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2018 Durant Vineyard, Bishop Block Pinot Noir

2018 Durant Vineyard, Bishop Block Pinot Noir
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$48.00
/ 750ml
SKU: 18DB

92 Points ~ Wine Enthusiast  

 

AVA: Dundee Hills                                     

LOCATION: Breyman Orchards Rd.

ELEVATION: 500’                                       

SOIL TYPE: Jory

YEAR PLANTED: 1973

CLONAL MATERIAL: 100% Pommard     

VINEYARD SIZE: 60-acre vineyard, 4-acre PGC block

VINIFICATION: Two 1.5-ton open-top fermenters done with 45% whole cluster, two fermenters done with 100% whole cluster and one 100% whole cluster fermentation in a 2.5 ton round.

PICKING DATE: 09/27/18                          

TONS/ACRE: 3.12

OWNERS: The Durant Family                    

PRODUCTION: 336 cases bottled

Winemaking and Notes:There was a range of whole cluster fermentations ranging from 45% to 100% stem-inclusion that were created from the fruit we received from this block in 2018. They allwent through a normal cold soak of 4 to 5 days and then were fermented in 1.75-ton open-top fermenters (as well as one 2.5 ton round that was done 100% whole cluster and is the bedrock of this bottling) and pigeaged 1x/day until dry and then was pressed and allowed to settle for 3 days before being pressed separately to allow for specific blending later in the year. The wine spent about 11 months in barrel in 27% new oak. 13 barrels of the 100% whole cluster fermentation barrels were selected with 7 coming from the 2.5 ton fermentation and 5 from 45% whole cluster fermentations. This combination allows for the forward, supple nature of Dundee Hills fruit to be showcased while held in check by the old vine, mineral-driven elements of the 100% whole cluster barrels. There is sweet red fruit that is overlaid by a distinctly savory aspect creating a dichotomy upon which complexity exists. This is a wine that has old bones and sensibilities to it while still having the stuffing that Dundee Hill wines are known for all while being an insanely rare example due to the vine age that helps define this wine’s boundaries.

These now monster vines were planted back in 1973 making them some of the oldest vines in Oregon, thus giving this bottling an historical aspect to it. 46-year-old vines in Oregon are exceptionally rare both because there was so little planted acreage back then and some of that acreage has been re-planted due to Phylloxera. The fact that this site and wine exist at all is somewhat of a minor miracle. In part due to this, this wine knows exactly what it wants to be. It shows finesse, subtleness, elegance and discreet balance all backed up by a sneaky and looming firmness. Only older vines make wines like this. This is not a wine that needs to make a dramatic entrance, because all the work is done on the back end.

Site Characteristics:Durant Vineyard is, by any measure, one of the pioneer vineyards in Oregon. The site was established and first planted in 1973 by the same family that owns and farms it to this day. Set on Breyman Orchard Rd. at the southern end of the Dundee Hills the vineyard covers about 60 acres in size with a wide range of elevation topping out at about 600’ and several different plantings of Pinot Noir and other, lesser varieties. This is a mostly south facning site that is adjacent to Domaine Drouhin, De Ponte and Sokol Blosser. To give some perspective on how fertile and life-sustaining the soil is in the Dundee Hills there is also a successful olive orchard planted on the property from which the Durants make some pretty damn good olive oil. We get two sections of the vineyard. The Bishop Block which was planted to Pommard in 1973 and the Madrone Block which is a 2000 planting of Dijon 115 clone.

These now monster vines were planted back in 1973 making them some of the oldest vines in Oregon, thus giving this bottling an historical aspect to it. 44-year-old vines in Oregon are exceptionally rare both because there was so little planted acreage back then and some of that acreage has been re-planted due to Phylloxera. The fact that this site and wine exist at all is somewhat of a minor miracle. In part due to this, this wine knows exactly what it wants to be. It shows finesse, subtleness, elegance and discreet balance all backed up by a sneaky and looming firmness. Only older vines make wines like this. This is not a wine that needs to make a dramatic entrance, because all the work is done on the back end.

Wine Specs
Vintage
2018
Varietal
Pinot Noir
Appellation
Dundee Hills
Vineyard Designation
Durant
Alcohol %
13.8
Wine Enthusiast
92
Wine Profile
Tasting Notes
Smooth and fruity, the flavors run to strawberry and pomegranate rather than darker fruits. It’s an elegant, medium-bodied wine, all Pommard clone, balanced and good for near-term drinking. —P.G. (Wine Enthusiast)
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