A relatively cool and wet spring resulted in a near-normal bud break in mid-April. The spring warmed up with record heat in late May that initiated flowering, followed by a cool down in early June through the second and third week of the month. Flowering produced a very good fruit set generally with more clusters per vine and larger clusters than previous years. July ramped up the heat moving the vintage rapidly to véraison. August saw multiple one-day records for maximum daytime temperatures with heat stress events early and late in the month resulting in one of the warmest on record. A warm early September accelerated fruit development but was slowed by a cooling period mid-month, leading to a relatively slow and steady harvest. 2017 ended up with near average to slightly higher than average sugar and acid levels with beautiful flavors and well-balanced fruit.
Knudsen Vineyards 2017 Chardonnay
This wine will be available for release in April of 2019.
Knudsen Vineyards 2017 Reserve Pinot Noir
This wine will be available for release in the Fall of 2019.
Knudsen Vineyards 2017 Pinot Noir
This wine will be available for release in the Fall of 2019.
For a third year in a row, the 2016 growing season was warm and dry and resulted in another bountiful crop of exceptional quality. Relative to 2015, July and September were a few degrees cooler while June and July had modestly greater precipitation, all resulting in another early harvest at peak maturation. It is also worth noting that precipitation during the largely dormant October – March season substantially exceeded historical averages providing welcome nourishment to land and vines after these three consecutive warm growing seasons. Finally, our higher elevation and innovative vineyard-wide drip irrigation system enables peak performance in relatively warmer years.
The Knudsen Vineyards 2016 Reserve Pinot Noir was reased for purchase to mailing list members on August 15, 2018. We produced 250 cases of the 2016 Reserve.
We produced this Reserve Pinot Noir, our second, with grapes from four dispersed vineyards blocks offering darker fruit aroma and flavors – cherry, plum, even a hint of blackberry – combined with a subtle earthiness and spice, resulting in a wine of
considerable richness, silkiness and complexity. The foundation of the 2016 Reserve is sourced from the 17-year old vines in Block 3, the “heart” of the northern of our two slopes, planted in French Dijon clone 667. It is livened with a blend of darker, deeply aromatic fruit from higher elevation Block 1, planted in 2006 with French Dijon clone 777, and also fruit from Block 6, planted in 2004, another 777 clone, and Block 8, a heritage Pommard clone planted in 2008, offering hints of dried mushroom, some spiciness and a velvety texture.
The wine was aged 35% in new oak barrels for 16 months before bottling.
This is a beautiful, deeply satisfying wine that will age well over 10-15 years.
The Knudsen Vineyards 2016 Pinot Noir will be released for purchase to mailing list members on August 15, 2018. This is the fifth vintage Pinot Noir from Knudsen Vineyards and reflects an early and ripe vintage of wonderful fruit with perfect natural acidity, great depth of flavor, structure and complexity.
Grapes from Block 5, among the lower elevation blocks at Knudsen Vineyards, provide the foundation for this wine, reflecting a brilliant light garnet color, red, with a hint of darker, berry aromas, great fruit freshness, palette weight and length. Block 5 has 18 year old vines planted to the French Dijon 777 clone. This wine is enhanced and gains complexity with smaller and equal contributions from Block 3 French Dijon 777 and 667 clones planted in 2001 and darker, deeply aromatic fruit with mild earthiness from higher elevation Block 1, planted in 2007 with the heritage Pommard clone.
The wine was aged 16 months in 20% new oak barrels prior to bottling.
This is a beautifully textured, fresh fruited and drinkable wine which will age well for 5 – 10 years.
The Knudsen Vineyards 2016 Chardonnay will be released for purchase to mailing list members in March, 2018.
Similar to our previous Chardonnays, the Knudsen Vineyards 2016 Chardonnay is a blend of Dijon clones 76 and 95 from Blocks 9 and 10 on our southern slope, facing east and south at approximately 700 feet elevation. Planted in 1995, these vines are amongst the oldest producing Dijon CH clones in Oregon.
This delicious Chardonnay again exhibits a vibrant light straw color in the glass and presents a lovely, subtle aroma of pear and peach fruit with a hint of green apple and vanilla. This wine is supple while possessing great natural acidity balanced and enhanced with modest French oak. The mouthfeel is crisp, with some minerality, and delivers a lingering and elegant finish.
