The nose of the Pinot noir Temperance Hill boldly walks the line between ripe cherries and raspberries. A signature of this wine is the smoky quality that is a classic feature of its terroir. This year it veers toward fresh spruce balanced by purple iris and wisteria. The mouth is immediately generous with very sweet fruits including wild strawberry and plum. True to 2016, you can crack this bottle and it will be a delight. Always fabulous with grilled salmon or pretty much grilled anything: vegetables, mushrooms, bread and the protein du jour.
Temperance Hill Vineyard is located in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA, ten miles NW of Salem, Oregon, and is organically farmed. This exposed, cool high altitude site ripens later than surrounding vineyards. Our Pinot noir grapes come from three blocks planted on thin weathered basalt. The East Block planted in 1984 is on a steep hill rising to 870’. The “R” (2004) and Pump House Blocks (1995) face south.
The de-stemmed grapes were fermented in 4-8 ton stainless steel and Burgundy oak fermenters with no SO2, allowing the fermentation to proceed naturally. After gentle pressing and settling, the wine aged in French oak barrels, 29% of which were new, for 16 months before bottling by gravity without fining.
2016 was the third in a string of warm summers and early harvests. It produced the smallest crop of the three. The harvest began with a bit of heat and dehydration in the fruit. This immediately resolved with cooler temperatures and the rest of the harvest produced well balanced fruit with lovely flavors and ripe tannins. We finished picking at the end of September, producing a total of 10,200 cases. In general 2016 produced lush, early-drinking wines with lovely aromatics and accessible fruit, spice and floral notes. They can be aged and are quite approachable in their youth.
Food Pairing Notes
Grilled salmon, vegetables or mushrooms