This beautiful 2012 Pinot Noir from a distinctive and biodynamically-farmed site has a subtle array of aromatics, with dark spices, bright blueberry, marionberry and red plums, sandalwood, strawberry leaf, raspberry blossom and violets. The palate begins light and fresh and quickly displays deepness, movement and complexity. Long and powdery fruit is found on the palate with expansive and broad flavors of blueberries and graham crackers, strawberry rhubarb pie, pine and baking spice. Tremendous length and composure, there is whole cluster earthen spice quality that deepens the sweet fruit character well. This is the most exciting Pinot Noir we've tried from this rather cool site. 900 cases produced.
This is a beautiful wine that comes the Perrydale Hills just northwest of Salem. It's moderately low elevation, east and slightly north facing and close to the Van Duzer Corridor, where much of the cool Coastal weather enters the Willamette Valley. Growing in the marine sedimentary derived soils is a bounty of rare varietals and clones, some of which are not found anywhere else in Oregon. In addition to multiple clones of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, there is Pinot Gris, Blaufrankisch, Grüner Veltliner, Cabernet Franc, Gamay and Melon de Bourgogne! Some of this fruit is farmed and sold to other Oregon producers. Johan Vineyards is the brainchild of Norwegian-born Dag Johan Sundby, who came to America in 2004 seeking to a new life, much like his Viking ancestors 1000 years earlier. Dag's family was involved in farming and timber and encouraged his fondness for the wines of Burgundy. Naturally these inclinations led him to explore the Willamette Valley, and along with motivated business partners, he came across a young vineyard for sale in January 2005. The original planting of about 43 acres of Dijon clone Pinot Noir and Chardonnay were to yield their first crop that fall along with a bit of Pinot Gris and with that, Johan Vineyards was born. Viticulturalist/winemaker Dan Rinke joined Dag in 2007 and assisted in the expansion of the site to just over 60 acres as well as implementing Demeter-certified Biodynamic practices in the winery and vineyard. The Estate Pinot Noir bottling is the truest representation of the site as a whole, including 9 clones of Pinot Noir: Dijon 114, 115, 667, 777, 828, 943, Pommard, Swan, Wadensvil and Mariafeld. They pick and ferment each parcel separately. Tremendous oak integration and transparency with some nice whole cluster character, this 2012 Pinot noir has lovely delicacy of expression for such a warm year, though lacks nothing in terms of ripe fruit, complex floral tones and wonderful earthen flavors.