We produced 320 cases of this elegant and refreshingly drinkable wine.
The 2015 growing season was almost perfect with above average warmth throughout combined with modest precipitation and cooling in early August. Further, our vineyard provided a variety of fruit expression, affording us the opportunity to craft two unique and distinct Pinot Noirs from different blocks.
Knudsen Vineyards 2015 Estate Reserve Pinot Noir
On October 11, 2017 we released our Knudsen Vineyards 2015 Estate Reserve Pinot Noir for purchase by mailing list members only. We produced only 200 cases of this very special wine.
The Estate Reserve possesses a chewy mouthfeel and presents a dark berry aroma and flavors – blackberry, cherry and a hint of blueberry and spice. This wine has been crafted from grapes grown in Block 1, a French Dijon 777 clone planted in 2006, and in Blocks 5 and 6, also used in the 2015 Pinot Noir detailed below. This wine was described by PinotFile as a “sophisticated wine that is truly special with impeccable balance, a seamless texture and a grand finish that lingers until the next sip”.
The 2015 Estate Reserve Pinot Noir was barrel fermented for 16 months in older French oak barrels then blended 35% with wine barreled in new oak barrels from France.
Knudsen Vineyards 2015 Pinot Noir
On August 23, 2017, we released for purchase the Knudsen Vineyards 2015 Pinot Noir, our fourth vintage Pinot Noir with a 450 case production. This wine is crafted in the style of previous vintages, blending estate grown fruit from Block 5, planted in 2001 and Block 6, planted in 2004, both French Dijon 777 clones, and Block 3, planted in 2000, a French Dijon 667 clone. It is a lively, drinkable wine offering a subtle floral nose, light berry flavor profile, silky mouth feel and an elegant finish.
Our 2015 Pinot Noir was barrel fermented for 16 months in older French oak barrels then blended 20% with wine barreled in new oak barrels from France. Reflecting the warmer vintage, the 2015 Pinot Noir possesses 14.1% alcohol content.
The wine received a 92-point rating from Anthony Dias Blue’s Blue Lifestyle, publisher of The Tasting Panel and The SOMM Journal. It is drinking superbly now, and will age well for the next 10 years.
Knudsen Vineyards 2015 Chardonnay
The Knudsen Vineyards 2015 Chardonnay was released for purchase to mailing list members on March 15, 2017. We produced 320 cases compared to 260 cases of the Knudsen Vineyards 2014 Chardonnay.
Similar to our 2014 Chardonnay, the Knudsen Vineyards 2015 Chardonnay is a blend of Dijon clones 76 and 96 planted in 1995 from Blocks 9 and 10 on our southern slope. This delicious Chardonnay exhibits a vibrant light straw color in the glass, presents a subtle aroma of citrus and pear with a hint of green apple and vanilla, offers a flinty, crisp mouthfeel and delivers a lingering and elegant finish.
On August 23, 2016 we released the Knudsen Vineyards 2014 Pinot Noir, our third vintage Pinot Noir, for purchase first to email list members for a 21-day release period and then to the public. We produced 560 cases, compared to 200 cases of the Knudsen Vineyards 2013 Pinot Noir, due to the exceptional quality of this vintage.
In Oregon, the 2014 growing season was unusually warm and dry resulting in a bountiful and fully ripe crop with juicy and luscious flavors. In warmer and drier years particularly, Knudsen Vineyard benefits from our relatively cooler higher elevation site and innovative vineyard-wide drip irrigation system.
The Knudsen Vineyards 2014 Pinot Noir is a blend of wine from 4 vineyard blocks of varying age, clone, exposure and elevation. The foundation is Block 6, planted to Dijon clone 777, imparting darker berry flavors, combined with wine from the upper part of Block 3, planted to Dijon clone 667, which offers floral notes and silky texture. We also added some Block 5, another 777 clone at a lower elevation planted in 2000, and Block 10, on our southern slope, planted in 1994 with the heritage 115 clone. Our 2014 Pinot Noir was barrel fermented for 15 months in older French oak barrels then blended 25% with wine barreled in new oak. Reflecting the warmer vintage, the 2014 Pinot Noir possesses 14.1% alcohol content.
