The Brittan Vineyard lies just 12 miles southwest of McMinnville, tucked into the foothills of the Coastal Range. The original 18 acres were planted in 2001, but due to the challenging nature of this site and limited topsoil, only eight acres survived. Since 2004 when Robert and Ellen Brittan purchased the vineyard, it has been an ongoing rehabilitation project: replanting, retraining and learning the unique landscape that has become the Brittan Vineyard. This includes removing the Pinot Meunier plantings and replacing them with Syrah in 2005. An additional half acre was added in 2013, so there is now 1.5 acres planted to Syrah.
Winter in 2014 was non-existent, resulting in an earlier than normal bud break. Ideal conditions during bloom led to a large fruit set for the Willamette Valley. Luckily, the weather during the season cooperated and the vines could handle a slightly larger crop load, which for Brittan Vineyard, meant about two tons per acre. The mornings were quick to heat up and the nights slow to cool down. It is quite rare to have a vintage with both quality and quantity, but 2014 turned out to be exactly that. These rich wines show the finesse, restraint and buoyancy of great winemaking in a great year.
The 2014 Syrah offers an exciting expression of our estate Syrah plantings. On the nose, there are notes of cassis, blackberry and cracked pepper, with intriguing undertones of violet and black olive. The palate displays the luscious flavors of tart cherry and Marionberry, underlined by silky tannins that are held in balance by the perfect level of acidity.