This is the seventh vintage of Brittan Vineyards Pinot Noir by Winemaker Robert Brittan, a wine industry veteran with over 40 harvests under his belt. Robert has always had a passion for Pinot Noir; a love affair that began in the 80’s when he made several vintages under his own label. In 2004, Robert decided to leave Stags’ Leap Winery in Napa and start a Pinot Noir project in the cool climate of the North Willamette Valley. After a long search, he and his wife Ellen purchased a 128-acre parcel Southwest of McMinnville. Robert selected this mountain site for its rugged, broken basalt, glacial deposits and volcanic soils on the edge of the Coastal Range in the McMinnville AVA, convinced that from this site he would be able to make wines that speak of this unique place.
The Basalt block comes from the parts of the vineyard that have the heaviest concentration of broken sub-marine basalts, resulting in low yielding vines that produce intense flavors and layers of complexity. The 2012 vintage in the Willamette Valley was a moderately warm vintage with no rain in summer or fall. Yields in the Basalt blocks were just one ton per acre. The 2012 Basalt Pinot exhibits rich notes of blackberry, Italian plum, dried orange peel and cassis, with spice notes of coriander and nutmeg. On the palate, the intense flavors are reminiscent of black cherry, dried blackberry, bergamot, aged black tea and sweet plum. The sweet fruit flavors are supported by a very structured mid-palate, with an intensely focused and lengthy finish.
The Pinot Noir for the Basalt Block consists predominantly of the Pommard selection, blended with clonal selections 667, 777, 115 and Swan. The vines are planted on Riparia Gloire, 3309 and 101-14 rootstocks. The fruit for the 2012 vintage was picked in mid October and allowed to cold soak for four days before fermentation began. After fermentation, the wine was aged in French Oak barrels, approximately 27% new. The wine went through malo-lactic fermentation in barrel and was barrel-aged for 13 months prior to bottling.
Production: 780 cases
Bottled: December 2013