Sass Estate Pinot Noir 2022, Willamette Valley, Oregon

Sass Winery produces small amounts of handcrafted, super premium quality Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay. The vineyard, first planted in 1989, is in the hills of South Salem, facing east and south, at a gently rolling elevation of 480-530 feet. The soils are well-drained red clay. The vines are closely spaced at 1,800 to the acre and are naturally farmed. The winery was built in 1995, sunk partly into the hillside so that the crush pad is 5 feet above the winery floor, allowing gravity, not pumps, to power the harvest. Pinot Noir hand-picked and hand-sorted; fully destemmed; minimal sulfur additions; 2-5 day pre-fermentation cold soak; clones fermented/barreled separately; 5-8 different yeasts (including indigenous) used; temperature-controlled fermentation in 1-ton to 1 1/2-ton, open-top fermenters; 14-21 days crush to press; gentle press; punched down twice daily during fermentation; pumped only 2-3 times total; full malolactic fermentation; never fined or filtered; 10-28 months in French oak, between 10 percent and 50 percent new. Juicy cherry aromas with black raspberry, baking spices, white pepper and a hint of earth. Fine tannins and silky texture.