Lundeen Articulate Pinot noir 2019
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95 points James Suckling: "Strawberry pie with baking spices, as well as cherries. Medium to full body with fine tannins and a long, beautiful finish. This is curated and focused with depth and structure. Sustainable. Best after 2025."
We are especially high on Lundeen these days. The Willamette Valley’s best sparkling wine line-up tends to be the flashier side of Lundeen’s winemaking prowess but wow do we love his 2019 Pinots.
Longtime club members will immediately recognize this Reserve-level stalwart; new club members, you’re in for a treat!
A synergy of savoriness and undeniable sweetness of Pinot. An expansive depth and length. Articulate speaks a unique and eloquent language. In English: it rocks!
Articulate involves Michael Lundeen's desire to make a complex wine not just in a nebulous, "my wine is complex" way, but to articulate that complexity. He succeeds in a way much broader than he may have planned: bottling a fluent expression of what Willamette Valley 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-everything blend in 2019, with only 75 total cases produced. Less whole clusters and less new wood are used than in Lundeen's single vineyard wines.
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.
Typically, the barrels selected for the Articulate program are from destemmed grape ferments, accentuating the forwardness of the fruit and length on the palate. The resulting wines are pure expressions of Pinot Noir that remain light on their feet, rich on the palate, and very elegant with vibrant acidity.
2019 was a wild ride of a vintage with extreme heat events as well as heavy late summer rain. A large and otherwise clean crop helped to mitigate the pitfalls of these events and produced powerful red wines with modest alcohol. So far slow to evolve, they are finally emerging beautifully and I think the best of the 2019s will age extraordinarily well.”