Winemaker Ian Burch discusses the A-List Fall 2020 new releases, and what makes them so unique.
With strawberry rhubarb driving the nose and a palate made of raspberry and currant, the 2018 Arcus Pinot Noir is tied tightly to the red end of the fruit spectrum. The fruit is sourced from our historic Dundee Hills vineyard, fit with volcanic soils and diverse vineyard rows—a striking setting not far from our winery and tasting room. Arcus Vineyard is the oldest vineyard of the Archery Summit estates, planted in 1973. Rocky and technically challenging, it offers a singular sense of grandeur.
Fruit for the 2018 Arcus Vineyard Pinot Noir was hand-picked from September 21st to 24th. After handpicking and hand-sorting, fermentation was then allowed to proceed under temperature controlled conditions in open-top stainless steel fermenters. During primary fermentation, tanks were pumped over twice per day, until such time that a combination of pump over and punch down was used up to twice a day. Aged for 16 months in the barrel, this Pinot Noir was fermented primarily with whole-cluster fruit for added depth and character.
Candied cinnamon and gamey tones greet the nose, making for a fragrance that’s equal parts sweet, woodsy, and wild. The wine is bursting with spicy components, which are rounded out nicely through garden-fresh fruity strawberry notes. Structurally, the wine is direct yet incredibly open and convivial, with fine-grained tannins and a moderate acidity. Made from Archer’s Edge Vineyard fruit, the 2018 Whole Cluster marries depth with approachability.
Our 2018 Whole Cluster Cuvée is exclusively sourced from the Archer’s Edge Vineyard utilizing the Old World technique of conducting primary fermentation while grapes are still attached to their stems. This technique offers a unique aroma profile and texture derived from the inclusion of woody stem material into the fermentation and results in wines of great depth, personality and lasting character.
Q – HOW LONG SHOULD I WAIT TO DRINK THE NEW RELEASES?
A. While many of our Pinot Noirs are beautiful upon release they can certainly benefit from aging as well. Generally speaking, at five to eight years from the vintage date our wines will exhibit both their youthful vigor as well as tertiary flavors that only come about with patience. Some vintages will reward much longer aging, the best thing to do is open a bottle now and again to allow your pallet to decide.
Q – WHAT DOES THE “LIVE” LOGO ON THE BACK OF YOUR LABELS SIGNIFY?
A. Many of our vineyard sites are LIVE (Low Input Viticulture & Enology) certified, meaning they adhere to an internationally-acclaimed set of sustainability standards. These guidelines are site-specific and look to strengthen the well-being of the vineyard through minimal spraying, careful clone selection, heightened biodiversity, and more. We endeavor to ensure that the soils and biodiversity of each site are as healthy and vibrant as they were when we found them.
Q – WHAT TYPE OF FOOD SHOULD I PAIR WITH THESE WINES?
A. With its strawberry rhubarb scent and focused acidity, our Arcus Vineyard Pinot Noir is an ideal partner for roasted meat presented in an autumnal style, with a bright, slightly sweet sauce. Try with our oven-roasted pork loin chop with cider braised cabbage and whole grain mustard pan-sauce.
As for the Whole Cluster Cuvée, we suggest pairing with ricotta gnocchi with pumpkin cream, pancetta, and sage. This luscious dish has a lot going on, and our versatile Whole Cluster Cuvée can handle it: the richness of brown butter and cream, the sweetness of pumpkin and pancetta, and the herbal scent of sage. A more delicate Pinot might struggle, but the Whole Cluster has sufficient intensity to wrangle all these flavors and still flaunt its own seductive aromas of red raspberry and spice.