2010 Pinot Noir ’Botanica’

“For this cuvee we go through looking for barrels that lean more toward opulence and darker, more confitured fruit,” explains Nate Ready by way of introducing Antica Terra’s 2010 Pinot Noir Botanica, whose de facto origins however are Shea Vineyard (which also formed the core of previous Botanica bottlings) and Old School Vineyard (a cool site at the southern extreme of the Willamette; in fact, not that far north of Eugene). Candied cherry, cassis and marzipan make for a confectionary aura that surprised me in a wine of only 13.3% alcohol, not to mention from this vintage. There is however a core of bright, juicy freshness to the fruit here such as would greatly have benefitted the corresponding “regular” bottling; and the oak seems a more appropriate and discreetly-integrated frame, its spice and caramelization complimenting the sweetness of fruit. Hints of cherry pit and bitter herbal concentrate, together offer welcome counterpoint to the sucrosity of a lingering finish. I suspect this will be worth returning to over at least a 6-8 year period. There are 374 cases, incidentally – more than twice as much as of the corresponding estate bottling.

 

Devoid of experience as she tells it, Maggie Harrison “landed the holy grail of winemaking apprenticeships” with Manfred Krankl at his Sine Qua Non, which resulted in her becoming his right arm for almost a half dozen years, along the way launching in 2004 her own small label for Syrah. A year later, three friends scouting for Willamette property in which to invest asked Krankl to become their winemaker. He declined, advising them to ask Harrison instead. She declined, but then agreed to at least look at the 11-acre Eola-Amity Hills property they had chosen. The vines were tragically unkempt, and when shown those of twenty years’ age, Harrison recounts, “I pulled the old owner aside and said ‘you’ve got to tell me the truth!’ because I thought there was no way that vines that old could look so spindly and infantile; and there weren’t any signs or end posts or map of what was planted where.” This retarded growth was in fact among the clues to the site’s unique potential: a conspicuously fossiliferous rocky prominence, wind-exposed even by local Van Duzer Corridor standards, it turned out – after dozens of soil pits were dug – that this terra was more antique than even expert geologists, let alone those who named it, could have imagined. But it took traumatic ripping down each row right through the rock and the vines’ frail roots to even begin unleashing that potential. (The by-product: 3,700 tons of stone discard. Ampelographic assistance supplemented by genetic testing eventually yielded a vine map.) Baptism by rain followed during the 2007 harvest, bringing what for Harrison was a new revelation. “I went out into the vineyard with an umbrella and cried, thinking I’d made a terrible mistake leaving California.” But what she learned from the experience is that in the Willamette rain happens, yet even a lot of it – if the grower is granted a narrow window, not to mention given the breezes and tiny berries on her hillside plus fanatic sorting – wine of distinction can result. Contract fruit will continue indefinitely to inform a significant share of Antica Terra’s production, but the estate volume – first subjected to solo bottling in vintage 2009 – will gradually increase. Five supplemental acres of Pinot were planted in 2008, and at the time of my visit – after several years studded with trips to far-flung vineyards, experiencing what their growers accomplished with often obscure white cepages under, to some extent, similar geological and climatic conditions – the team had elected to nail to their masthead … Godello! Assistant winemaker Nathaniel (Nate) Ready – whom Harrison insisted show me her finished wines, while she showed me her vineyard and the impressive raw materials of 2011 from barrel – is a (master) sommelier whose defection from that career track appears to have come about solely for the sake of Antica Terra. In addition to this project’s ability and willingness to pursue labor-intensive biodynamic cultivation and make long-term investments in the health of its estate’s soils (assisted by reputedly crack local consultant Jessica Cortell), no expense has evidently been spared in applying the utmost rigor to selection of fruit and – to whatever degree deemed necessary – declassification of wine; nor on whatever equipment (albeit housed in a drab former warehouse in Dundee) is though most conducive to gentle handling of fruit and small fermentation batches; nor on startling and sumptuously-printed labels (and literature). “Since I’ve had no formal training, my tool kit is small,” Harrison notes by way of explaining her reluctance to add anything to her must, including acid or sugar; but that doesn’t mean Antica Terra eschews experimentation, such as with their unique rose, or with several estate lots that have been fermented (rather fashionable lately, it’s true) in upright barriques. Whether Antica Terra might benefit from a bit less money invested in (in aggregate two-thirds) new oak is a point I would argue, but that isn’t to imply they lack fruit intensity – far from it. Apropos the Shea Vineyard origins of a rich and silken-textured yet freshly persistent Chardonnay I tasted from barrel, Harrison opined: “We don’t need to be afraid of trying to achieve richness, because in our marginal climate, the wine is never going to get too rich.” That remark strikes me as applicable to her approach and the style of Antica Terra as a whole.

