2015 Willamette Valley Vintage Report
The 2015 vintage in the Willamette Valley is coming to a close, and over a week remains in September. Coming on the heels of the memorable 2014 vintage, this is historic, once again.
This year of record-breaking warmth has produced balanced fruit, to our delight and surprise. For one, viticulturists monitor two types of ripeness—sugar and physiological. Hot years require an early harvest to keep grapes at an appropriate sugar level. Physiological ripeness, however, does not directly correlate with air temperatures like sugar ripeness does, and as a result may lag behind. Despite this reality, physiological ripeness has managed to align well with the sugar levels this 2015 year. The fruit tastes great, including the seeds and skins.
After focusing our energy on our two other single vineyard bottles of Pinot Noir in 2013 and 2014, we joyfully announce we will release a 2015 Fir Crest Vineyard Pinot Noir. We last produced wine from this lauded vineyard in 2012. Fir Crest, located in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, has many old blocks, some 30 years old. These vines produce Pinot Noir akin to a wise sage speaking profoundly and melodiously.
We have also acquired fruit from two vineyards new to the Fullerton Wines portfolio—Bella Vida and Lichtenwalter. Bella Vida is a high-elevation site in the Dundee Hills producing pure wines with red cherry, raspberry, and mineral tones. The famed red Jory soil of Dundee creates wines that mesmerize and seduce. We can’t wait to share Fullerton’s rendition of Pinot Noir from this stunning site. Lichtenwalter vineyard, located in the Ribbon Ridge AVA, produces dark fruited wines with gentle barnyard tones. We currently have the 2015 vintage in barrel, and Alex, our winemaker, cannot wait to share the results with all of you.