2017 finally broke the pattern of the unusually warm vintages since 2011. The winter rainfall and snowpack were excellent (about 150% of the average), and the spring was generally wetter and cooler than average. Bloom in my blocks at both Maresh and Momtazi Vineyards began around 22 June. Most of July was warm and lovely: morning clouds burned off by the afternoon, and one could feel the ocean coolness behind the summer warmth. Berry touch and hedging happened around 20 July. But in the first week of August, there were days of extreme heat: 106F, 108F, 109F, 99F, etc. The very hot temperatures (95-99F) continued into the second week. After the 11th, the temperatures returned closer to average.
Lag phase weights in several vineyards showed 2017 to be on the heavy side with larger than average clusters, but my blocks at Hyland Vineyard and Momtazi Vineyard seemed to have medium to normal clusters. A little rain occurred on 12 August, and it seemed to push veraison. The weather became nice again after the rain: 80’s with morning clouds that burned off. By 23 August, veraison had begun in most of my blocks, and by 28 August, during the return of hot weather (99-100F) it was 80-100% complete, depending.
The first week of September was very hot (99-100F). By 4 September, veraison was 100% in my latest blocks. Mid-September brought cooling and some pre-harvest rain (average of 1.7 inches), with the average highs being 67F the last ten days. With the exception of the Momtazi Tir block picked in late September, my blocks at Maresh, Momtazi, Freedom Hill, and Hyland were picked in October, 10 October being the final picking date.
I dialed down the whole cluster to about 50% (0% for the Maresh Vineyard Pinot Gris) this year, and the wines are very elegant and perfumed, averaging 12.5% alcohol: beautiful Oregon old-school.