Colene Clemens Pinot Noir Margo 2015, Chehalem Mountains, Willamette Valley, Oregon

Colene Clemens was founded in 2005 by Joe and Victoria Stark with the express purpose of making exceptional Pinot noir. The property is named in honor of Victoria’s mother, Colene Clemens. Spanning 122 acres where the Chehalem Mountains converge with Ribbon Ridge, the estate contains both sedimentary soils from the Wellsdale & Hazelaire series, and volcanic soils from the Witzel series. Elevation climbs from 350 to 650 feet, here the winery perches with sweeping views of the coast range and valley. Currently 55 acres are planted to Pinot Noir & Chardonnay. The 2015 vintage has gone down in the books as the hottest growing season on record in the Willamette Valley. With temperatures breaking the 90°F mark a record 29 times and below normal precipitation, what resulted was a fast and furious growing season that culminated in one of the earliest harvests ever. Despite all the heat accumulated and the early pick dates, the resulting wines have shown an amazing amount of restraint and structure that one wouldn’t necessarily anticipate from such a warm growing season. The fruit was 100% de-stemmed into small stainless steel tanks and began with a 4-5 day cold soak. Following this, tanks are gently warmed, and fermentation by indigenous yeast begins and proceeds for 10-14 days. During primary fermentation, the tanks are gently punched down by hand twice daily. Once fermentation is complete, we allow for 5-7 days of extended maceration in tank before we drain the tanks and press the skins, stems, and seeds very gently to procure the remaining juice. Both the free run juice and pressed juice then go directly to barrel without settling. After 11 months in French oak – 30% new; 35% 1-year old; 35% 2-year old – the wine is then blended and bottled.