A Pinot Noir made with fruit from Oregon’s Umpqua and Willamette Valleys. The landscape here, on the western edge of the state, was shaped by the collision of three mountain ranges: The Klamath, the Cascade, and the Coastal. The soil is fertile and rich due to recurring ice-age floods that swept topsoil from Montana down the Columbia River gorge. Layers of sediment were deposited as the waters subsided, and the resulting network of hills and valleys contains some 150 different soil types.
The 2015 vintage in Oregon started off with a mild winter that caused bud break to occur very early. The early warm temperatures continued through spring, with vines flowering through late May to early June. Summer was warm and dry. Weather cooled in September, allowing flavour components to catch up with escalating sugar. The harvest was a beauty: Bountiful fruit, extremely high quality, intensely concentrated wines with great energy.
Underwood’s Pinot Noir is fermented in stainless steel tanks, then aged for eight months, 10% in new French oak. The wine is generous and bright, with raspberry, black plum, and violet on the palate and an underlying earthy, savoury bass note.
“This Oregon pinot is a blend of 60 per cent Willamette Valley and 40 per cent Umpqua fruit, in 10 per cent new French oak. The generosity of the Oregon 15 vintage has really smiled on this wine, with a fresh lifted raspberry and strawberry bouquet enticing. The light to medium-weight colour belies the intensity of the palate, which is elegant, with a melange of crushed chilled red berries with some darker cherry notes. The flavour is persistent and fragrant in the aftertaste, with lovely tannins to close. This might well be the quaffing pinot of the year. Smashes just about any Bourgogne rouge I’ve had as well as most new-world pinot. Buy now, drink now.”
Fred Wilden, The Australian, Feb 2017