Under the Radar, Special Pinots

It's back to basics today: super small batch Pinot that lights us up, Pinots that rarely make it outside Oregon's borders. These under the radar, special Pinots have both been featured in our Oregon Reserve Pinot Noir wine club and are outstanding values in reserve-level Pinot. The two wines' total production combined is a mere 150 cases.

Loaded with energy and aliveness, this is absolutely our kind of Oregon Pinot noir. Intensely, fascinatingly complex on the nose, dishing a fantastically red-fruited wonder complimented by blood orange, rose, and a dusting of cocoa powder. With more time open, the strands unfurl, the whole wine develops weight, the finish lengthens and from beginning to end, it moves like a gentle tidal wave. Twill's Stormy Morning captures the delicacy of Willamette Valley Pinot like few others. Only 50 cases made. An Oregon Reserve Pinot Noir Club selection. - Marcus

From winemaker Chris Dickson: "Stormy Morning is a compelling site for me as part of it resides in the fogline and part of it rests above it. This inherently changes the ripening curve and characteristics in the fruit. Above the fogline, as we sample the fruit in the Fall, we get deeper red fruit qualities, and in the section that sits lower, we experience more citrus and tea qualities due in part to slower ripening. 
As picking decisions loom, 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."

A sultry number on the nose – high-toned and perfume-y with a panoply of fruit, floral notes, and spices. It's silky and pretty upon first sip with a surging wave of power that gently overtakes. A synergy of savoriness and undeniable Pinot succulence. An expansive depth and length. Articulate speaks a unique and eloquent language. In English: it rocks! 

Articulate the name involves Michael Lundeen's desire to make a complex wine not just in a nebulous way, but in a singular way, to articulate that complexity. He succeeds in a way much broader than he may have planned: bottling a fluent expression of what Oregon Pinot noir is and should be. 

Michael's wines are typically about place. Articulate is intended to be the alter-ego: a winemaker's wine, a blended reserve acting as a counter-argument to place. It's not made every year, but when the wine is right...A best barrel/best blend of two barrels Yamhill Springs, one barrel Winter's Hill, and one barrel La Cantera. Less whole cluster and less new wood were used than Lundeen's single vineyard wines. 100 cases were made. - Marcus

From Michael Lundeen: “In our portfolio, Articulate is the top tier counterpoint to the single vineyard wines. It is not produced in every vintage but when the raw materials are available, a barrel-selected blend from excellent vineyards that are capable of expressing the beautiful, intriguing, and complex elements of Pinot noir. The Articulate bottling is meant to show the highest expression of the vintage as well as the Willamette Valley as a whole. It is also an occasion as a winemaker for me to show my hand and craft an especially complete and complex Pinot noir."