One of 50 Best Oregon Wines in Portland Monthly. Hughes Hollow '15 was selected by Brent Braun, wine director of Portland's Castagna and one of Food & Wine's Sommeliers of the Year (2017). Braun wrote, "A totally singular expression of Oregon Pinot, irresistibly chuggable while still being absolutely grown up."
2014 vintage notes
Like the call of a siren...irresistible. A beckoning melange of black cherry and wild strawberry, sweet baking spices and essence of orange, carried through on a silky texture. Once you get it in your glass you'll want another. It shows beautifully when first opened and will age for 4-6 years.
We asked Scott to write a blurb on the wine, since we enjoy his musings:
“Underdogs, Freud and The Beach Boys. I’m often asked to present our wines at various functions, dinners, tastings and the like. Under these circumstances winemakers typically talk about soils or pick dates or barrel regimes. While those are all relevant topics, I've never found them to be avenues by which I can connect with people. Or with wine.
In thinking about the wine we've just released, the Hughes Hollow Pinot Noir, a few things come to mind I'm fond of and would, frankly, rather talk about. First, Freud's sentiment that all there really is in life is love and work rings true lately. I've been traveling a bit and meeting with old friends I've missed as well as making new ones. These are all people I've met and come to love because of the work I do. And because I care about them and what they think, I'm inspired to work harder at my craft. And so it will go, work and love, around and around because I have yet to find a thing that gives my life more meaning than the people I love and the work I do. So given that, I'm very grateful for this wine.
And what about this wine? To me, it's like The Beach Boys. Especially Pet Sounds and later recordings. There was a lot of resistance to Brian Wilson making this kind of music and you can make an argument that their greatest achievement is an underdog story because vertically no one believed in it up until it was released.
Same with this wine. It's from outside the "fancy" AVAs. It's a north facing slope. It has a hollow in the middle of the block. The farming prior to us taking it over was some of the worst I've ever seen. Above all else, I didn't even really want the fruit. I wanted the Gamay and felt obliged to take the Pinot in order to secure it.
These are the humble origins of this underdog bottling. It wasn't until my assistant David started insisting I needed to taste it about half way through the year that we realized we had something special on our hands. It was initially slated to just be part of a basic Willamette Valley blend but the wine kept insisting it was more than just a B-Side. Ultimately, it has become the only single vineyard bottling of Pinot we will make from the 2014 vintage.
This is our Pet Sounds moment. None of us thought this would work. But the result is a deceptively complex wine with sweet harmonies and textures barely concealing dense arrangements and melancholy lyrics. It's catchy and addictive now but also gets better with time.”
We look down on Scott and Dana Frank's Bow & Arrow winery. Literally. They're in the basement of our building, and we have a floor-to-ceiling window that affords a great view of their production space (which as I type is dark and silent, the quiet before the storm of harvest). All joking aside, we've developed deep respect for Bow & Arrow's honest, largely Loire-valley inspired wines, and for their tongue-in-cheek, good-humored approach to branding.