2016 Chehalem STATEMENT Pinot Noir
This wine sunsets our work with the Wind Ridge block of Ridgecrest Vineyard. Comprised of clone 667, this exclusive blend was aged in four new French oak barrels for 18 months. Aromatically, this wine is dark, showing notes of tobacco spices and freshly treated leather with hints of cherry soda and clove. Smoke toast from the new oak barrel comes through on the palate, which heightens and provides lengthen to the grippy tannins. The palate is bright, showing delicate fruit aspects on the finish. Still very young, this wine is showing potential now, but it will age gracefully for years to come.
This is the year of Earliest Ever. The winter was warm, budbreak was early and 2016 never looked back—bloom, veraison and harvest, all early records. Harvest began in August and was done before October. Although early, the growing season wasn’t as hot as the prior three, but still the same new warm norm. Fruit is fully ripe but not overripe, moderate alcohols, good enough acids and intense, easily extracted, dense wines, from 15% smaller berry sizes and yields. Potentially an excellent-to-classic vintage.