We could say that “Mother Nature” made the wines in the 2012 Vintage at Argyle. Bloom and fruit-set traveled from normal to well below normal. Cold weather and some negative effects from hail drove yields generally down. But, that can be a GOOD thing as smaller clusters and good, dry weather leads to ripe fruit. The key challenge to the successful farmer in 2012 was the fact that the period of July through October was the driest since record keeping began in the late 1800’s. Potential desiccation was further exacerbated by very dry, east winds coming out of Eastern Oregon & Washington’s high desert. This wind period was the longest in memory in Argyle’s 27 years of Oregon winemaking. Vines already starved for moisture will not fare well under these late fall conditions. For them, a balanced crop and belief in the weather forecast caused them to give the vines a nice drink of water just before the east wind event. This allows the vines to continue to photosynthesize and for the berries to stay plump and fruity. At Argyle, they were allowed to pick fruit under lovely fall sunshine at a leisurely pace with perfectly ‘dialed-in’ maturity, excellent ripeness & fresh natural acidity.
At the top of Knudsen Vineyards in the Dundee Hills, at 950 feet of elevation, is where you’ll find their 2.5 acre planting of Pinot Meunier. They take advantage of the late ripening spot to retain bright, fresh acidity and mineral edge. The balance of the wine is equally blended between the aforementioned Knudsen Vineyard and the younger, but equally high elevation Spirit Hill Vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills. The color is bright, pale salmon pink, while its bouquet is full of rose petal, cherry kernel, and pomegranate. The barrel aging of the red wine component contributes to its savory complexity, while its delicate, creamy bead leads to a long textural finish.
75% Pinot Noir, 15% Pinot Meunier, 10% Chardonnay