2011 Olenik Vineyard
In the Vineyard
Grapes were sourced from Olenik Vineyard in the southern sloping “land slide” area of Oregon’s Chehalem Mountains. This vineyard block is situated in a rocky “wash” at low elevation (about 300’) so it gathers ample heat units to drive ripeness. The block consists of five-year-old Pinot noir/ Pommard clone grafted onto 101-14 rootstock planted somewhat densely at 4’ x 7’ spacing. Olenik was harvested October 19 with fruit chemistry of 21.9 Brix, pH 3.55 and TA 6.1.
At the Winery
The Olenik grapes were 100% destemmed and cold soaked for five days, and then “fed” a touch of tartaric acid along with superfood (nitrogen for the yeasts) and LaFase gran cru pectolytic enzyme for color and mouthfeel enhancement. Vats were inoculated with BM45 yeast strain, and fermented for 19 days before pressing and settling in tank. After two days, the wine was racked into 35% new French oak barrels produced by Atelier, Ermitage, and Meyrieux for 10 months.
At the Table
Our 2011 Olenik is a crystal clear, bright garnet color, with clean aromas classically expected from Olenik vineyard: reserved berry notes lurking beneath the surface, promising additional amplitude with bottle age. Entering with sweet cranberry compote on the palate, a hint of black tea tannins follow, giving this wine some length and structured sophistication. The Olenik is quite enjoyable now, alongside rich foods such as tea-smoked duck, but it begs for some cellar aging to “fatten” in the bottle. Possessing a nice balance of acidity and texture, this low alcohol wine (12.5%) still has sufficient fruit to go the distance. We predict that it will take on a Burgundian profile as it matures, becoming as much about the acidity, texture, and terroir as it will be about any particular fruit notes.