In the Willamette Valley the 2019 vintage was bit of a throwback: generally cool, late and modulated. Bearing in mind that this amounts to a break in the midst of the warmest decade in modern history, one must keep expectations reined in. But compared with 2018, considered not only one of the warmest but also one of the driest on record, 2019 seemed like a blessing.
The vintage began with a warm spring and the return of rain, slightly cooler temperatures in the summer months, even a bit of summer rain. A rain event in September cooled off the harvest period dramatically and compressed the harvest itself. Temperatures were dramatically cooler in October. Overall, the wines are more elegant and refined, with less concentration and color than the drought-affected 2018s.
This vintage report is published as part of our Regional Tasting Report on US Pinot Noir.
Patrick J. Comiskey covers US wines for Wine & Spirits magazine, focusing on the Pacific Northwest, California’s Central Coast and New York’s Finger Lakes.
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