2021 Jessie James - Pinot noir
Decanter magazine review: 95 Points
Tasted by: Charles Curtis MW
Drinking Window: 2025 - 2045
This is a bright, red-fruited expression with notes of pomegranate and wild strawberry, a hint of rose petals and a firm, crisp feel on the palate. The site is located in the cool Eola-Amity Hills at just over 200m elevation, exposed to the cool winds of the Van Duzer Corridor. The site's terroir and organic farming deliver energy, tension, freshness and depth. Should age well. (Barrel sample).
red-black cherries, forest floor & subtle tree bark spice—elegant & balanced texture with a mouth-watering fine thread of structure, acidity and minerals framing the fruit—long, resonant finish, both complex and immediately pleasurable
ava: Eola-Amity Hills
elevation & aspect: 675 ft, East-facing slope
soil series: Nekia (rocky volcanic basalt, shallow topsoil)
planted: 1996—Wadenswil & Pommard & Dijon 113/114/115
farming: Dry-Farmed, Organic management
harvest: October 5, 2021
whole cluster: 12%
elevage: 15 months (6 month without sulfur); average barrel age 4-5 years
bottled: Jan. 5, 2021, without fining,13.5% Alc.
The eola-Amity Hills is situated to the immediate east of the Van Duzer Corridor, the "air-conditioning" pathway through the Coast Range where marine air enters from the west and cools the Willamette Valley. the high-density (2,400 vines/acre), four acre planting of vines at Jessie James is east-facing at high elevation‒ripening here is patient and harvest is usually the first week of October. Furthermore, the vineyard is in a rain shadow, allowing the grapes to reach peak maturity with less risk of botrytis rot. The Nekia soil (shallow, rocky volcanic basalt) provides appropriate stress to the plants, resulting in sparse canopies and loose clusters with small berries and thick skins. The wines display exceptional depth and complexity of structure and fruit, with freshness and compact intensity. We lease the vineyard from Jessica and James Lee, from whom the vineyard takes its name, and we farm according to organic principles.
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 conclusion. Despite some significant heats spikes in mid-Summer, the vines supported a good crop of clean fruit (medium-small berries with thick skins) with balanced flavors and phenolic maturity. 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 that makes the wines delightful in youth, while also certainly possessing long cellaring potential.
notes on Winemaking
picked October 5, 2021 at 22.9 brix, 3.32 pH. 12% whole clusters layered in small open top fermenters. 24 days total on skins. Once daily punchdowns starting on day 10. Peak fermentation temp 85F. Aged without sulfur for 6 months. Aged 14 months total on lees (no stirring) in 228L barrels, average age 4-5 years (only 5% new oak). Racked carefully and bottled without fining on Jan. 5, 2023. Diam 10 corks. TA 5.4, pH 3.55, RS 0.0 g/L,13.5% Alc.
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. May your wine journey be full of life, love, tears and laughter, and of course adventure, sincerely, Evan Martin