Situated just above the 45th parallel and just between the protective rain shadow of Oregon’s Coast Range to the west and the majestic Cascade Mountain Range to the east, the Willamette Valley enjoys a long, late growing season, perfectly suited for world class Pinot Noir.
Food Pairing Notes
Contemplative and haunting, Spirithouse wines are the nexus between Argyle’s most cutting edge viticulture and most exacting winemaking and are Argyle’s purest expression of power and grace.
We could say that Mother Nature made the wines in the 2012 Vintage. Bloom and fruit-set traveled from normal to well below normal. Cold weather and some negative effects from hail drove yields generally down. But, that can be a GOOD thing as smaller clusters and good dry weather leads to ripe fruit.
The key challenge to the successful farmer this year was the fact that the period of July through October was the driest since record keeping began in the late 1800’s. Potential desiccation was further exacerbated by very dry, east winds coming out of Eastern Oregon & Washington’s high desert. This wind period was the longest in memory in Argyle’s 27 years of Oregon winemaking. Vines already starved for moisture will not fare well under these late fall conditions.
For us, a balanced crop and belief in the weather forecast caused us to give our vines a nice drink of water just before the east wind event. This allows the vines to continue to photosynthesize and for the berries to stay plump and fruity. At Argyle, we were allowed to pick fruit under lovely fall sunshine at a leisurely pace with perfectly ‘dialed-in’ maturity, excellent ripeness & fresh natural acidity.
91 Points, Wine Spectator: “Light and delicate, with a minty-floral edge to the raspberry, strawberry and green tea flavors, coming together harmoniously. Gains momentum and persistence on the finish. Drink now through 2020.”—H.S., 2015