2018 Vintage Retrospective - Balance Abides
Half-drunk coffee mugs litter the winery like a residue of harvest’s coordinated pandemonium, perching upon any available flat surface: the side of a forklift, the door of a fermentation tank, the head of an empty barrel. The sorting line now stands silent, our concrete tanks are empty, and wine ferments quietly in French and Austrian oak. Out in the vineyard, the leaves yellow and a cover crop of clover blankets the ground in green. The abrupt end of harvest engenders a tranquility unique to the waypoints of a natural cycle and offers an opportunity to reflect upon the vintage that was.
2018 was one of the driest years in Oregon history, but in the end, a fairly normal Oregon vintage defied the unusually arid conditions. The growing season was warm, but days eased into cooler nights than we experienced in 2017. Thanks to the steady rhythm of ripening, we were able to pick at our own pace. Within the typical mid-September and mid-October Willamette Valley picking window, the vineyard essentially underwent two harvests: chardonnay first, then pinot noir. As a result, we were able to nurture each and every cuvée to the fullest extent, ensuring exceptional quality.
Our excitement is enhanced by the ideal condition of the fruit at harvest; perfectly lignified stems, ripe seeds, and good acid all resulted in wines of exceptional balance. We continue to watch (and taste) the 2018 wines develop with enthusiasm and pride. The winemaking team believes that this vintage could be one of our very best yet, and we cannot wait to share it with you. In the meantime, we’ll start washing those coffee mugs.