2017 Barbie Pinot Blanc

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2017 Barbie Pinot Blanc


This is a tiny bottling of Pinot blanc produced in memory of Gerson’s and my mom. She always loved white wine, and left us far too early just before Christmas in 2016. She was an academically trained fine artist, and the front label was taken from an abstract she painted for me about five years ago. The Barbie Pinot Blanc is produced from Freedom Hill Vineyard, and it was fermented in a single, once-filled Acacia wood puncheon. As with the Freedom Hill Vineyard Pinot Blanc, this is true, 100% Pinot blanc: there is no Auxerrois in this bottling. Produced much the same way as one would produce Chardonnay, this Pinot blanc was whole cluster-pressed after picking. After settling in tank for a couple of days, the juice was racked to the Acacia puncheon for un-inoculated primary and secondary (malolactic) fermentation. This wine is dry and finished with a pH of 3.32. Slighter more pale yellow in colour than the Freedom Hill bottling, this transparent and shining wine has a rather heady nose of creamy citrus fruits and powdery minerals. In the mouth, the acidity at first seems softer with a pleasing and gentle attack, but it ramps up and builds lovely, high-toned tension in the palate towards the finish. I believe this is the impact of the Acacia. Though the nose and attack appear to be on the more lush side, the mouth and finish have no heaviness or gravity whatsover, making this wine a stealthily fleet-footed, racy, long and clean Pinot blanc.

Appellation: Willamette Valley A.V.A.

Picking Date: 7 October 2017

Barrels:  fermentations (primary and malolactic) and élevage in once-filled Acacia tree puncheon (500L)

Bottling Date: 29 June 2016

Alcohol: 13.0 %

Cases Produced: 49

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Kelley Fox has made this bottling in memory of her mother, Barbara, who passed away in this vintage.  The grapes were sourced from the Freedom Hill Vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills appellation, and Kelley fermented them in a single, older Acacia wood puncheon.  This is an outstanding wine and may well be the finest example of this varietal I have ever tasted. The bouquet wafts from the glass in a complex blend of white peach, apple, almond, lovely, salty soil tones, orange blossoms and a distinct, but discreet framing of Acacia wood. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, focused and nicely snappy with an excellent core of fruit, beautiful soil signature and a long, complex and zesty finish. This is a stunning bottle of Pinot blanc that will age effortlessly for many, many years.  2019-2035+ 94.

From “View from the Cellar” by John Gilman
January-February 2019     
Issue Number Seventy-Nine