92 points Vinous, Josh Raynolds: "Spice- and mineral-laced cherry and boysenberry scents are complemented by notes of anise, candied flowers and mocha. Bitter cherry, dark berry and spicecake flavors show impressive clarity and lift, and a smoky nuance emerges with air. Closes very long and sweet, offering repeating spiciness, building tannins and gentle hints of lavender and cola."
We’ve been working for months to get this wine into the club. It’s a hallmark release from Crowley, in a couple ways: it is the first Crowley single vineyard wine to feature a significant inclusion of grape stems (not just the grapes themselves), and it may be their best single vineyard Pinot noir yet.
We’ve embraced enthusiastically Tyson Crowley’s willingness to try new things with the changing climate (both literally and figuratively) in Oregon. To gain complexity and finesse in the very ripe 2014 vintage, he increased dramatically the amount of whole cluster fermentation, adding a fascinating array of complexities that show up on the nose and palate. Equal parts sultry (that’s really sultry) and focused, it captures the energy of the vineyard and of the Crowley house style while adding a voluptuousness we don’t often associate with Crowley Pinot noirs. You can definitely open this now or let it age for several years.
More about Four Winds from our Crowley friends: “Four Winds Vineyard is located in the McMinnville Coast Range. There are just over four acres of Pommard clone Pinot noir planted in 1990, at an elevation of 800 feet. Very importantly, the vines are own-rooted and dry farmed and the uniquely shallow soils result in wines with pronounced mineral tones.
After receiving two exceptional vintages of the Chardonnay from this vineyard we jumped at the opportunity to make wine from the Four Winds Pommard clone pinot noir in 2012. As it is for the Chardonnay, this 22 year old high elevation vineyard is ideal for fresh, acid driven and austere Pinot Noir (editor’s note — those are relative terms when it comes to vintages like 2014!).
The 2014 Four Winds Pinot Noir tames the vintage and delivers a graceful and truly elegant Pinot Noir. With all the complexity gained from the generous stem inclusion (65%) this wine manages exquisite balance and radiates energy. Lavender and herb highlight the nose while dark cherry and spice integrate with the smooth tannins on the palate. Terrific middle texture and exceptional length define the Pommard clone and the 2014 Four Winds capture those traits wonderfully. Drinking nicely now, this wine will also age gracefully and gain in stature for years to come.