I love wines with great terroir but there is something extra special about Oregon Pinot Noir with novel terroir. One of the unique wineries in Oregon, Brittan Vineyards was founded by the talented Robert Brittan, who was the former winemaker at Stags’ Leap Winery in Napa. Robert is a graduate of the UC Davis Viticulture and Enology program and founded Brittan Vineyards in 2004, acquiring a 128-acre hillside property with soils that are a mixture of glacial deposits and volcanic material, with a predominant presence of broken basalt. The volcanic material brings out a terrific stony quality in the Pinot Noirs. In addition to the Pinot Noir, Robert has 4 acres of Chardonnay and 1.5 acres of Syrah have been planted. In addition to his own wines, Robert serves as the winemaker for several other brands, including Blakeslee, de Lancellotti, Fairsing, Noble Pig, Winderlea and Youngberg Hill.
The new Brittan Vineyards releases are were absolutely stunning across the board. I was blown away with the 2016 Brittan Vineyards ‘Gestalt Block’ Pinot Noir (WWB, 94) which has the incredible stony quality in the wine and shows insanely good range from this warm vintage in the Willamette Valley. Just as good was the 2015 Brittan Vineyards ‘Cygnus Block’ Pinot Noir (WWB, 94) which deftly combines high-toned bright rose petals to damp earth tones and a wonderful sense of tension. These are serious releases that are brilliant in their youth and will continue to provide drinking enjoyment for a decade or more. Learn more about the great wines of Brittan Vineyards at http://www.brittanvineyards.com Here are the brilliant Pinot Noir releases by Brittan Vineyards.
2016 Brittan Vineyards ‘Basalt Block’ Pinot Noir- The 2016 Brittan Vineyards ‘Basalt Block’ Pinot Noir is another outstanding wine by iconic winemaker Robert Brittan. The ‘Basalt Block’ is mostly composed of Pinot Noir clones Pommard, 667, 777, 115 and Swan. Deeply colored in the glass, the wine emerges with a wonderful stony character that collides with the black tea, peat moss and black truffle shaving aromas that all meld together in the glass. Intense and high-toned, the lip-smacking acidity really entices. Black fruits mingle with sour kirsch, orange rind and black truffle crudo with minerals on the palate. The terroir and balance here is really intriguing. While a delight to enjoy in its nascent phase, the ‘Basalt Block’ will age gracefully for a decade or more. Drink 2019-2032- 93
2016 Brittan Vineyards ‘Gestalt Block’ Pinot Noir- The 2016 Brittan Vineyards ‘Gestalt Block’ is a scintillating new release by this storied Oregon winery. Sourced from their vineyard in the McMinnville AVA, as the ‘Gestalt Block’ is set on their western facing hillside that is set on broken basalt. Deeply colored once in the glass, the ‘Gestalt Block’ starts off with deep wet stone influence that connects with the shades of cran-pomegranate and guava with peat moss aromas that all collide in the glass. The mouth-watering acidity of the wine is truly gorgeous, as is the great sense of stony terroir. Silky and soft on the mouth, this delivers gobs of racy acidity and a light dusting of salinity that runs through the dark fruits and earthy undertones on the palate. Truly novel and esteemed in the land of Oregon Pinot Noir, the ‘Gestalt Block’ will have a decade or more in the cellar. Drink 2019-2032- 94
2016 Brittan Vineyards ‘Cygnus Block’ Pinot Noir- The ‘Cygnus Block’ Pinot Noir by Robert Brittan is another stunning wine from this storied winery in the McMinnville AVA. The perfumed nose ranges from bright red rose petals to black tea and exotic spices, with peat moss undertones that all come together aromatically. The palate delights the senses, song off a silky texture and soft mouthfeel, with gobs of lip-smacking acidity. A slight salinity races through the wine and black fruits with white truffle accents. While this is outstanding now, it will continue to develop well for the next ten to fifteen years. Drink 2019-2032- 94