2012 Pinot Noir “The Morgster”
Three Angels Vineyard, Eola-Amity Hills, Oregon
pH: 3.30; TA: 7.4 g/l; alcohol: 13.2%
Three Angels Vineyard is named for the winemaker’s wife, Laureen, and two daughters, Alex and Morgan— fondly nicknamed “the Morgster.” Our vineyard is planted to three acres of Pinot Noir and is situated on Walnut Hill at an elevation of 600 to 630 feet, near the NE terminus of the Eola-Amity Hills. The southern half the property slopes to the southeast while the northern half slopes eastward. The vineyard is divided into three one-acre blocks; Morgan’s east-facing block in the northern half was planted in 2004 to a clone of Pinot Noir that is referred to as the upright or “droit” clone. The scion material is said to have been smuggled into the USA from Burgundy’s Grand Cru “La Tache” vineyard. The vines have been grafted onto a mix of 101-14 and 3309 rootstocks. Densely planted (2,437 vines per acre; vines within a row are 1 meter apart and rows are 1.5 meters apart). Morgan’s block is underlain by a rather deep (approximately 6 feet), well-drained Jory soil derived from volcanic basalt.
Growing Season and Harvest
Spring was normal for the Willamette Valley, with periods of warm sunny weather followed by cooler rainy days. Bud break was quick and uniform, but bloom was drawn out. A warm summer with no rain in July, August, and into September provided great conditions for grape development. Fair weather held to allow for the vines to produce delicious tasting fruit with full flavors and good balance. On October 18, just 2.3 tons of Pinot Noir grapes were handpicked and delivered to the winery. The clusters were sorted by hand, de-stemmed, and the fruit placed into two open-top fermenters.
Ambient winery yeasts were responsible for fermenting the must, and the resulting cap was punched down by hand (at least once per day) until fermentation proceeded to dryness. The resulting free run wine was transferred directly to barrel and skins pressed on November 8 (for a total of twenty-one days of skin contact).
Barrels and Bottling
The wine was raised in a mixture of used French oak barrels for a period of nine months. The wine was bottled on August 10, 2012 and placed in cold storage prior to release.
“The Morgster” has been recognized by LIVE as Sustainable and Salmon Safe.