J.K. Carriere’s first and one of Oregon’s most highly regarded vintages built on the back of a long Indian summer.
1999 was our first vintage. That it came during Oregon’s best vintage thus far was providence. A cool summer and pending weather had led wine columnists to want to be the first to “call” a bad vintage, but the pundits were flabbergasted when the clouds cleared and weeks of Indian summer ensued. The inordinate grape “hang time,” well in excess of 110 days, promoted ripeness and complexity while retaining balanced acidity in the wines. We made one wine. It made its impression. Eight years later it’s still on an up tick with no sign of abating.
1999 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Our first vintage, 1999 yielded the pleasant surprise of expectations surpassed. The wine is an amazing deep red with scents of rose and caramel and tilled earth. Serious, perhaps feminine, it tastes of fresh bing cherry wrapped in a beautiful skirt of devil’s food and caramelized smoke. The fruit from Stony Mountain, Knight’s Gambit (Dundee Hills), and Chehalem vineyards was fermented in small lots, utilizing wild yeasts, in open-top stainless steel, and subsequently aged in 25% new/75% one year or older French oak barrels. 500 cases. $36. Wine Spectator: 91. Sold out.