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We revisited this lovely wine recently and found it ultra-tasty. Opening with an incredibly attractive spice profile melding with sweet fruit aromas, this is the transparency and nakedness we like in Pinot noir. Nothing’s hidden, nothing’s compensated for. Silky in texture, the mixed red fruits are tinged with an orange spice cake note. As in previous vintages, the 2014 is from Beacon Hill Vineyard.
The Historian is a chronicle of each vintage. Like a page in a book, the Historian conveys what happened in the growing season. This vintage, 2014, was fueled by hot weather. The period of ripening was long and fierce. Fruit for the Historian was picked on September 19th, early in the harvest season. The decision to pick early ensured elegance, balance and austerity. The grapes were processed and allowed to ferment via natural yeast. For two winters the finished wine rested on its lees in barrel. The resulting wine was not filtered or fined and finished with an alcohol of 13.5%. 97 cases produced.
Philosophical musings from winemaker John Lyon: “I am making wines from Oregon’s Willamette Valley. It is that simple. My passion for wine began in the hills and valleys that have surrounded me my entire life. Everyone’s story is different and important; the Idealist story is a devotion to making wines from a place I call home.
From the high Cascade peaks to the coast, Oregon is a flavor all its own. In the heart of wine country, the Willamette Valley, the landscape is green, lush, verdant and truly picturesque. Its people are kind, resourceful, and freethinking. Oregon is a special place so I work to capture Oregon’s uniqueness, its essence, and place it in a bottle.
I once heard we live what we know. As a young man, I entered Oregon’s wine industry and learned how to make Pinot Noir. I was lucky. My teachers had all gained a level of success that I call ‘living the dream.’ Making wine is their job, not their hobby. I learned different techniques from different technicians but they came from experience and understanding. I combined the methods I like and added some of my own. Idealist is one part ingenuity, one part necessity, and two parts experience. While the techniques are flexible the style is distinctly Oregon.
Oregon is my home and a place that I deeply respect. I am proud to share a piece of home by making wines from Oregon.”