This wine is drinking superbly now, and will age well in the cellar.
Knudsen Vineyards 2014 Chardonnay (Sold Out)
The Knudsen Vineyards 2014 Chardonnay, the second Chardonnay since our return to winemaking, was released for purchase to mailing list members on March 16, 2016. We produced 260 cases compared to 100 cases of the Knudsen Vineyards 2013 Chardonnay.
The 2014 growing season was unusually warm and dry and resulted in a bountiful crop of exceptional quality. This was particularly true at Knudsen Vineyard which benefits in warm years from our higher elevation and innovative vineyard-wide drip irrigation system. In 2014, the vineyard produced nearly 4 times the tonnage of Chardonnay grapes compared to the cooler and much wetter harvest 2013.
The Knudsen Vineyards 2014 Chardonnay is a blend of Dijon clones 76 and 96 planted in 1995 from Blocks 9 and 10 on our southern slope. This wine is a beautiful pale straw color in the glass, possesses distinct aromas of citrus, green apple and stone fruit with a hint of vanilla, and offers a refreshingly zesty and lean minerality flavor profile.
Knudsen Vineyards 2013 Pinot Noir (Sold Out)
In August 2015, we released 200 cases of our second vintage: Knudsen Vineyards 2013 Pinot Noir.
This Pinot is classically Oregon. It is light to medium bodied and exhibits aromas of fresh bramble-berry and a hint of wet stone. The wine possesses wonderfully balanced acidity and displays an unusually long finish. The Pinot is a blend of grapes from three different Blocks –6, 8 and 3–with the foundation built around slightly north facing Block 6, also the foundation of our 2012 Pinot Noir. Block 6, planted to the 777 Dijon clone, imparts darker berry notes to the wine’s aromas and palate, while Block 8, with its heritage Pommard clone, introduces slightly earthy elements. Block 3, another hosting 777 Dijon clones, offers elegance and floral notes.
This wine is similar to our 2012 Pinot Noir–perhaps a bit less fruit-forward–with great depth and complex flavors revealing themselves over time. We believe that it superbly showcases the subtlety, depth and complexity of the fruit from Knudsen Vineyard.
Knudsen Vineyards 2013 Chardonnay (Sold Out)
In mid-March 2015 we released for sale 100 cases of our first Chardonnay.
The Knudsen Vineyards 2013 Chardonnay is characterized by energetic freshness, a light citrus aroma and crisp taste and also a hint of stone fruit. It has continued to improve in the bottle and exhibits a beautiful light straw color in the glass, is relatively dry and flavorful with balanced acidity and presents a lingering and elegant finish. Our inaugural Chardonnay received a 94 point rating from PinotFile. Their rating and description can be found by clicking here.
Knudsen Vineyards 2012 Pinot Noir (Sold Out)
In late August 2014 we released for sale 100 cases of our Knudsen Vineyards 2012 Pinot Noir, the first wine with a Knudsen Vineyard label since the mid-1970’s. The wine was offered via invitation to our friends and mailing list community and sold-out within the 14 day pre-release period.
In Oregon, the 2012 vintage Pinot Noir from the north Willamette Valley is among the most highly acclaimed. Our 2012 Pinot Noir is elegant, possessing a floral and subtle berry aroma, silky and luscious mouth feel, a fruit forward taste, long finish and a lighter ruby-red color. Both by design and consistent with many Oregon Pinot Noirs, alcohol content is relatively low at 13.5% by volume. Our Pinot Noir was barrel fermented for 16 months in older French oak barrels then blended at 10% with wine barreled in new oak. This wine is drinking well now, and we expect it will age well in the cellar, too.
Knudsen Vineyards has been growing fine Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes since our founding in 1971. Over the years both Knudsen Erath and Argyle Winery have made excellent award-winning still and sparkling wines with our grapes. Argyle’s exceptional Oregon Sparkling Blanc de Blancs is made entirely from chardonnay grapes from Julia Lee’s block (named after our mother) on Knudsen Vineyard.