What Winemakers Are Saying About The 2017 Harvest
The grapes are done fermenting and the wine is now resting in barrel. While some wines still need to go through malo-lactic, this is a good time to survey the crowd and get a snapshot of where the finished wines are heading!
"Once again we waited for a little rain to moderate high sugar concentrations and that allowed for longer hang time to achieve optimal aroma and flavor development, while keeping potential alcohol levels in check. Our harvest began in mid-September when we were cutting off late-to-ripen wings of Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir for our Bellpine Pearl Rose. We continued through the next 2 months timing our harvests of Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Viognier with optimal harvest windows. Optimal, while being a technical term, is vintage specific. Yeah, all in all, it was a pretty farming good year."
Ernie Pink, Amalie Robert Estate
"2017 brings back all the beauty of old school Oregon Pinot Noir, which came as a big surprise given the hot weather we had at various times during the growing season. By using lots and lots of whole clusters and doing very long (45-50 days) ferments at fairly low temperatures (76-82F) we were able to coax out what I hope are some of the prettiest wines that I have ever made."
Todd Hamina, Biggio-Hamina Cellars
"Over the years, I've found that my experiences of each vintage often stray quite a bit from the generalized narrative, but like most others I know, the yields were certainly way up, both with regard to cluster sizes and the number of clusters. The musts had substantially higher concentration of malic acid than I have seen in many years, yet the total acidity wasn't excessive, and the flavors were excellent. In short, this was not a situation of under-ripeness. My alcohols averaged about 12.5%, and the acidity is looking ideal for nice aging potential. It's elevage now, and the wines are so young, but the perfume of the wines this year is quite lovely. We'll see."
Kelley Fox, Kelley Fox Wines
"A Cool damp spring meant bud break was two weeks delayed. The heat came in June and any delays were made up in July and August. Harvest started at Ayres on the 25th of September and continued to the 7th of October. It was another warm year with balanced, dark, rich wines.
Brad McLeroy, Ayres Vineyard & Winery
"Bud break was 2 weeks late, but once some heat kicked in the plants took off and it was a race to keep up. The growing season was looking like it was going to be short, hot and erratic. What transformed this vintage a little rain the last 3 days of September, after which we had 2+ weeks with absolute perfect ripening weather, allowing for flavor development without rapid sugar accumulation. The feel of this vintage is more “classic” Oregon, and the wines have plenty of stuffing and more importantly good balance and nuance. Hard to equate them directly to any one vintage in my experience but I see similarities to 2005, 2008 and 2004."
Stephen Goff, Colene Clemens Vineyards and Stephen Goff Wines