2012 Trousse-Chemise Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Hyland Vineyard
 
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Anne Sery Martindale 2012 Trousse-Chemise Hyland Vineyard Pinot Noir

It doesn't happen often. Maybe once or twice a decade. But when the Willamette Valley has delivered a perfect growing season, its Pinot Noirs are far and away the closest America ever comes to Vosne-Romanée. 1999 was one of those years, as was 2008. But after cellar-hopping from Ribbon Ridge to Eola-Amity Hills and Dundee, get ready: The class of 2012 may well be the richest and most elegant in decades.

There are two reasons why Oregon's wine country has always been compared to Burgundy. The first is climatic. Like the Côte de Nuits, Oregon's weather is capricious. Winters are chilly and wet, providing deep water tables, helping the vines through warm, arid summers. The tail end of the growing season is fraught with curveballs and potential calamity.

The second reason is artistic. The top winemakers in the valley are passionate individualists, crafting signature Pinot Noirs that speak as much of the winemaker's palate as the place from which the fruit is drawn. Over the last decade, Lynn Penner-Ash, Laurent Montalieu, Ken Wright, Tony Soter and Josh Bergström have stunned critics and collectors with their signature Pinot Noirs. As we discovered last week, there's a newcomer whose single-vineyard 2012s stand tall against the Willamette Valley elite. Anne Sery Martindale's first releases of Trousse-Chemise are simply dazzling.

Anne was born in the islands. Her father was a French diplomat with exquisite taste in Burgundy. On weekends, the family dinner table featured bottles from the likes of Roumier, Meo-Camuzet, Morlet and Barthod. While still in her teens, Anne stunned guests with her blind-tasting precision, often identifying vintages by color and smell before taking a first sip.

After earning her enology degree from the Faculté de Bordeaux under the tutelage of famed enologist Denis Dubourdieu, in 2008 the adventurous young winemaker accepted a cellar position in Oregon. The Willamette Valley winemaking community is small and tight. Sery Martindale soon met the inimitable Laurent Montalieu at Solena Cellars, who like Anne had been born in the islands before earning his enology degree in Bordeaux. It wouldn't be long before Anne fell in love with Montalieu's Hyland Vineyard. Four years later, she'd take her first swing at Hyland's succulent small-berry clusters, turning out what we believe to be one of the deepest, most luscious wild-berry Pinot Noirs ever to come off this superb McMinnville holding.

Hyland Vineyard is set in the Coast Range foothills, just southwest of the town of McMinnville. First planted in the early 1970s, the vineyard is perched at 600-800 feet in elevation on a perfectly exposed south sloping bench. The soils are a poor mix of volcanic Jory and Nekia. After the warm, dry summer of 2012, Hyland Vineyard was harvested almost two weeks earlier than in 2011. But unlike 2009, where bunches were often blistered by the August sun, the 2012 clusters were pert and juicy, absent any sign of overripeness. Sugars were naturally high as acids remained firm, making for Burgundian-styled Pinot Noirs, packed with vivid Russian River-like concentration.

Anne Sery Martindale's inaugural release of the 2012 Trousse-Chemise Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Hyland Vineyard is deep ruby to the edge, infused with piercing aromas of red raspberry and black cherry preserves, sweet herbs, lightly laced with new-wood cedar. Rich, plush and juicy on the attack, filled with almost chewy, crushed-red-fruit bramble, the finish remains fresh and vibrant, arguing elegantly for 6-10 years of cellar slumber.



Tasting Notes

2012 Trousse-Chemise Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Hyland Vineyard
"Brilliant ruby to the edge, infused with piercing aromas of red raspberry and black cherry preserves, sweet herbs, lightly laced with new-wood cedar. Rich, plush and juicy on the attack, filled with almost chewy, crushed-red-fruit bramble, the finish remains fresh and vibrant, arguing elegantly for 6-10 years of cellar slumber."
-- WineAccess Travel Log

 

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