Barrel Tasting Notes - 2015 Pinot Noir

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It's never too early to taste wine! That is, our 2015 Pinot Noir has only been in barrel for two months and we're already smelling and tasting fantastic aromas and flavors. I took the opportunity this past weekend to decant our two 2015 Pinot Noir's and am very ecstatic about their progress!

Why Decant Wine?

Decanting is the method of pouring wine from one container into another in order to aerate and/or separate naturally occurring sediment. Aeration helps form esters (aromas) that would otherwise be hidden from sensory perception.

However not all wines should be decanted; aged wines can be close to their oxygen saturation limit and should only be decanted to remove sediment. But we're drinking young 2015 Oregon Pinot Noir! So needless to say, these wines need a lot of oxygen in order to "open up".

What we're looking for

Barrel tasting is more than simply enjoying the fruits of our labor; it is an important part of the maturation process that hints of what's to come. We look for predominant aromas, including those that indicate trouble inside the barrel. Taking detailed tasting notes is critical because the sensory analysis can help us decide if adjustments need to be made.

How To Taste

When tasting, it's important to remember the 5S system: Sight, Swirl, Smell, Sip, Savor. Wine can show you the condition it is in simply on the color. A redder wine typically has more acid and will be fresher, fruitier, slower to age, less complex, and lighter bodied. Darker red wines (purple to brown) will be more complex, have more body, but will not age as well (Port being the exception).

Swirling, smelling, and sipping go hand in hand since taste is related to smell. The slight aeration helps release aromas so we can dissect the nose of wine. How is the after taste? You're tasting acid if you are salivating, and tannin if your mouth is drying.

Finally the savor - how long does it last? Do you want to take another sip, or does the flavor linger for more than 5 minutes?

12/11/2015 Wädenswil Tasting Notes

Our Wädenswil came from young three year old vines, which seem to be quite expressive early in their life! They were harvested at 24 °Brix, 3.5 pH, and 6 TA.

2015 oregon pinot noir decant
Color Depth:
Pale
Color Hue:
Ruby
Clarity:
Clear
Aroma Intensity:
Moderate
Aroma Development:
Youthful
Aromas:
Honey, Black Cherry, Strawberry
Sweetness:
Off dry
Body:
Light
Acidity:
Fresh
Tannins:
Low/Med - Round
Balance:
Fair
Flavors & Intensity:
Cherry, Grapefruit - Moderate
Finish:
Medium/Long

Conclusion: An excellent start for a young wine. Strong aromas of honey and cherry to start, followed by artificial candies by hours three and four. No faults detected, crisp clear ruby color, on track to become a very palatable wine.

12/12/2015 667/Pommard Blend Tasting Notes

This Willamette Valley 2015 Pinot Noir blend is coming out of the gate with a high ABV, smooth acid, deep color, and a lot of complex aromas!

2015 oregon pinot noir barrel tasting notes
Color Depth:
Medium
Color Hue:
Garnet-Ruby
Clarity:
Very slight haze
Aroma Intensity:
Aromatic
Aroma Development:
Youthful
Aromas:
Plum, Raisin, Earthy, Pepper, "Hot", Artificial Fruit, Black Cherry, Floral (rose?), Strawberry jam
Sweetness:
Off dry/Medium Sweet
Body:
Light
Acidity:
Crisp
Tannins:
Low - Soft
Balance:
Fair
Flavors & Intensity:
"Cool", "Smooth", cherry candy, grapefruit
Finish:
Medium/Long

Conclusion: On track to become a bold and complex wine - no faults detected. Will need more time in barrel than the Wädenswil. Sweet and sultry aromas are contrast with a smooth and cool cherry sip - could be party favorite!

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  • Ben Martin
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