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 past 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%. Please enjoy! 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.”
2013 vintage notes
One of the most impressive 2013s we’ve tasted so far, especially given the price. A model of transparency and silkiness, with surprisingly weight and texture. If you drink it now, do so over the course of a couple days to experience it unfurl. 100% Beacon Hill vineyard, only two barrels (49 cases) were made.
From winemaker John Lyon: “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, 2013, is the story of a gamble. The weather was warm leading up to the last two months before harvest. A change in the weather turned the sky gray and sunless. The choice, as always, was to let the fruit hang or bring it in. I decided no further benefit could be gained from letting the fruit hang on the vine. With my bet made, the fruit for the Historian was picked at the end of September before the rains. The gamble paid off. The resulting wine is clear clean and pure with an alcohol of 12.5%. It is a fantastic example of honest, Oregon Pinot Noir.”