*** *** Primrose & Tumbleweeds: Anticipating the 2012 Pinots

Anticipating the 2012 Pinots

Published, December, 2012 in the Washington County Review Magazine

Anticipating The 2012 Pinots
Dawn Sellers

Many words have been used recently to describe the 2012 wine grape harvest: epic, one for the record books, a miracle vintage, stunning. Whatever words you choose, the 2012 vintage is one to look forward to and will no doubt be one to remember for many years to come.

With the cool, wet spring of 2012, the grapes started out with smaller clusters and a prediction for lower yields. With little to no rainfall from July through harvest in early October, some of the grapes starting shriveling on the vine before they were fully ripe. Many local vineyard operators made the choice to irrigate their crops, giving the fruit a little more time to ripen.  Others decided to wait it out, choosing to harvest after the first rains. That natural rebalancing provided by the rain improved the flavors and made the gamble worth it.

What does this mean for us as consumers? 2012 could bring the most satisfying Pinot Noir we’ve ever seen. Those with full fruit flavor and those with a more balanced subtlety and flavors that only Oregon Pinot Noir can achieve will be sure to please. Following the low yield harvests in 2010 and 2011, this is a very welcome relief for vineyard owners and winemakers. 2012 will give them the opportunity to rebuild and recover from recent years financial shortages. Winemakers may very well end up with Pinot Noir that could both be ready to drink right away or stand the test of time in your cellar.

So whether you choose to buy into the hype of 2012 being an epic Oregon Wine year or wait until you taste the proof for yourself, the fact is 2012 is going to raise the recognition of Oregon’s $3 billion wine industry to a new level in the global wine marketplace.

Riesling and Pinot Gris are typically released in the spring. Pinot Noir takes a bit longer because of the winemaking process so start to look for the 2012 vintage to be released sometime