It looks like fall is coming a month early in the Seattle area. With a bit of wind, rain, and temperatures in the low sixties, it presented me with a great opportunity to reflect more on the vintage put just into bottle and sent out to all of our early adopters.
While I write this post, I am enjoying a 2011 Wind Ridge Pinot Noir from Chehalem, which is from the same vineyard as this year’s Legion of Pinot. Its days like this where I find Pinot Noir really fascinating. The 2011 and 2014 vintages couldn’t be more different as far as the weather. 2011 was one of the coolest Oregon vintages on record, with the latest harvest ever. This particular wine was harvested during the last few days of October, 2011. If you lucky enough to have received the 2014, you will notice that it is a very different vintage from last year. The 2014 that you received is from a very different vintage. It was harvested on September 18, 2014.
What you will find is that Oregon Pinot Noirs that come from cooler growing seasons and later harvests tend to be a bit more delicate and lighter than those from warmer ones. However, this 2011 I am drinking is very good, with deep flavor profiles and balanced alcohol. It took a bit to get there though, as I had this Pinot laid down for four years.
The 2014 Legion of Pinot is going to be different. Since 2014 was the hottest vintage on record (I bet 2015 will beat it, but the data isn’t in yet), its going to be bigger, bolder, and have a higher alcohol level. It’s going to have a lot of structure, and be far from delicate. I still anticipate that you will be able to crack your first bottle around Thanksgiving of this year. When you do, make sure its with folks that enjoy a nice bottle of wine. I personally hate trying to enjoy a great bottle of wine with a bunch of heathens that are better served with “Two Buck Chuck” from Trader Joe’s.
For those of you who are newer to Pinot Noir, and often enjoy the mainstay “big” wines of Cabernet, Syrah, Malbec, and other warm climate varietals, I encourage you to try this year’s Legion of Pinot with foods you would normally pair with those wines. You are going to be very surprised. Finally, if you really enjoy how this wine rocks your world, you are going to love 2015…I think its going to be very similar. However, more on that in a week or so with my next blog post.