Brittan Pinot Noir Basalt 2013
Brittan Vineyards was founded by veteran winemaker Robert Brittan and his wife Ellen, who left Napa Valley to pursue their dream of making cool climate Pinot Noir in Oregon. The Brittan’s purchased their 128-acre property in the foothills of the Coastal Range in the McMinnville AVA, where they have 29 acres planted to Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Syrah. Robert brings extensive viticultural and winemaking experience to their venture, having worked as winemaker at Far Niente, St. Andrew’s ...New York, New Jersey
The 2013 Basalt Block Pinot Noir reveals red-fruited notes of black cherry, red plum skin, black raspberry, and red licorice on the nose. As the wine slides onto the palate, notes of red current, cassis, blackberry compote, pomegranate, French lavender, bergamot and orange zest unveil, framed in by black pepper and allspice. The layers of complexity, savoriness, and strong mid palate provide the backbone for the wine and create a long, lingering, elegant finish.
Wine Spectator"Bright and tangy, with a peppermint edge to the red berry flavors, finishing with polished texture and a mineral note as the finish persists. Drink now through 2018. 1,325 cases made." - HS, Feb 2016
Wine Advocate"The 2013 Pinot Noir Basalt Block was picked at just 1.5-ton per acre from 26-27 September and on 3 October, matured for 12 months in 25% new French oak. It offers blackberry and bilberry on the nose, touches of crushed violet and later blackcurrant pastilles emerging. The palate has a sharp seam of acidity, very minerally and stony in style, masculine for a Pinot Noir with an almost saturnine finish that lingers long in the mouth. Saline and surly (in an attractive way), cellar this enigmatic Pinot Noir for a couple of years. "I really like the 2013s, more than the 2012, because it forced everyone to pick earlier than they would normally, oyster-loving, former Stag's Leap winemaker Robert Brittan told me at his winery facility in McMinnville. Too many winemakers wait too long. The point at which you choose to pick is so subjective that you can second-guess yourself. More ripeness does not necessarily make great wine. I like the 2013 Chardonnays much better than the 2012s. I think it [the 2013 vintage] has bought an awareness to winemakers...that was true for me. The ferments went very well and didn't need anything - it was easy. We picked a number of vineyards after the rain, but we saw way much less rot than in 2007 and 2011." Robert Brittan is an influential winemaker, consulting for a number of estates as well as producing his own label. I have to say I really admire the style of these wines that veers towards black rather than red fruit: mineral-driven and more detailed than many of their Oregon peers. They come highly recommended, especially at these prices, which I am sure that others would retail for double." - Neal Martin, May 2016
Vinous Media"Brilliant ruby-red. Smoke- and spice-accented cherry and black raspberry on the fragrant nose. Fleshy and broad on entry, then tighter in the middle, offering bitter cherry and mulberry flavors complemented by a peppery element. Clings with good spicy tenacity on the finish, which features building tannins and an echo of spicecake." - Josh Raynolds, Oct 2015
James Suckling"[...] Interesting blueberry and blackberry character with citrusy acidity underneath. Medium body and a straightforward finish. Drink now."