This is the sixth vintage of Brittan Vineyards Pinot Noir by Winemaker Robert Brittan, a wine industry veteran with 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 Britt Hill 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 2011 vintage in the Willamette Valley was a cool and late ripening vintage that produced wines with vibrant flavors of raspberries, boysenberries and exotic spice notes of anise and cardamom, with undertones of minerality, gunpowder and gravel dust. The clarity of the fruit is immediate on the palette, with bright acid leading into a supple but deeply structured mid-palate. The acid-driven core rounded by soft tannins carries through purposefully yet lithely, giving way to a lengthy and elegant finish of dark raspberry and plum.
The Pinot Noir for the Basalt Block consists predominantly of the Pommard selection, blended with clonal selections 667, 777 and 115. The vines are planted on Riparia Gloire, 3309 and 101-14 rootstocks. The fruit for the 2011 vintage was picked in late October and allowed to cold soak for five days before fermentation began. After fermentation, the wine was aged in French Oak barrels, approximately 25% new. The wine went through malo-lactic fermentation in barrel and was aged for 9 months prior to bottling.
Bottled:September 2012 Cases Produced:725