2017 Vintage Diary

10 | 09 | 2017

Greetings from Oregon Wine Country!

The 2017 growing season has shaped up to be a fantastic vintage in Oregon and is showing nice levels of naturally occurring acid and layers of complexity—two qualities that are essential when it comes to creating structurally beautiful wines.  Bloom was two weeks later this year since we had such a cold winter and spring with lots of rain, but on the upside we are finally into an October harvest which we have not seen for a long time.  The little smattering of rain we got a couple weeks ago not only benefited the wildfires in the west but helped slow things down in the vineyard.  As we watched our neighbors and fellow winemakers start picking the last few weeks of September, we had to remind ourselves to be patient and not get caught up in the excitement of the season.  We have learned over the course of 16 years of wine-growing on Calkins Lane to be diligent about letting the fruit at our site tell us when it is ready.  We benefited from a longer hang time and were able to develop the physiological and phenolic ripeness we were looking for.
 
We started picking on Monday, October 2nd on a flower day and couldn't have asked for more perfect harvest weather.  This is the first time we’ve sourced UCD 37 (Mount Eden clone) from biodynamically farmed Arlyn vineyard located about a half mile from us on Calkins Lane.  100% de-stemmed in a 2 ton fermenter, the fruit is beautiful with alcohols predicted to be around 13.7%.  On Tuesday, a fruit day, we harvested the Dijon 667 clone from Arlyn along with our estate fruit comprised of Pommard, Dijon 115 and 777 clones of Pinot noir and the Wente and Dijon 95 selection of Chardonnay.  Over the years, we have noticed that our site, comprised of ancient uplifted marine sedimentary soils, tends to impart darker fruit characteristics in our Pinot and leans toward earth-driven flavors with natural spice.  On a related note, we will be releasing the 2016 Le Mie Figlie Chardonnay from our estate this November so you can taste for yourself what makes Chardonnay from this site so unique.
 
We picked Anderson Vineyard on Wednesday the 4th, both the Dijon 96 clone of Chardonnay and the Dijon 115 clone of Pinot noir.  The Pinot was planted the same year as the Chardonnay and is located right below the South Block.  We got 2 ½ tons of Pinot off of our .97 acres and three tons of Chardonnay off of one acre.  We pressed the Chardonnay that same night and then let it sit and oxygenate before going to flex tank.  It settled over night and then we barreled it down Thursday afternoon.  Anderson Vineyard is an amazing site in the Dundee Hills AVA; you don’t see old-vine, own-rooted single clone Chardonnay like this.  We elected not to do any battonage (stirring of the lees) on the Anderson nor our estate fruit.  Both are naturally warm-sited, so we don’t need the additional richness or mouthfeel from this technique and would rather let the vineyard speak.  The Chardonnay will go through malolactic fermentation and then we'll rack it off the lees so it goes to bottle clean.  This allows the wine to express more freshness, vibrancy, stone fruits and minerality which is derived from this isolated mound of massive basaltic rock.

This morning we harvested Vojtilla Vineyard (pronounced vo-tea-ya) nestled in the Chehalem Mountains, another old-vine vineyard planted in 1991, which is an exceptional site for us.  Now that all of our fruit is in, each vineyard selection is being fermented separately with native yeasts and once that process is complete, we will begin selecting barrels to match with each lot.  We look forward to tasting each barrel in the coming months and witnessing the potential of this great vintage! 

Cheers,


Paul de Lancellotti
Owner & Winemaker