2021 Hyland Vineyard Coury Clone Pinot Noir
Site History: Hyland Vineyard is planted on land that dates to the late 1840s when the land was initially part of the original Oregon Trail homestead claimed by Benjamin Hyland. A hundred and thirty years later, this land became the home of Hyland Vineyard when four families (the Kreimeyers, Markleys, Welches and Trenhailes) teamed up in 1971 to plant Pinot Noir on the now 200-acre estate that has 180 acres under vine making it one of Oregon’s oldest and largest vineyards. Even by the standards of today, with paved roads, fuel-efficient vehicles, GPS and the like Hyland Vineyard still remains remote even being within Yamhill County. When the vineyard was initially planted it is hard to imagine exactly how far removed from the rest of the Oregon wine and vineyard “industry” it actually was. In 2007 Laurent Montalieu and Danielle Andrus purchased the site and expanded it to its current size. The vineyard is now owned by the NW Wine Company.
Site Characteristics: Hyland Vineyard is an isolated vineyard well out on the southern fringe of the McMinnville AVA. It’s an amazing old vineyard and the idea that someone either was crazy enough or had the temerity to plant a vineyard this far out in the middle of nowhere in 1973 is spellbinding. Many great vineyards in the world don’t look like they’re great vineyards. Some of the most notable vineyards look entirely ordinary. Hyland is not one of those. It is a towering amphitheater that opens to the east and the whole bowl is lined with vines that date back as far as the original plantings. Raptors soar through the trees that line the site and there are constant screeches from them as they hone in on their prey. The air is noticeably cooler up here on hot days, there is a consistent breeze but the sun feels more radiant here than in other sites. It is a unique and special place. The vineyard is farmed, at the very least, organically and every effort is taken to ensure the volcanic soil has incredible looseness and vibrancy to it. There is no question that this is one of Oregon’s standouts of lesser known vineyards.
The Blocks: We have only been with this vineyard since 2017 when we agreed to take 5 tons of fruit from a large block that Kelley Fox had committed to, but could not take all the fruit from. In 2018 and 2019 we received fruit from the same block of Coury Clone. Things changed, slightly but for the better, in 2021.
• Block 7A Coury Clone: This is our base block. It is a lightly sloped block with extremely long rows (over 100 vines) planted in an old-school 7 x 7 pattern with unusually high trunks. This block was planted in 1989 in the “second section” of Hyland at the base of the extremely steep and impressive amphitheater hillside that defines this vineyard’s topography.
• Block 2B Coury Clone: This is the mother block of all Coury Clone in the state of Oregon, planted in 1972. Still trellised as it was when originally planted, these vines look like gothic statues when barren and like odd vine “trees” with fruit at the top when fully laden. We had asked after a portion of this block for a couple of years and were finally granted 2 acres in 2021.
Farming Practices: 100% Organically farmed. All Patricia Green Cellars’s sites are dry farmed.
Picking Dates, Tonnages, Tons/Acre: September 26 Block 2B, 6.01 tons (3.00 tons/acre), October 1 Block 7A, 6.56 tons (2.06 tons/acre).
Vinification: All fermenters from both blocks were fermented with 50% whole clusters.
Winemaking: Fermentations were managed by a combination of pump overs early in the process and exclusively prior to fermentation beginning as well as pigeages to ensure gentle handling, extraction, and delicate tannin construction. Cold soaks 4-5 days in length. Full fermentation from beginning to pressing was 17-19 days depending on the fermenter. 48-72 hour settling prior to being racked to barrel. All wines on full lees until assemblage for bottling. Bottled without fining or filtration.
Barrels: This 16-barrel bottling used 9 new Cadus barrels along with a selection entirely comprised of 2, 3 and 4 times used barrels. 6 barrels came from the 1972 Block and 10 barrels came from the 1989 Block.
Notes: This is an historically relevant incredibly well farmed site. This is our milieu. We should, and usually do, make interesting, unique and terrific wines from these locations. This is quite probably the first vineyard planted in what is now the McMinnville AVA. This AVA is known for producing darkly pigmented, tightly wound, densely fruited and heartily structured Pinots. Sometimes to a fault. This wine takes the unique combination of elements; higher elevation, Coury Clone, volcanic soil, organic farming, old vines, gentle handling and molds them into a special wine with great fruit, noticeable tea like spices (completely a mark of the Coury Clone) and firm, back palate tannins and incredibly texture.
Initially, in barrel, it seemed that the 2 blocks were relatively similar in nature. As time went by, malolactic fermentation had completed and the wines began to shake out, it became clear that this original viewpoint was incorrect. The 1989 was exactly what we were expecting and accustomed to, dark both in color and flavor profiles. This wine was meaty, brooding, and thick with tannin on the back palate. The 1972, however, had turned brightly red-fruited and had great acidic intensity as well as a polished texture that gave way too much finer-grained tannins on the finish than the 1989. By combining the best of the barrels from each block, we believe we have crafted a version of this bottling that is still true to the site and the clone while bringing even more to the table than its previous three incarnations while leaving nothing behind. This is a densely fruited yet sinuous and strong Pinot Noir. This will reward long term aging.