Illahe Vineyards Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2019
The wine made entirely by hand, with no electricity or modern mechanization. (Read on to find out how it’s done).
Illahe Willamette Valley Pinot Noir has aromas of blueberry, strawberry that broadens along the palate to include tobacco, earth and a pinch of spice. The acid supports a complete yet no overwhelming tannin. The wine retains its velvet mouthfeel and finishes with more fruit, a pinch of baking spice and silky tannins like a warm hug.
At Illahe, minimal intervention and historical winemaking techniques characterise the winemaking process. Harvest is done by hand and the grapes are delivered to the winery by horses in very short totes of five-gallon buckets. They guard against juicing, degradation of grape clusters and exposure to harmful yeast before processing. The grapes are loaded onto the sorting table where any unripe or damaged clusters are removed by hand. Grapes are then either destemmed (whole berry) or kept whole cluster before entering the fermenters. The grapes are cold-soaked for two to six days before undergoing fermentation by natural yeast. Illahe uses over 40 fermentation vessels to increase complexity and retain cool ferments. The cap (the skins and pulp floating on the surface) is punched down by tool or on occasion by (a very clean) foot. The red wines ferment naturally.
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