Lundeen Yamhill Springs Pinot noir 2018
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The decision that led to this wine, the first Lundeen Pinot that’s not his Articulate bottling to grace the Oregon Reserve Club, followed a long and winding path. What started as a text thread between Michael Lundeen and me in which I asked what accounted for the textural difference between Articulate and his single vineyard Pinots turned into a revelation.
He essentially challenged me, saying that while Articulate has early appeal because it is made from de-stemmed fruit and has no new oak, the reward of the single vineyards is their greater appeal down the road; he noted that has been the case in 2012, 2014 and 2016. My response: maybe I’m doing it wrongly!
I asked which wine proved his point and he replied, 2016 Yamhill Springs. He said at the time, he thought it the best Pinot he had ever made...until the 2018 Yamhill Springs came along. While proving points is something I take deep pleasure in, we decided that you should instead have the best Pinot noir that Michael has made. After spending multiple days with it and tasting it against 2018 Articulate (our typical club selection), I am entirely confident Yamhill Springs is the right choice. It is stacked, dense, and quite a bit darker than typical Lundeen wines and benefits greatly from air and time open but wow, on day two and then three it announces who’s boss. We can’t wait for you to taste it!
Unlike Articulate, Yamhill Springs is 50% whole cluster and is aged in a mix of new, once-filled, and neutral barrels. Only 75 cases were bottled.
From Michael: In the winery, Pinot noir grapes are handled very gently and typically put into the fermenter with some percentage of whole clusters remaining intact. I believe that great vineyards express their uniqueness not only in fruit but in the complex contents of the entire grape cluster. The resulting wines are pure and powerful expressions of Pinot noir that remain light on their feet, rich on the palate, and very elegant with modest alcohols and vibrant acidity.
Yamhill Springs Vineyard is an old vineyard for Oregon, originally planted in the 1980s and tucked away deep in the northwest corner of the Yamhill Carlton AVA. The own-rooted vines are naturally low-yielding but have rooted down deep into the Bellpine soils. This vineyard produces the darkest and most brooding Pinot noirs in the Lundeen portfolio.