2017 Balcombe Vineyard Pinot Noir
91 Points (Wine Enthusiast)
From Pommard clones planted in 1990, this cuvée turns lighter and a bit delicate in this vintage, with rhubarb, strawberry and cherry fruit leading into some still-grainy tannins. Despite the lightness, it is complex and detailed, with a hint of compost that adds further length and interest to the finish.
AVA: Dundee Hills
LOCATION: Breyman Orchards Rd.
SOIL TYPE: Jory
YEAR PLANTED: 1990
CLONAL MATERIAL: Pommard
VINEYARD SIZE: 7.25-acre vineyard
VINIFICATION: 1.75-ton open-top fermenters done with 20% whole cluster fermentations.
PICKING DATE: 10/17/17
OWNERS: Joyce Cooke
PRODUCTION: 464 cases bottled
Winemaking and Notes: Balcombe Vineyard is simply one of the best vineyards we work with and every year it produces wines of terrific quality that are absolutely true to the Dundee Hills. For those of you who don’t know, this site is located toward the top of the Dundee Hills on Breyman Orchard Rd. It was planted in 1990 to Pommard and we have worked with the fruit every year since 1997, so we have become pretty accustom to how the grapes grow, ripen and ferment into wine. All of these aspects are very important pieces of making high quality Pinot Noir.
Soils: Dundee Hills is known for its rich, red volcanic Jory soil, which was formed from ancient volcanic basalt and consists of silt, clay and loam soils. They typically reach a depth of 4 to 6 feet and provide excellent drainage for superior quality wine grapes.
Topography: The Dundee Hills viticulture region consists of a single, continuous landmass that rises above the surrounding Willamette Valley floors and is defined by the 200-foot contour line to the AVA's highest peak of 1,067 feet. The area comprises a north-south spine with ridges, as well as small valleys on its east, south and west sides. Dundee Hills is part of a North Willamette Valley hill chain that developed as a result of intense volcanic activity and the collision of the Pacific and North American plates. Dundee Hills is typically volcanic over sedimentary sandstone.
Site Characteristics: Balcombe Vineyard is located toward the top of the Dundee Hills on Breyman Orchard Rd. at the southern end of the Dundee Hills. Adjacent vineyards would include White Rose, Domaine Drouhin, Stonehenge (Eyrie) and some Domaine Serene sites. It was planted in 1990 to Pommard clone. In 1997, while at Torii Mor, we began farming this vineyard and getting all the fruit from the 7.25 acres and we have worked with the fruit every year since 1997 so we have become pretty accustom to how the grapes grow, ripen and ferment into wine. The vineyard sits at about 600-700’ elevation on a relatively gently, mostly west-sloping hillside with lots of exposure. The vineyard is divided into five specific sections all of which are fermented separately (this becomes important later).