We’re delighted to release our 2011 Pinot Noirs. You can find these wines and past vintages in shops and restaurants in Oregon, Washington and New York City. You can also join the Vincent Wine Company mailing list to buy directly from us. We can ship many places in the U.S.
The single vineyard wines ($36 retail each):
2011 Vincent Pinot Noir Armstrong Vineyard Ribbon Ridge
2011 Vincent Pinot Noir Zenith Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills
2011 Vincent Pinot Noir Bjornson Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills
The 2011 Vincent Pinot Noir Armstrong Vineyard is our top selection from this excellent Ribbon Ridge vineyard, owned by friends Doug and Michele Ackerman. This year the blend is again just two barrels, one from the block of 115 clone of Pinot Noir and one of the block of 667 clone that also had Pommard clone mixed into the fermenter. The 115 again provides more of the wine’s power, and the 667/Pommard mix gives floral tones and earthy notes. One barrel was one year old, in fact this was the new barrel last year that we drew only partially into the Armstrong bottling, to limit the new oak influence. This year the once-filled barrel had just the right amount of oak influence. I blended it with a six year old barrel that gave no overt oak flavor to the wine. The bottling is significantly more delicate than our 2010 Armstrong, mainly due to the seasonal difference. Don’t let the ruby color fool you though. This is a wine of elegant power, perfumed, with good acidity and length of flavor. I think it will cellar well but you can enjoy it now as well. ($36 retail)
The 2011 Vincent Pinot Noir Zenith Vineyard bottling is again from a thinner soiled block planted exclusively to the Pommard clone in this Eola-Amity Hills vineyard. As with all our wines, we carefully sorted the Pinot Noir fruit, then destemmed and lightly crushed the berries and filled one fermenter. After letting the must sit overnight, we pumped the juice over the berries to oxygenate things. Then we did nothing, and only after several days when the fermentation had started on its own did we begin punch down, or mix, the must. We then punched down the fermenter once a day for several days, leaving the new wine on the skins for a few extra days after fermentation had completed. Then we drained off the new wine, pressed the skins for a bit more “press” wine, and put the new wine in barrels after settling for a few days. The result? A fairly strapping, darker take on Zenith vineyard than we’ve ever produced, going back to 2008. Previously our wines from here have been more floral and delicate. The 2011 Zenith is instead more muscular and rich. I’m very excited about this wine and think it should cellar nicely for up to a decade. ($36 retail)
The 2011 Vincent Pinot Noir Bjornson Vineyard is our newest vineyard designate. This Eola Hills vineyard is directly south of the famed Seven Springs Vineyard, source of many my most memorable Oregon red wines. So this is a nice neighborhood for wine grapes. Add in Mark and Patty Bjornson, Minnesota transplants who’ve planted several acres over the past several years with lots of interesting selections of Pinot and other grapes, and it’s clear this is a special site. We share this vineyard with the Grochau Cellars, Haden Fig, and the Bjornson’s own label, and our fruit come from a block of Pommard. These grapes, picked on October 28, tasted incredibly fruity on the sorting line, where I was almost wondering if they were too ripe. No, just 21.6 brix (12.6% alcohol), but so much more mature in flavor. I’ve never seen anything like 2011. The wine turned out to be our darkest Pinot, with an almost Gamay-like gravelly berry flavor that I think is incredibly delicious. There’s a similar combination of a once-filled barrel and a six-year-old barrel, and the density of the wine matches well with the spicy oak notes in the wine. This is another wine that I think will cellar well for five years at least. ($36 retail)
The regional wines:
2011 Vincent Pinot Noir Ribbon Ridge ($24 retail)
2011 Vincent Pinot Noir Willamette Valley (restaurant only)
Our 2011 Vincent Pinot Noir Ribbon Ridge bottling is our largest production wine at 192 cases. The blend comes entirely from the Armstrong Vineyard on Ribbon Ridge. Where the Armstrong Vineyard bottling is from the two best barrels, with their extra perfume and longer lasting flavors, the Ribbon Ridge is all the other barrels from this excellent site, blended for more early appeal. In 2011, this wine is the closest I’ve come yet to the kind of refreshing, energetic wine I’m looking to produce, old world in structure, new world in fruit. The color is electric ruby and obviously unfiltered. The wine has a powerful fragrance of cherries, cranberry, black tea, flowers and all kinds of spice notes. Aromatically this wine is rocking. Right now, the flavors are a bit tight, but they offer cherry, tea and spice notes. I expect the wine will soften and fill out over the coming few months and year. This wine will be perfect for Thanksgiving, with just enough richness and a refreshing zing on the palate. ($24 retail)
2011 Vincent Pinot Noir Willamette Valley. This two-barrel blend is offered to our mailing list at a rock bottom price every summer, with the remainder going to local restaurants in Portland. A blend of Ribbon Ridge and Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir, this refreshing red wine is perfect for drinking now. (restaurant only)
My goal is wine made simply. I’m not trying to control every aspect of the process, and I’m not doing nothing and calling it “natural.” Wine is a human process, and my goal is making wines as simply as possible to show the grapes, the vintage and the place they came from. That’s where I’m coming from. No loads of new oak, no fancy tricks. Just a simple approach that I believe produces exceptional wines.
