Food Pairing Notes
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The majority of the 2013 growing season was pretty normal in terms of weather, much like 2012, when La Niña faded and customary conditions returned. Bud break and bloom timing were on the mark, indicating an early October Pinot Noir harvest. Towards the end of September, just after our sparkling harvest, the forecast seemed more ominous and hardly believable. Argyle’s experience and maturity paid big dividends against such a backdrop. As the certainty of the forecast increased, we went to work at low elevations, particularly our Lone Star Vineyard. After the initial wave, we hunkered down and received 6
inches of rain in a weekend. We caught our breath and waited, almost a full week. Following the rain there was another flurry of action, as we went to work dropping any compromised fruit. Yields were certainly diminished but as the end of September blew over, we were blessed with a dry, sunny October. This late-game break in the weather allowed our high elevation grapes to dry out and ripen into a small, but gorgeous crop. 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.