2012 Jory Hills Vineyard Pinot Noir




92 Points from Wine Enthusiast!



2012 Jory Hills Vineyard Pinot Noir
This ruby colored Pinot Noir offers a dark fruit nose of blueberry and blackberry with a hint of bacon. On the palate, the 2012 Jory Hills offers cherry pie, black cherry, and chocolate undertones. The mouthfeel is bright, yet smooth and round. There is a sweet approach with good acidity in the finish. We suggest opening an hour before drinking or decanting. Enjoy this wine now through 2020. 

Available Sizes: 750ML (Burgundy Style)


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The Jory Hills Vineyard: Elevation & Fun Facts    

The Jory Hills Vineyard, first planted in 2002, is located in the Red Hills of Dundee and takes its name from the soil on which the grapes are grown. Today it has 24.8 acres of Pinot Noir split between Dijon Clones 114, 115, 667, 777, 828, and Swan. Unlike the Willakenzie soils, the structure is volcanic with basalt as the underlying substrate. The vineyards are planted in an East-West orientation at a density of 2,400 plants per acre on Phylloxera-resistant rootstock with drip irrigation throughout.

Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir

Jory Acreage: 24.57 Acres total at Jory Site

Clones: Dijon Clones 114, 115, 667, 777, 828 & SWAN     

Dijon Clone 114: Lower yielding, vigor and vegetative growth can vary greatly from year to year, early ripening. Floral notes and berry, cherry, and dark plum, fruit-driven spicy pinot.

Dijon Clone 115: Naturally high yielding, significantly more shattering, early ripening. Dusty nose with primarily red and dried fruits, earthy notes, and a butterscotch and black pepper finish.

Dijon Clone 667: Lower yielding, smaller clusters, harder to position the shoots, later ripening. In Oregon takes many years (7+) to produce very high quality fruit.

Dijon Clone 777: Most site dependent. The vegetative growth, yields, cluster size are deeply influenced by the location, early ripening. Noted for fleshy, black-fruited wines with tropical notes.

Dijon Clone 828: Straight, upright shoots, larger clusters. Although the clusters are larger they are loose and weigh less. Tends to ripen later.

Swan Clone: The origin of this clone is clouded in mystery; some think it came from the Romanée-Conti vineyards. It was brought to the United States by Joseph Swan and originally planted in the Russian River Valley. It produces bright and rich Pinot Noir.


Appellation and AVA:  Willamette Valley and Dundee Hills    

The Willamette Valley, Oregon's coolest wine appellation, is the source for most of the state's winegrapes. It is named for the Willamette River that flows for more than 100 miles, from Eugene in the south to the Columbia River at Portland in the north. The valley is approximately 60 miles across at its widest point, and the center of the valley is approximately 50 miles east of the Pacific Ocean, which provides marine air influence, depending on weather conditions and local formations of the Coast Range mountains. An average of 40 inches of rain falls annually mostly during the mild winter months. Summers are relatively warm and dry. Vineyards are typically located on benchland hillsides at the western margin of the valley.

Distinct subregions have now been identified as their own AVAs, including the Red Hills of Dundee, Ribbon Ridge, the Eola Hills northwest of Salem and the Yamhill-Carlton District southwest of Portland.

Yamhill-Carlton District

North of McMinnville, the land slowly rises to the hamlets of Carlton and Yamhill. These two communities, only three miles apart, have always been paired, sharing both a high school and a pioneer cemetery. Now they lend their names to one of Oregon’s newest AVAs. Low ridges surround the two small towns in a horseshoe shape. The freeflowing North Yamhill River courses through the center of a lush patchwork quilt of nurseries, grain fields and orchards. Above the farmlands, the neatly combed benchlands and hillsides of the Yamhill-Carlton District are home to some of the finest Pinot noir vineyards in the world.

Historically nourished by forestry and farming, this area is rapidly emerging as a global center of Pinot Noir production. This pastoral corner of Oregon's northern Willamette Valley creates a unique set of growing conditions. The Coast Range to the west soars to nearly 3,500 feet, establishing a rain shadow over the entire district. Additional protection is afforded by the Chehalem Mountain to the north and the Dundee Hills to the east.

The coarse-grained, ancient marine sediment native to the area is the oldest soil in the Willamette Valley. This soil drains quickly, establishing a natural deficit-irrigation effect. Thus, the vines stop vegetative growth earlier here than elsewhere, leading to more complete ripening, even in cooler growing seasons. This allows Pinot Noir to develop deep, ruby colors and broad, silky tannins. The mouthfilling wines exude powerful fruit aromas of raspberry, blackberry and black cherries, made more complex by minerality reminiscent of pipe tobacco, espresso, clove and dark chocolate. The wines are also accented by scents of rose, violet, lavender and sweet wood smoke. These are alluring, complex, supple gems of Pinot Noir to sip and savor.

Terroir: Volcanic Jory Soil   

The Jory series consists of very deep, well-drained soils that formed in colluvium derived from basic igneous rock. These soils are in the foothills surrounding the Willamette Valley. They have been mapped on more than 300,000 acres (1,200 km2) in western Oregon. They are named after Jory Hill, Marion County, Oregon, which itself is named for the Jory family, who settled in the area in 1852, after traveling along the Oregon Trail.

