Haden Fig "Croft Vineyard" Pinot Noir 2017
Willamette Valley, Oregon
When describing fine Pinot Noir, a term is often used: "an iron fist in a velvet glove," referencing subtle power coupled with lithe grace. Concentration, yet balance.
This Pinot Noir lives up to the metaphor and is among the finest small-batch creations coming out of the Willamette Valley. Lively, nuanced, and complex barely begins to describe this wonderful Pinot.
Winemaker Erin Nuccio is one of the finest Oregon winemakers you might not have heard of before; his dedication to the craft includes a fanatical devotion to organic and sustainable farming and dry-farmed vines from the Willamette Valley. His belief is that non-irrigated vineyards not only provide resilience to drought (more of an issue than ever due to climate change), but also lead to stronger, deeper-penetrating vines that result in more intense, concentrated wines. Making wine for both Haden Fig and the heralded Evesham Wood, he demonstrates an effortless-looking prowess that belies the grueling attention to detail he puts into every bottle.
The proof is in the glass! Even on its first opening it exudes musky floral and fruit aromas in a veritable cornucopia of violets, dark cherry fruits, and spicebox. Definitely a wine worthy of decanting for an hour or more. Lavender, preserved raspberry jam, cherry cola, smoky Mexican chocolate, and an aroma of sun-kissed stones lend the wine a distinct smoked mineral edge. Razor-sharp dark berry fruits and tannins that melt on the tongue complete a near-perfect package.
The "Croft" single vineyard has been farmed organically for an amazing 30 years and of course dry-farmed. It's a historic site owned and farmed by the Croft family for three generations now. Only native yeasts are used, and the Pinot is aged 16 months in French Oak, a judicious 10% of which is new. As natural and refined as it gets, this is Pinot Noir of the highest caliber!
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