A most unusual year, mostly due to the incredible heat we experienced, breaking not only all heat records for Oregon, but also for Canada. What most people do not realize is that the Pinot noir plan actually shuts down when temperatures are above the mid-nineties, making the plant more or less dormant. This extends the length of the “ripening” since for the week-long heat wave, the plants were in suspended animation. After the heat “dome” (currently the word du jour for weather related heat incidents) passed, we experienced a beautiful summer and fall. This resulted in amazing raw materials which were quite easy to turn into phenomenal wines.
But do not just take my word for it:
2021 vintage overview from Decanter, a British publication which now has someone actually here, boots on soil, unlike any other wine publication.
“The resulting wines are brilliant. They offer great concentration, wonderful lift and freshness and such fine tannins… the top producers have made wonderfully collectable wines that will age 15 to 20 years. A five-star vintage for the Willamette Valley’ The 2021 growing season was memorable, most notably for the heat dome the region experienced in late June when temperatures reached up to 47.5°C (117.5°F). That heat spike set new records by 3°C to 6°C (5°F to 10°F) across the Pacific Northwest.”