2017 Chestnut Hill Pinot noir
Pinot noir - 93 pts.
At a maximum elevation of 1,000 feet, Chestnut Hill Vineyard is one of the highest vineyards in the North Willamette Valley. In warm years, elevation lends restraint; in cool years, ripeness can be elusive. As our coolest vineyard site, it responded exceedingly well to the temperate 2017 vintage and beautifully inherited the elegance associated with cool climate viticulture and the ripeness of a warmer growing season. The high-toned nose reveals boysenberry, red cherry, licorice and red currant. The palate shows even more depth with cocoa powder, cinnamon and plum carried on a silken carriage of sweet tobacco spice to a delicate, fruit and mineral finish.
After three consecutive, record warm vintages from 2014 through 2016, the 2017 harvest brought the northern Willamette Valley back to more “normal” growing season conditions. Spring was cold and very wet leading to abundant growth and a healthy fruit set. By summer, conditions were warm and dry. Smoke from the Columbia Gorge fire in August actually protected the fruit from sunburn during the hottest days by providing a filter from the sun’s UV rays. As harvest approached, temperatures dropped which opened up a long, beautiful picking window without pressure from rain or heat. As a result, the 2017 wines are gorgeous and show great balance and natural acidity when compared to the previous years.