2017 Stermer Vineyard Pinot noir
Pinot noir - 94 pts.
Planted across from the winery in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, Stermer Vineyard has been farmed organically since being planted in 1997. With Willakenzie marine sedimentary soils composed of a thin layer of silty-clay loam atop sandstone, the wines from this site are often full-bodied with prominent cherry, spice and earth notes. The nose of the 2017 Stermer displays pretty raspberry tart and black cherry fruit accented by notes of lavender, rose petal and white pepper spice. The palate is medium bodied, textured and round. The finish is long and marked by sweet fruit and milk chocolate flavors.
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.