Surface layer: organic material

Subsurface layer: dark reddish brown silty clay loam

Subsoil - upper: dark reddish brown clay

Subsoil - lower: red clay

Jory soils generally support forest vegetation, dominantly Douglas fir and Oregon white oak. They are very productive forest soils. Many areas have been cleared and are used for agricultural crops. The Jory soils and the climate of the Willamette Valley provide an ideal setting for the production of many crops, including Christmas trees, various berries, filberts (hazelnuts), sweet corn, wheat, and many varieties of grass seed. The soils are suitable for the grapes used in the expanding Oregon wine industry. Growing urbanization of the Willamette Valley is resulting in a great deal of pressure for development in areas of the Jory soils.

Harvest Dates: October 7 - 17, 2012    

Winter and spring were milder than usual, with spring bringing enough precipitation to completely fill our irrigation pond by early April. The growing season began with bud break in Terres Basses on April 23, and during the night of May 9-10 some minor frost damage occurred in the experimental block adjacent to Terres Basses. Bloom started on June 18 after a period of warm weather, but took a long time to complete as the temperature cooled off. Set was a bit lower than normal and contributed to harvest yields about 10% below average. We experienced a very sunny and moderately warm summer with temperatures mostly in the 80s. Veraison started in Terres Basses on August 15 and was complete in every block at the beginning of September. The latter part of September was quite warm, accelerating ripening. We started picking in the Terres Basses block on October 2 and finished with the Wadenswil block and Dijon clone 828 on October 24, which is the day we began harvesting grapes in 2011. Our minimal leaf pulling was again very beneficial this year, as most vineyards struggled to maintain acid levels during the accelerated ripening period. Judicious use of irrigation also helped slow down sugar accumulation in the berries. All the grapes were picked between 23.5 and 24.8 Brix with very deep color in the wines.

Oak: 40% New Oak

Ageing: 15 months in French oak barrels

Skin Contact: 23 Days

Malolactic Fermentation: 6 Months

Bottling Date: March 5, 2014

Analysis: Alc- 14.2%, pH-3.6, TA-4.8

Closure: Cork

Certifications: Oregon Certified Sustainable Winery, LIVE & Salmon Safe   

Because the soil and the vines are the heart of our wines, the long-term health of both is critical at WillaKenzie Estate. To protect them, we practice sustainability in all aspects of our vineyards and winery, emphasizing respect for the environment and the balance of the entire ecosystem.

Healthy Soil = Healthy Vines

Sustainable farming practices that respect the environment, soil, plants, and people are another expression of our commitment to genuine quality. To promote healthy soil, we use compost, kelp, and cover crops, and encourage beneficial organisms such as earthworms and fungi. To maintain the health of our vines, we use organic fertilizers and fungicides rather than synthetic chemicals. No herbicides are used. Sustainable viticulture is extremely labor intensive—we employ a dedicated vineyard crew year round, who touch each of the more than 200,000 vines on our estate at least 24 times annually, further ensuring consistency and quality. The benefits far outweigh the extra work. Our wines better reflect our soils and our clonal diversity through absorption of soil minerals, and contain fewer residual chemicals. The longevity of the soil is greatly enhanced, and our workers’ exposure to chemicals is minimized.

Creating a Balanced Ecosystem

Visitors to the winery often ask us about the trees on our property. Only a quarter of our Yamhill estate is vineyard. The rest is devoted to pasture and native plants (including Douglas fir, maple, and oak trees) to preserve an ecosystem balance and watersheds. The forests on our property are home to beneficial predators such as hawks, owls, coyotes, and vultures, which help control rodents.

Low-Input Viticulture and Enology - Pioneering Sustainable Practices

WillaKenzie Estate was the first winery to receive the Low Input Viticulture and Enology (L.I.V.E.) winery certification. L.I.V.E. is an Oregon-based, nonprofit organization that provides education and certification for vineyards and wineries using international standards of sustainable viticulture practices in winegrape production. These standards come from a vision of the vineyard as a whole system and promote biological diversity, natural fertility, and ecosystem stability through responsible land stewardship.

L.I.V.E. partners with Salmon-Safe to restore and maintain healthy watersheds. Salmon-Safe is an independent nonprofit devoted to restoring agricultural and urban watersheds so that salmon can spawn and thrive. Native salmon are a key species within the Pacific Northwest and their conservation is closely intertwined with the health of our larger ecosystem.

Responsible Winemaking

WillaKenzie Estate was also the first winery to be awarded Oregon Certified Sustainable Wine (OCSW) status for its 2008 vintage wines. The OCSW program is intended to increase awareness of wineries’ adherence to sustainable programs, communicate the importance and guarantee of certification, and encourage distribution of sustainable wines so consumers can access them. The program focuses on three pillars: responsible agriculture, responsible winemaking, and third-party certification. In order to earn certification, both our winery and 97% of our fruit must be Oregon Certified Sustainable Wine, certified by L.I.V.E, USDA Organic, Demeter Biodynamic, or the Food Alliance. In addition, our fruit must be certified Salmon-Safe. When you see the OCSW logo on our and other Oregon wines, you can rest assured the wine was grown and made responsibly.

Innovation & Sustainability

Our winery is sustainable in many other ways, as well, with innovation and ingenuity always playing a key part. Our underground cellars naturally keep our wines cool, and we use gravity rather than pumps to transfer our wine. We recycle winemaking by-products for compost and have even developed a system that allows us to capture and reuse some of the CO2 produced during fermentation. In 2010, a solar array was completed at our Yamhill estate, producing almost half of our energy needs.

Winery Retail Price: $48

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