Two-Barrel Beauty from Our New Discovery of the Year

In case you've missed our praise for Twill Cellars, we'll say it again: they are our new discovery of the past year! We're huge fans of their understated style and based on the feedback we've received, we're not alone.

We've been excited for the 2014 Stormy Morning release; after all, it was the 2013 Stormy Morning that began the affair, pulling me from a spring lull. The '14 is exactly what we'd expect -- and want. Only 60 cases were, so what we don't expect is for it to last long.

Twill Cellars Stormy Morning Vineyard Pinot noir 2014

$31.45 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case* order ($34.95 regular) 

The first thing I scribbled in my tasting notes: "I want to EAT the nose on this!" It is intensely, fascinatingly complex. I read winemaker Chris Dickson's notes before I tasted and thought, honestly, that some of the descriptions were a stretch. After spending three days with a bottle, I think he's pretty damn close. Cinnamon, blood orange, fresh cherry, dried herbs -- it's all there. The longer it breathes, a salted caramel note appears alongside a sexy, truffle-like nuance that weaves around pure and pretty raspberry and cherry. I love the way this wine moves, from aroma to finish, exhibiting a natural harmony akin to a flowing mountain stream. I can't quite put it into words, but it's beautiful. A March Reserve Pinot Noir Club selection. - Marcus

Let's see what Chris has to say: "This is a blend of our barrels exclusively from Stormy Morning Vineyard in 2014. We chose these barrels not for richness, new oak or flash, but rather on the premise that we see the character of Stormy Morning being upheld in the resulting wine.

"Powerful and concentrated notes of blood orange flesh and skin, rio star grapefruit, roses, and cranberries. With air, salted blood orange, bing cherry, cinnamon, and raspberries. As the wine warms up from cellar temp (55 degrees), light background notes of cocoa, truffle, and menthol are noted. On the palate, the 2014 Stormy Morning is concentrated, with lots of silk and liveliness noted through the mid palate. The wine tightens back up in a beautiful display of youthful tension while the finish is deep and concentrated. This wine will benefit from a light decant or enjoyed over a few days, and will develop a lot more if laid down in a cool cellar.

"Our wines spend 18-22 months in mostly neutral barrels with no added yeasts and minimal sulfur during aging. We believe this aids in a more complete polymerization of phenolic compounds and allows some of the forward fruit character in the young wines to decrease, allowing more land and season specific characteristics to emerge. We do not force cold soaks, extend maceration times, or add enzymes to increase extraction. In short, we hope to keep the wines taut, long living, and original to their provenance.

"Planted in 2001, the 10-acre Stormy Morning Vineyard sits on ancient marine sedimentary soil with an iron-rich band approximately 6-7 feet below the surface. It is farmed organically." Located in the Coastal Foothills northwest of the Yamhill-Carlton AVA where it experiences cooler conditions than the less exposed vineyards of the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, it shares the rich profiles of the Yamhill-Carlton AVA wines but tends towards redder accents to the fruit, rather than the blue, almost purple flavors of the warmer sites of Yamhill-Carlton.

"We often contemplate whether it would be worth picking the vineyard in blocks to get more uniformity in ripeness. Forgoing the chance to be too meticulous, and in the crunch of the season, we harvest the fruit in the fogline at the same time that we pick the fruit perched above it, resulting in a harvest of fruit at differing levels of ripeness. Or as I like to think of it, this is not a gathering where we have an adults only and separate kids table, rather everybody, or in this case every cluster, is brought together in a transect highlighting differing times along their life's journey."