruby colored wine is all cherry and intense minerally meat on the palate that has soft coating tannins that fit perfectly with the textual components. Once again, this is definitely our most complex and distinctive Pinot Noir from the vintage, and a wine worth holding for a long while to see what evolves!
Katie and Denny
Your friendly neighborhood wine shop, focused on small production, organic and biodynamic, natural wines. Connect with us on Instagram for suggestions on your next bottle and to follow along in our downtown Lafayette wine journey.
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210 E. Vermilion Street, Lafayette, LA 70501
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Friday & Saturday
Closed Sunday & Tuesday