2011 was one of the latest vintages in Oregon. After a very cool and rainy spring to early summer, bloom occurred 3-4 weeks later than the average. This was in July. Summer was on the cool and cloudy side until some time in August. August and September were ideal. September was, in fact, one of the three warmest Septembers on record. This is perfect for Pinot, for a warmer than average September in Oregon is not hot. The cumulative degree days were higher in 2011 than in 2008 and 2010, obviously with most of the increase happening during ripening: September and October. The fall was sunny and dry with very cool nights. Picking occurred in dry weather at the beginning of November for my vineyards.
The natural yields in my blocks averaged 1.3 tons per acre at Maresh Vineyard. My acreage at Momtazi Vineyard barely approached 2 tons to the acre. The clusters were medium-sized.
The ample sunshine of fall allowed a deliciously long ripening period with warm days and cold nights. The clarity and depth of the flavours of the 2011's are truly thrilling. It was exciting to work with the lower sugars, higher acids, and lower pH's. The alcohol in all three of my wines is 12.5%. Most of the fruit was picked with sugars around 22 Brix. A beautiful year for Pinot. It is the kind of vintage I love the most.
(The only drawback was doing pigeages with must temperatures averaging 35F in November inside the fermentation room at outdoor temperatures. This was certainly the year for Cognac.)