2017 PINOT GRIS
Vineyard: Silvershot Vineyards
Appellation: Eola-Amity Hills AVA
Harvest Date: October 7, 2017
Clones: Own-rooted Colmar clone
Soils: Marine sedimentary
Brix at harvest: 22.3
Assemblage: 40% whoie-cluster inclusion
Aging: 9 months in French oak, 20% new barrel
Final Alcohol: 12.6%
Production: 131 cases
Our Thoughts: 2017 was a lovely and much-needed return to a "classic" Oregon vintage with harvest arriving in early October. Grapes for this wine come from Silvershot Vineyards, which is kind of our "estate," if you will. The one acre of Pinot Gris is planted in the Pole Block, on the steepest and highest slope of the site. The combined effects of the southwestern slope and the fractured sandstone soil on the own-rooted and dry-farmed vines results in tiny clusters of deeply pigmented Pinot gris that are nearly indistinguishable from the neighboring Pinot noir. The block naturally produces about 1.5 tons per acre without any fruit thinning.
We treat the Pinot gris as we would any red grape, with full skin-contact fermentation. A little more than half of the lot was destemmed into an open-top fermenter, and the other portion placed into a bin that was sealed for carbonic fermentation. Each half was given a shot of our wild yeast pied-de-cuve, cultured from the vineyard ahead of harvest. While the carbonic portion fermented away on its own, the destemmed portion was given a daily foot treading. After two weeks, we added back the still-whole bunches of carbonic fruit to the destemmed lot to lengthen fermentation time and draw out more flavor. After pressing, the wine finished out primary fermentation in barrel for the next two months, then through native secondary low-and-slow into late spring. We bottled by hand in July without any fining or filtration.
This wine is bangin' -- kind of Hawaiian Punch-y on the nose, leading to heaps of bright red fruits and orange peel on the palate, with notes of cinnamon and leather. Don't let the juicy fruit deceive though, the wine has a serious (but polished!) tannin structure that will stand up to anything off the grill, or a few years laying down.
Note: Everyone wants to chill this like a white wine and we beg you to resist the temptation (and stop drinking your whites so cold anyway). In our perfect world, you would drink this at just-below cellar temp, or like, stick it in the fridge for 30 minutes before drinking (but no more).
Suggested Retail Price: $25