From the Producer:
This is the second vintage of pinot noir sourced from the La Belle Promenade Vineyard in Oregon. It is a very unique site at high elevation on a southwestern facing slope along the bucolic hills of the Chehelem Mountains. The vineyard is dry farmed organically and is planted to pinot noir, pinot meunier, chardonnay, and mondeuse noir. Although appellation rules do not allow us to label this bottle with its specific provenance (this is because we trucked the grapes from Oregon back to our winery in California), this wine is a pure expression of the La Belle Promenade Vineyard. The 2019 vintage in Oregon was like nothing we had ever experienced as California winemakers. We relied on the experience and expertise of our dear friend Grant Coulter who manages the vineyard and makes wine for both Flaneur and Hundred Suns wineries. Just after verasion, where the grapes soften, the vineyard saw continuous rain for two weeks. We had a window to pull in the fruit before we saw fruit deterioration, although it was at quite low maturity.
This wine has to get the award for the most surprising of the vintage. We award this “most surprising” of the vintage – it has exceeded our expectations! We are enamored by its classic Burgundian vibe – think Volnay. The 2019 Oregon Pinot Noir opens up with a nose of cola nut, raspberry, rhubarb, pine needles and hibiscus. The palate is bright in the attach with flacors of raspberry changing to red plum and then boysenberry. It is elegant and lifted with a finish showing the supplest of tannins and fresh acidity. This is a perfect wine for sushi, grilled trout, or other lighter fare.
**Vineyard: **La Belle Promenade is farmed organically with high precision and high density, and without irrigation. The vineyard sits 820 feet above sea level. The soils are the volcanic Jory and Nekia series. This wine is made from two blocks: one-third is clone 115 and the remaining two-thirds, which comes from the Orchestra Block, is planted to a random mix of clones.
**Winemaking: **To prepare the grapes for their 600-plus-mile journey from Oregon to our winery in Sebastopol, California, we had to get our vented, quarter-ton macrobins up to the vineyard. Once the grapes were harvested, they began their journey back to Sonoma County on a semi-truck with a refer unit set to 40F. The fruit was pretty clean, despite the growing conditions.
The grapes from the Orchestra Block were destemmed and dumped into the tank. The grapes from the clone 115 block were destemmed with 20% of the bins left as whole clusters. We added 40ppm SO2 to the tanks because of the fruit condition. The wines fermented naturally at cool temperatures with very gentle cap movements. At dryness, we drained the tanks and transferred the free-run wines to new and used large-format barrels. (The press wines were aged separately and added to our Glou Glou wine). We found out that it was a mistake to leave whole clusters in one of the tanks, a few of the barrels from that lot had elevated volatile acidity and we had to take them out of the blend. The core of the blend’s wines continued to age on their lees until one month before bottling, when they were racked clean and returned to barrel. Before bottling, we racked the wine clean again, and we were able to bottle without fining or filtration.
La Belle Promenade, Chehelem Mountain, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Produced + Bottled by Las Jaras Wines, Sebastopol, CA
At Las Jaras, our goal is to make delicious wine that has tons of energy and balance. We want them to be vibrant, delicate, and supple all at the same time while also being food friendly and easy for anyone to enjoy. Our wines are designed to reflect the unique terroir of the vineyards using minimal intervention so you can taste their natural, rhythmic expression. If you are not used to drinking wines made this way, the experience can be a revelation.