A warm growing season got turned on it's head when a tropical storm far away in the Pacific dumped 6-7 inches of rain on the Valley just as fruit was getting ripe. After an intense 3 days of rain, the weather was clear and cold. Most fruit had 8-17 days to dry out before being picked, and while the wines show the impact of the rain, they are beautiful and among my favorites to drink (not unlike 2007).
Note: these wines NEED to be stood upright for a week prior to pulling the cork in order to allow fine sediment to settle out.
The Whistling Ridge is red earth and cinnamon over pomegranates, ripe cherries, strawberry fruit leather and dry spices. Elegant, fruity, yet light bodied in a dry and savory way with excellent weight and purity in the red fruits, fine developed tannins, this has the feel of a mature wine just entering the plateau of an open drinking window. No signs of diminishing quality at all, drink now-2025.
The Bishop Creek aromatics have opened up, coniferous forest notes layer over black fruits, stem subois has softened into a dark forest floor tone, with hints of sweet spice balancing the savory. There is a watery timeless nature to these wines, not dilute in any way, but devoid of either youthful or aged tones and lacking the plush extraction so common in many current new world wines.
The Durant vineyard needs 3-40 minutes, but is in a perfectly lovely window right now. Delicate, like finding lace from a bygone generation. In todays world of ripe, textural fruit, this is a quiet conversation about what we are losing.
The Fool's Journey Syrah/Viognier (still bottled under the Matello label) is a completely unique wine and quite compelling for the AFWE crowd. There is really nothing else like it, and for some it's an irresistible wine. For those preferring a more Eastern Oregon fruit presence, this is probably not going to be a wine you like...
Whites are stony and mineral in nature, but I recommend drinking them over the next 3-5 years. Whistling Ridge Blanc can go another decade.
*Under natural cork there is always a distinct amount of bottle variation. As the wines age, this variation becomes more distinct. Regarding the notes here, all wines have been tasted recently, but for all bottles YMMV. However, you will find Diam cork as our closure of choice beginning with the 2013 vintage red wines. Guaranteed TCA free and with a more consistent density, Diam is a huge improvement over traditional cork and I am really happy to be using it now.*