Previous vintage--2005--tasting notes: THIS is what an Oregon Pinot noir is supposed to be! Earth, herbs, dark cherry, blackberry and a touch of cinnamon in the nose. The depth is incredible. A richness on the palate delivers ripe berries and plum with side notes of lavender. And this puppy is smooth as silk. The finish is beautiful with touches of spice and vanilla. Itís no mistake that year after year, this is Sineannís best Pinot noir, hands down. There is less this year than last, so get it while you can. - ms
Detailed Info, Previous Vintage Notes, Reviews:
The Resonance Vineyard is located in Oregon's northern Willamette Valley on a south-facing hillside in Yamhill County, just west of Carlton. The vineyard is in the new Yamhill-Carlton District AVA. The Resonance Vineyard sits on a convex portion of a low, west-east oriented ridge emerging out of the Coast Range. The ridge is hook-shaped, wrapping around to the east. The much higher High Heaven Ridge protects the property from the south. Panther Creek flows through the valley created between High Heaven and Resonance. The Coast Range rises immediately to the west of the property, creating a formidable weather barrier. As a result, Resonance is protected from inclement weather and wind on all sides, making it a particularly warm, dry site.
Soils are primarily Willakenzie and Yamhill, but there are areas with virtually no top soil that can only be labeled as shale rock land. The Willakenzie and exposed shale are both old sedimentary deposits that begin at the bottom of the slope. The Yamhill is an ancient, submarine basaltic soil (much older than the more common, basalt-derived Jory and Nekia soils in the Dundee Hills). The Yamhill soil is found near the top of the slope and much of the crown is exposed, broken basalt bedrock.
The wet winters coupled with soils of sufficient water-holding capacity allow dry farming of vines. And the warm summers provide more than adequate heat to fully ripen the fruit. The growing season is very long (over 210 days) and dry which keeps disease and insect pressures at a minimum.
The entire vineyard is on a vertical, upright, shoot-positioned trellis (commonly called a VSP). Spacing on the oldest vines is 8 feet between rows and 6 feet between vines, leaving 908 vines per acre. The most recent plantings are set at 7.5 feet between rows and 5 feet between plants or 1162 vines per acre and 7.5 feet by 4 feet or 1452 vines per acre. All vines are cane pruned with very low head heights of 18-24." The trellis is 6.5 feet high allowing the canopy to grow as high as 7.5 feet before being hedged (which occurs only once). This allows for a large leaf area to accommodate adequate ripening even in cool vintages.
The coarse-grained, ancient marine sediments native to the area are the oldest soils in the valley. These soils drain quickly establishing a natural deficit-irrigation effect. Thus, the vines stop vegetative growth earlier here than elsewhere, leading to more complete ripening, even in cooler growing seasons. This allows Pinot noir to develop deep ruby colors and broad, silky tannins. The mouth-filling wines exude powerful fruit aromas of raspberry, blackberry and black cherries complexed by minerality reminiscent of pipe tobacco, espresso, clove and dark chocolate and accented by scents of rose, violet, lavender and sweet wood smoke. These are alluring, complex, supple gems of Pinot noir to sip and savor.
The vineyard consists of 4 acres of Pommard Pinot noir, 2.5 acres of Pommard Pinot noir (grafted from Muller-Thurgau in 2000) and 1.5 acres of Gewurztraminer all originally planted in 1981, plus 3.5 acres of Wadensvil Pinot noir planted in 1987 and 2 acres of 777 Pinot noir (grafted from Pinot Gris) planted in 1995. An additional 6.5 acres of Pinot noir (evenly split between Wadensvil and Pommard clones) was planted in the spring of 2006.
Until June of 2003, Resonance was named Reed & Reynolds Vineyard. Reed is owner Kevin Chambers middle name, and has been the middle name of the first-born male of his family for several generations. Reynolds is Carla Chambersí maiden name. The Chambers felt the two names offered a pleasant and memorable alliteration, as well as designated their partnership and teamwork that created the vineyard. Nevertheless, after a protracted and expensive trademark battle with a California winery, the Chambers chose to change the name to Resonance.
Virtually all the vines are own-rooted. Of course, this leaves them at risk to phylloxera. But Biodynamic practices, a strong nutritional program and commitment to a diverse, healthy microbial community in the soil significantly mitigates the disease risk. The Chambers believe that plants should be grown on their own root systems rather than be grafted to other species' roots. They feel this leads to healthier plants, better drought tolerance and greater wine quality. A few grafted vines have been planted for experimental purposes, but the intent is to sustain an own-rooted vineyard. At 25 years of age in the oldest blocks, the vines are now yielding profoundly complex wines. It is the Chambers' intent to maintain this "old vine character" in the wines for as long as possible.
Year in and year out, the Resonance vineyard supplies the fruit for Sineannís best Pinot noir. In 2003, Wine Spectator gave the Sineann Resonance Pinot noir 94 points. In 2004, the Pommard clone barrels supplied the fruit for Sineannís first French Laundry Cuvee. For 2005, this wine is yet another stunning example of the flavors and complexity that winemaker Rosback can coax out of a well kept vineyard.