Winemaker Vincent Fritzsche has made wine for more than ten years, working at some of the best small wineries in the Willamette Valley along the way. He launched Vincent Wine Company in 2009 after years of making wines in his garage in NE Portland. Vincent has focused exclusively on Pinot Noir until beginning to produce a small amount of Chardonnay in 2012.
Past vintages, for reference:
2010 Vincent Pinot Noir Armstrong Vineyard – $36 / $78 mag (SOLD OUT)
The Armstrong Vineyard is a young vineyard owned by Doug and Michele Ackerman, friends and old tasting group buddies who planted a choice spot on Lewis Rogers Lane in the heart of Ribbon Ridge. We are fortunate to source grapes here – along with Ayres (just up the road) and Seven of Hearts wineries, good company indeed. Our 2010 Vincent Pinot Noir Armstrong Vineyard is our top selection from this site, a two barrel blend of 115 and 667 clones from separate vineyard blocks. The 115 clone gave a dark, brooding wine with considerable density. Our one fermenter from this block was the talk of the winery. Wine this rich and dense from 2010? The 667 clone, from the steepest part of the vineyard, gave perhaps a more typical wine for the vintage, ethereal and more delicate. A blend of the two gives us the wine of the vintage here, with considerable power but moderate alcohol at 13.4%. Wine for aging, though it will be fun to try young. We blended half of two barrels of the 115 clone, one of them new so that the resulting wine saw 25% new oak.
2010 Vincent Pinot Noir Zenith Vineyard – $36 / $78 mag (SOLD OUT)
This year’s Zenith Vineyard bottling is again from a thinner soiled block planted exclusively to the Pommard clone. The 2010 Vincent Pinot Noir Zenith Vineyard is our sole output from one small fermenter of grapes from this top notch vineyard in the heart of the Eola Hills. As we did with all our grapes this year, we destemmed the clusters, crushed them lightly and let them sit until they began to ferment on their own, not initiating punch downs for approximately 10 days until fermentation was well under way. Fermentation peaked at about 90°F and we pressed after 17 days on the skins. We aged the wine in 3- and 5-year old barrels, so that the delicate nature of this 13.1% wine was not overwhelmed with oak spice. The result is a fragrant, slightly crunchy Pinot that is incredibly food friendly and should age well on its acid structure.
2010 Vincent Pinot Noir Ribbon Ridge – $24 / $54 mag (SOLD OUT)
Our main wine this year is the 2010 Vincent Pinot Noir Ribbon Ridge bottling. This seven barrel blend is entirely from Armstrong Vineyard, from all three of the blocks we worked with. Same process in the winery, two and a half barrels were new and this bottling contains wines from the partial barrels that went into the vineyard designate bottling. This broader blend, including softer, lighter colored but wonderfully complex press wine, gives an aromatic, floral Pinot with considerable young fruit, less structure than the vineyard designate and more approachable younger. This is a delicious follow up to our main wine from last year, the 2009 Vincent Eola-Amity Hills bottling.
The 2009 Vincent Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills is approximately 80% from the Domaine Coteau vineyard on Walnut Hill, on the eastern slope of the Amity Hills. The soils here are Nekia series, predominantly eroded Basalt and very red. The vines are 10 years old and a mix of Dijon clones 114, 115, 667 and 777. The remaining 20% is from 7 year old Pommard clone vines from the Zenith Vineyard, in the heart of the Eola Hills. The wine was aged for 10 months in mostly older French oak with one barrel newly reconditioned. Eight barrels produced, 192 cases. SOLD OUT
The 2009 Vincent Pinot Noir Zenith Vineyard is 100% Pommard clone Pinot noir from a single once-filled French oak barrel, selected for its finesse and lingering flavors. We think it is our best wine from the 2009 vintage. The Zenith vineyard is one of the most respected sites in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA or growing region. Just one barrel made, 24 cases. SOLD OUT