I spent all day yesterday with a generous friend from work bottling my homemade 2007 Vincent Pinot Noir out in the garage. Recall here, here, here and here the harvest and fermentation of this wine back in October 2007. Have I written about it since? I don't think so.
Well, life in barrel has been kind to this wine of low brix and rainy harvest fruit from the Meredith Mitchell vineyard. Despite the harvest conditions, the fruit was physiologically ripe, meaning the tannins were ripe and there weren't green flavors. After a full 16.5 months in 5 year old French oak, I'm pleased with the results. People who have told me they loved my 2006 Pinot Noir will undoubtedly find this 2007 model to be quite a departure.
Instead of the high alcohol, lush fruit flavors and low acidity of 2006, this 2007 wine is bright, taut and decidedly more earthy. It's clean wine, meaning there are no bacterial issues or problems. But the vintage, combined with the grapes being 100% Pommard clone pinot noir (known for its clean earth flavor), give a distinct soil character to the aroma and flavor. Dare I say it's Burgundian? The balance of fruit and earth flavors, and the pleasant zing of acidity do suggest the old country. If it's an Oregon version of good Bourgogne rouge, I'm satisfied.
Some folks got a taste of it in barrel last November at my first garage tasting. The reception was pretty positive, though the 2006 was generally preferred. I think the 2007 is showing better after a few extra months in barrel. I'm curious to see how people react to having this wine with their dinner, rather than having just a quick taste in my cold garage. It's definitely food wine, in the good sense.
When will the wine be ready to get out to friends and family (and faithful blog readers)? Probably around Memorial Day. I want to work on the label a bit, and let the wine rest after a light dose of sulfur dioxide and the minor trauma of bottling. Yes, bottle shock is a real thing.
If you're interested in trying the wine once it's "ready," let me know. Maybe we'll do another garage tasting.