2015 Chehalem Wind Ridge Block Pinot Noir
93 Points- Vinous
Wind Ridge is Chehalem’s wine version of “Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound.” The focus of this wine is a core of blue and black fruits and brown sugar. There’s a firm backbone of mouth-filling tannins that will allow this wine to age for decades. The acid tension is tight and rich and after a bit of time in bottle, it will smooth out to show a suede-like structure with more length and breadth. Big, bold, dense, powerful, an orchestra of taste and aromas so rich and full that it will stand up to any meat dish.
The 2015 vintage was slightly different in early growing season timing from 2014, but the final effect was the same, big heat, big crop and big expectations. The acids are down, the alcohols are hovering around 14% and the work we did to minimize overextraction resulted in more elegant wines than a hot vintage deserves. Similar to 2014, the fruit was impeccably clean and devoid of disease. We focused on restraint in 2015, and it rewarded us with incredible Pinot Noirs with density but not heaviness, nicely polished velour-like tannins and reasonable acidity. Four progressively warmer vintages, we will just learn to count higher—more heat, more fruit, more, more!