Art.nr: 20682-01

Beskrivning

“For this cuvee we go through looking for barrels that lean more toward opulence and darker, more confitured fruit,” explains Nate Ready by way of introducing Antica Terra’s 2010 Pinot Noir Botanica, whose de facto origins however are Shea Vineyard (which also formed the core of previous Botanica bottlings) and Old School Vineyard (a cool site at the southern extreme of the Willamette; in fact, not that far north of Eugene). Candied cherry, cassis and marzipan make for a confectionary aura that surprised me in a wine of only 13.3% alcohol, not to mention from this vintage. There is however a core of bright, juicy freshness to the fruit here such as would greatly have benefitted the corresponding “regular” bottling; and the oak seems a more appropriate and discreetly-integrated frame, its spice and caramelization complimenting the sweetness of fruit. Hints of cherry pit and bitter herbal concentrate, together offer welcome counterpoint to the sucrosity of a lingering finish. I suspect this will be worth returning to over at least a 6-8 year period. There are 374 cases, incidentally – more than twice as much as of the corresponding estate bottling.

 

Devoid of experience as she tells it, Maggie Harrison “landed the holy grail of winemaking apprenticeships” with Manfred Krankl at his Sine Qua Non, which resulted in her becoming his right arm for almost a half dozen years, along the way launching in 2004 her own small label for Syrah. A year later, three friends scouting for Willamette property in which to invest asked Krankl to become their winemaker. He declined, advising them to ask Harrison instead. She declined, but then agreed to at least look at the 11-acre Eola-Amity Hills property they had chosen. The vines were tragically unkempt, and when shown those of twenty years’ age, Harrison recounts, “I pulled the old owner aside and said ‘you’ve got to tell me the truth!’ because I thought there was no way that vines that old could look so spindly and infantile; and there weren’t any signs or end posts or map of what was planted where.” This retarded growth was in fact among the clues to the site’s unique potential: a conspicuously fossiliferous rocky prominence, wind-exposed even by local Van Duzer Corridor standards, it turned out – after dozens of soil pits were dug – that this terra was more antique than even expert geologists, let alone those who named it, could have imagined. But it took traumatic ripping down each row right through the rock and the vines’ frail roots to even begin unleashing that potential. (The by-product: 3,700 tons of stone discard. Ampelographic assistance supplemented by genetic testing eventually yielded a vine map.) Baptism by rain followed during the 2007 harvest, bringing what for Harrison was a new revelation. “I went out into the vineyard with an umbrella and cried, thinking I’d made a terrible mistake leaving California.” But what she learned from the experience is that in the Willamette rain happens, yet even a lot of it – if the grower is granted a narrow window, not to mention given the breezes and tiny berries on her hillside plus fanatic sorting – wine of distinction can result. Contract fruit will continue indefinitely to inform a significant share of Antica Terra’s production, but the estate volume – first subjected to solo bottling in vintage 2009 – will gradually increase. Five supplemental acres of Pinot were planted in 2008, and at the time of my visit – after several years studded with trips to far-flung vineyards, experiencing what their growers accomplished with often obscure white cepages under, to some extent, similar geological and climatic conditions – the team had elected to nail to their masthead … Godello! Assistant winemaker Nathaniel (Nate) Ready – whom Harrison insisted show me her finished wines, while she showed me her vineyard and the impressive raw materials of 2011 from barrel – is a (master) sommelier whose defection from that career track appears to have come about solely for the sake of Antica Terra. In addition to this project’s ability and willingness to pursue labor-intensive biodynamic cultivation and make long-term investments in the health of its estate’s soils (assisted by reputedly crack local consultant Jessica Cortell), no expense has evidently been spared in applying the utmost rigor to selection of fruit and – to whatever degree deemed necessary – declassification of wine; nor on whatever equipment (albeit housed in a drab former warehouse in Dundee) is though most conducive to gentle handling of fruit and small fermentation batches; nor on startling and sumptuously-printed labels (and literature). “Since I’ve had no formal training, my tool kit is small,” Harrison notes by way of explaining her reluctance to add anything to her must, including acid or sugar; but that doesn’t mean Antica Terra eschews experimentation, such as with their unique rose, or with several estate lots that have been fermented (rather fashionable lately, it’s true) in upright barriques. Whether Antica Terra might benefit from a bit less money invested in (in aggregate two-thirds) new oak is a point I would argue, but that isn’t to imply they lack fruit intensity – far from it. Apropos the Shea Vineyard origins of a rich and silken-textured yet freshly persistent Chardonnay I tasted from barrel, Harrison opined: “We don’t need to be afraid of trying to achieve richness, because in our marginal climate, the wine is never going to get too rich.” That remark strikes me as applicable to her approach and the style of Antica Terra as a whole.

Producent

Antica Terra

Årgång

2010

Land

USA

Område

Oregon

Färg

Rött

Volym

75cl

RP

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