2021 Hyland Vineyard - Riesling 'Noble Rot'
Decanter Review: 94 Points
Tasted by: Clive Pursehouse, US Editor (at Seattle, 05 Mar 2023)
Drinking Window: 2023 - 2035
A botrytis bottling of the Martin Woods Riesling, clocking in at 80g/L, brings forward honeyed aromatics of nutmeg, baked pear and baking spice. Even with an October 8, harvest date 90% of this block was affected by botrytis. Making for a wonderfully rich wine that winemaker weaves together masterfully. The richness finds balance in bright acidity. The palate is beautifully honeyed with candied ginger, apple turnover and Jamaican allspice. Deliciously rich, opulent, and with a lovely mouth-filling depth.
honey, ginger, tropical fruit, citrus, spring flowers—rich, mouth-filling sweet fruit with vibrant acidity leading to a long, clean finish—will become very complex with cellaring (20+ years)—pair with foie gras, cheese, and a wide range of desserts
block, elevation and aspect: 1G-North, 625 feet, low angle north slope
soil: Jory series (weathered volcanic basalt)
vine age: planted 1973, self-rooted (ungrafted)
clonal selection: "Coury" selection massale (1960's suitcase import from Alsace)
farming: Dry-Farmed, Organic management
harvest: October 8, 2021 with highly advanced 'Noble Rot' (botrytis cinerea)
skin masceration: 4 days pre-fermentation, no stems
elevage: 8 month sur lie, old (20-30 years) neutral cooperage (228L)
bottled: July 28,2022, Unfined, 90 cases (750ml), RS 77.1 g/l, TA 9.2 g/l, Alc. 11.3%
Hyland is one of the Willamette Valley's historic vineyards, planted in the early 1970s with clonal selections of Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Pinot noir that were suitcased back from Alsace. These vines are now referred to as "Coury" selections‒named for Charles Coury who sourced the cuttings. The old ungrafted Riesling vines (planted 1973) are deeply-rooted in Jory soil (weathered volcanic basalt) and are farmed organically and without irrigation. Hyland is situated on the northern shoulder of the van duzer gap, the "air-conditioning" pathway through the Coast Range where marine air enters from the ocean and cools the Willamette Valley. Persistent wind spills over this neighborhood, moderating temperatures and allowing for patient ripening and retention of fresh acidity. 'Noble rot' (Botrytis cinerea) reliably develops in the final 3 to 4 weeks before harvest, concentrating sugars and contributing to aromatic and textural complexity—and in 2021 leading to this special 'gold capsule' dessert wine. We humbly believe Hyland Vineyard to be one of the America's 'great growth' terroirs for Riesling.
the Growing Season
A classic shift to cooler temps and occasional moisture of moderate intensity in late-September and early October brought the 2021 growing season to a beautiful, patient conclusion. Despite some significant heat spikes in mid-Summer, the old Riesling vines supported a balanced crop of grape clusters. We then saw highly advanced 'noble rot' development in the final three weeks leading up to harvest on October 8. Across our range of varietals, we were immediately pleased in the winery with what we thought promised exceptional quality...which has proven true. The vintage has always shown a precocious resolution of structure along with pronouced aromatics that make the wines delightful in youth, while also possessing long cellaring potential—most certainly this special 'gold capsule' Riesling.
notes on Winemaking
Harvest Oct. 8 with approximately 90% of clusters affected by 'noble rot' (botrytis cinerea). Four-day pre-fermentation skin masceration (without stems) to rehydrate the botrytis-shriveled raisins. Pressed firmly with a resulting brix of 26.9. Spontaneous ferment, no yeast introduced. Raised 8 months sur lie in 20-30 year old cooperage (228L). Bottled without fining on July 28, 2022. Diam 30 corks. RS 77.1 g/l, TA 9.2 g/l, 2.98 pH, Alc. 11.3%
about Martin Woods
Martin Woods is hidden in the oak-forested foothills of Oregon's Coast Range, within the cool-climate McMinnville AVA, Willamette Valley. Martin Woods is both the home and winery for winemaker/vigneron Evan Martin, who has been driven by a passion since 2009 for discovering the most compelling terroir in Oregon. Elegant Pinot noir and Chardonnay are the focus of the portfolio, but Riesling, Gruner, Gamay, Cabernet Franc and Syrah are more than proving extremely exciting for exploration. Evan’s small team farms according to sustainable, wholistic principles and the growers he partner's with are of the same mindset. The winemaking methods are delicate and natural, but of greatest importance is that a Martin Woods wine promotes the classic qualities of purity, balance, complexity and fine structure that can only result from great terroir combined with wholehearted dedication to art and craft. Above all, it is the hope that the wines evoke a consistent and inspiring sense-of-place, an authentic Oregon voice.